By Delia / Last update February 21, 2022

You will need Microsoft account to set up Windows 11 Pro

Theoretically, Windows systems can support both local and Microsoft account logins, although Microsoft prefers the latter. Since Windows 10, however, you can no longer install the Home Edition operating system without a Microsoft account and an Internet connection to sign in - you'll find no local account option at all when you first set up Windows. While some workarounds do exist, such as disconnecting the device from the Internet during the setup process, the whole thing is clearly getting more and more difficult for those who just want to use it smoothly.

The latest Windows 11 preview build now introduces the same changes for Windows 11 Professional. Microsoft says: "Similar to Windows 11 Home edition, Windows 11 Pro edition now requires internet connectivity during the initial device setup (OOBE) only. If you choose to setup device for personal use, MSA will be required for setup as well. You can expect Microsoft Account to be required in subsequent WIP flights.”

log in with microsoft account

In fact, Microsoft already enforced this requirement on Windows 11 Home Edition last year, when users chose to install Windows 11 Professional Edition as a way to set up Windows 11 if they didn't want to or couldn't connect to the Internet. And now, users of both Windows 11 Home and Windows 11 Professional will be forced to connect to the Internet and sign in with a Microsoft account when they first initially set up their computers.

This is obviously bad news for those users who don't want to use a Microsoft account or don't have an Internet connection. Also, many users like to skip the step of signing in with a Microsoft account during the initial setup, set up a local account for a quick experience with the new system, and then sign in with a Microsoft account when they get to the desktop, after which this doesn't work anymore either.

Can we still bypass these requirements during setup?

Previously, users could bypass the network and Microsoft account requirements by disconnecting from the network during the initial setup of Windows 11 Home Edition in this way. Namely:

let's connect you to a network

  • Start installing without an Internet connection
  • When the system asks for the Internet, press Shift + F10 to open Command Prompt
  • Type and execute "taskmgr" to open Task Manager
  • Switch to the "Processes" tab and kill the "Network Connection Flow" process
  • Then follow the normal steps to continue the installation and create a local account

However, in the latest Windows 11 preview, some users say that this method no longer works. Microsoft has not yet announced when this change is expected to take effect on all production devices, but for now, it has been introduced in a release for users to test as part of the Windows Insider program. That said, this is only a temporary solution, and we'll either have to follow the new requirements or wait for a new workaround at that time.