How to set up Windows 11 without a Microsoft account

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 11, 2023
Updated • Mar 12, 2023
Windows 11 Help

Microsoft has made it really difficult to set up Windows 11 without a Microsoft account. Setting up Windows 11 with a local account is a frustrating experience for many, as there is seemingly no longer an option to skip the Microsoft account sign-in or creation of a new account to set up a local account instead.

Good news is that there are still options available, but they are well hidden, as Microsoft has the clear intention to promote Microsoft accounts. For users, Microsoft accounts have advantages, but also disadvantages. Advantages include getting a bit of free OneDrive storage, synchronization of data between devices, extra security and also the ability to use Microsoft apps and services that require an account. The main downside, for most, is privacy. Microsoft does not really know anything about local accounts, but a Microsoft account gives the company a much clearer picture, and data, about its customers.

Windows 11 users have a few options at their disposal to skip the Microsoft account creation or sign-in during installation of the operating system. Indeed, we have talked about Microsoft account bypass options during Windows 11 setup already here on this site, and also mentioned that the free software Rufus comes with such capabilities.

Some of our readers wanted more options, which is why we have created this guide. Note that you may switch to a local account after the setup experience in the account section of the Settings application.

All three methods listed below have been tested with the most recent Windows 11 version 22H2 ISO image provided by Microsoft. Please note that Microsoft may make changes in the future that render one or even all of these options useless. Please let us know in the comments if you run into issues, so that we may investigate these and update the guide accordingly.

Setting up Windows 11 with a local account

All of the options below allow users to bypass Microsoft account creation or sign-in during the out-of-box experience. This is a wizard that walks users through the final steps of setup, after the operating system files have been copied to the disk already. Most PCs that come with Windows 11 pre-installed start at this stage.

The first few steps of the out-of-box experience are always the same. Here they are:

Step 1: Select the country or region.

windows 11 setup page 1

Step 2: Confirm or select the keyboard layout or input method.

windows 11 setup page 2

Step 3: Check for updates runs automatically

windows 11 setup page 3

Step 4: Name the device. This step is optional.

windows 11 setup page 4

Step 5: Select if the device is a personal use device or should be set up for work or school.

windows 11 setup page 5

The next screen prompts users to sign-in to using a Microsoft Account. It is called "unlock your Microsoft experience" and features a sign-in button only.

unlock microsoft experience

Bypassing the Microsoft Account setup on Windows 11

Pick one of the following options to skip the Microsoft Account and create a local account during setup instead.

Best Option: email address bypasses

Certain email addresses force the out of box experience to skip the creation of a Microsoft account. All that is required for that is to type one of these email addresses into the Microsoft account field during setup.

Step 1: Select Sign In.

unlock microsoft experience

Step 2: Use one of the following email addresses (note that Microsoft may remove this option at one point):

Select Next once done.

sign in

Step 3: Type any password and select Sign In.


Step 4:  Windows 11 displays an Oops, something went wrong page. Select Next.


Step 5: You may now create a local account. Select the local account username and then Next.


Step 6: Type the local password. Note that it is optional. Select Next to complete the account creation process.


The local account has been created, and there are a few additional things that need to be set up before Windows 11 loads the desktop for the first time.

The following options may work as well, but they are not advised, if the above option still works.

Option: Kill the Internet from the command line

Disabling the Internet connection temporarily during setup is another option. It works like the physical disruption of the Internet connection, but is more comfortable in many cases.

  • Step 1: at the sign-in to a Microsoft account stage, press Shift-F10 to open a command prompt window.
  • Step 2: Type ipconfig /release and activate the Enter-key. This marks the client's IP address as available. In other words: the PC is no longer connected to the Internet.
  • Step 3: Close the command prompt window and activate the back button.
  • Step 4: It is now possible to create a local account.

Closing Words

Microsoft has a vested interest to get as many of its customers on Microsoft accounts as possible. It binds customers and gives Microsoft additional data on how computers and products are used.

Now You: have you tried any of the bypasses mentioned above?

How to set up Windows 11 without a Microsoft account
Article Name
How to set up Windows 11 without a Microsoft account
The guide lists an easy to follow method to set up Microsoft's Windows 11 operating system without a Microsoft account.
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  1. John G. said on August 21, 2023 at 2:38 pm

    There is not still W11 23H2 and these instructions are nonsense by now. :[

    1. James said on August 21, 2023 at 8:48 pm

      It worked for me just fine. You’re probably not following the instructions clearly.

      1. Katrina Thompson said on August 30, 2023 at 3:25 am

        Just tried the password option and the OOBE option and didnt work.

    2. Anonymous said on September 7, 2023 at 10:33 am

      Worked perfectly. Thank OP.

    3. Anonymous said on September 15, 2023 at 11:26 am

      Worked perfectly for me just now. Specifically, the regedit option.

  2. 45 RPM said on August 22, 2023 at 9:02 am

    Is this cut and paste from a Microsoft PR paper, because it 1000% BS:

    “By listening to user insights, Microsoft has demonstrated its commitment to refining the Windows experience based on real-world needs.”

    Windows 11 is proof they don’t give a s*it.

    1. elong45 said on August 23, 2023 at 12:25 am

      Worked for me just now

    2. Robert N said on August 28, 2023 at 10:55 pm

      I agree! Windows 11 was a downgrade to me and I kept all 8 computers in our family on Windows 10 as a result. They didn’t listen to any customers. The taskbar was THE main reason I stayed away from Windows 11. With 6 monitors, it is impossible to navigate so many browser tabs, without the feature. I will try the new version in the virtual box to see if it is worth it yet.

  3. Anonymous said on August 23, 2023 at 11:33 pm

    Microsoft did a terrible job with this implementation.

    They simply need to employ the creator of StartAllBack to fix Windows. He is smarter and more talented than the entire campus of Microsoft employees.

    1. Anonymous said on September 4, 2023 at 11:36 pm


  4. Joe Mama said on August 24, 2023 at 12:10 am

    Thank you so much! I work in IT and this is extremely useful information!

  5. Anonymous said on August 27, 2023 at 9:34 pm

    Thanks man. The second method worked great!

  6. Anonymous said on August 28, 2023 at 1:16 pm

    I used the second method, and i got exactly what i expected.

  7. adrian said on September 1, 2023 at 12:52 am

    Using the Bypass 2: Use a banned email address email worked fantastically as I had gone to far to use the bypass 1.
    I will be back when I next have a problem.
    Keep you the great work

  8. John G. said on September 4, 2023 at 6:15 pm

    W11 File Explorer is the worst crap ever done. W11 is the biggest shame ever.

  9. MarineRecon said on September 4, 2023 at 9:14 pm

    Just one more reason for me to go to Linux when Windows 10 ages out.

    1. TelV said on September 19, 2023 at 11:46 am

      @ MarineRecon,

      Be careful which Linux distro you choose. Some of them don’t include the Wayland protocol which is a security issue i.e. apps can copy, paste and inject data without user interaction.

      It’s included in Fedora:

  10. Dustyn said on September 4, 2023 at 9:28 pm

    How about a DARK MODE for your website? That would be oh so nice.

    1. Tom Hawack said on September 5, 2023 at 12:55 am

      Something like this : [] maybe?
      Done with ‘Dark Reader Extension for ? Firefox’ []

      This comment was written on [}

    2. TelV said on September 19, 2023 at 11:49 am

      Definitely NOT! Once you get older and your eyesight starts to fail you’ll positively loathe dark mode.

      1. Mycroft1325 said on September 25, 2023 at 11:48 pm

        Not sure what eye problems *you’re* having, but for me the exact opposite is true. Dark Mode is MUCH easier on my Eyes.

        BTW- I’m 52, and have worked in IT all my life. Been staring at monitors for hours each day, most days of the week since the late 1980’s.

  11. Anonymous said on September 5, 2023 at 2:05 am

    Microsoft completely ruined File Explorer by converting to XAML/WinUI/whatever new bloated modern garbage. Its worse than it ever was.

  12. Invoker said on September 5, 2023 at 3:32 pm

    i tested it on win10 current edition. speeds up explorer like a charm

  13. LOEL LARZELERE said on September 13, 2023 at 8:07 am

    SO what is the priority numbers to give preference to ethernet over wireless?

  14. christop_bader said on September 14, 2023 at 1:50 am

    Worked very well happy to have Windows Photo Viewer back in action in Windows-11

  15. Anonymous said on September 16, 2023 at 4:29 am

    Worked for me (registry option) thank god, I can use the search option to find things on my computer again. Thank you so much!

    1. TelV said on September 19, 2023 at 11:54 am

      Install Everything Search and dispense with Microsoft’s crappy search tool.

      Martin wrote an article on it:

  16. said on September 17, 2023 at 6:39 pm

    I presume the text “WindowsCopilot,,” is a typographical error (2023/09/17/how-to-disable-windows-copilot-in-windows/). The broken comment system unfortunately looks like it is populating itself via AI autopilot.

  17. Anonymous said on September 17, 2023 at 10:37 pm

    Hopefully, this Windows Copilot nonsense fails even more spectacularly than Cortana. Who requested this? We want all of the UX features removed back in 11, not this copilot nonsense.

  18. Anonymous said on September 17, 2023 at 10:51 pm

    I really don’t mind all of these Windows enhancement but Microsoft get one thing very wrong. ‘Opt in’, is far better than seek information and work to disable.

  19. ilev said on September 18, 2023 at 7:13 am

    Turn off Windows Copilot entirely is not good enough.

    How to uninstall Copilot entirely ?

    1. TelV said on September 19, 2023 at 11:57 am

      @ ilev,

      Use Gpedit or the registry. Explained in this article:

  20. WilliamGatesTheight said on September 21, 2023 at 2:13 pm

    With that snake oil salesman Panos gone, hopefully Windows can return to a normal desktop operating system without all the insanity it has right now in Windows 11.

  21. Tachy said on September 21, 2023 at 3:19 pm

    Can we please stop being ‘politically correct’ (lying) and call them ads again instead of ‘suggestions’?

  22. TelV said on September 25, 2023 at 4:05 pm

    @ Martin,

    Does your gpedit hack also turn off all the other “subscribed content” shown in the registry screenshot? Do you happen to know what all those are?

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