Microsoft is making it harder to use Windows 11 without a Microsoft account?

Patrick Devaney


If you have upgraded to or installed Windows 11 Home on your device, you will know that you have to link your Microsoft account to the operating system when you install it. Now, it looks like Microsoft is further restricting the use of the latest version of its flagship operating system to users with Microsoft accounts.

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We learned back in February that Microsoft was planning to require an active internet connection and a Microsoft account for all Windows 11 Pro users as well as Windows 11 Home users. This requirement removes the option to sign in with a local account. It now looks increasingly likely that this change will come into force with the rollout of Windows 11 Update version 22H2, which should be landing on PCs in the second half of this year.

Microsoft is making it harder to use Windows 11 without a Microsoft account?

This means that even Pro users will need to be connected to the internet and signed into a Microsoft account to be able to install Windows 11 on their machines. The only workaround here will be to use a dummy account for the installation and then move over to a local account afterwards.

This move from Microsoft shouldn’t be too surprising as it is pretty much standard now for tech giants to force users to sign up to their ecosystems. You need a Google account, for example, if you have an Android phone and want to access Google Play Services. As well as this, there are clear advantages to having your OneDrive and other Microsoft accounts automatically sync with your operating system.

Obviously, however, there are privacy trade-offs, and this is what makes it always sting a little when these types of changes our forced upon all users. At least we have the simple, if a little annoying, workaround we’ve described above. If, however, you want a much more concrete workaround, check out our guide to setting up Windows 11 while offline.

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