From version 22H2 of Windows 11, Microsoft added the requirement for a Microsoft account while setting up Windows. It can be irritating for users who value privacy or follow a DIY approach and want to set up their copy of Windows 11 without a Microsoft account. We will discuss two easy methods to bypass Microsoft account requirements while setting up Windows 11.
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Why Microsoft Account Is Required While Installing Windows 11
When you reinstall Windows 11 on your PC, using a Microsoft account can help you bring back all the previous system settings without any extra effort. When you open Microsoft Store, you can reinstall all the apps with a single click. But these benefits apply only if you want to install Windows 11 with all the previous settings and the same Microsoft account. It’s a walled garden as is the case with all big tech companies like Google, Apple, and Meta.
But what if you want to set up a completely new PC, a workbench, or a test setup and want to use a local account instead? Well, Microsoft won’t straight away allow you to do so. That’s why you need a way to bypass the Microsoft account requirement.
How to Bypass Microsoft Account Requirement
Here are two easy ways to bypass the forced Microsoft account requirement while setting up Windows 11.
1. Using Bogus Email
As the name implies, you must use a bogus email address to continue setting up Windows 11. You won’t need to supply your actual Microsoft account credentials while doing so. Here’s how:
1. Install Windows 11 and set up region and keyboard preferences. After that, you will arrive at the Sign in page.
2. Click on the email address text box and type firstname.lastname@example.org. Then click on the Next button.
3. Now enter any bogus password. It could be anything text or numeric and click on Sign in.
4. You will see an “Oops, something went wrong” error message. Click on the Next button.
5. After that, the OOBE page will redirect your to create a local account setup process. Enter your PC name and after that enter a strong password.
6. Select three security questions from the list and answer them one by one. Note them somewhere for future reference. After that, disable all the tracking and personalization toggles and ignore any promotional stuff like Microsoft 365 or Game Pass. They require a Microsoft account anyway.
Windows will begin setting up your desktop for the first boot. It will take a while before you boot to the desktop.
2. Using Rufus
The first method requires you to use a bogus email account but you still have to face the Microsoft account sign-in page while setting up Windows 11. However, if you are planning to create a bootable USB drive for Windows 11, you can use Rufus to bypass the Microsoft account requirement and create a local account directly. In this method, you won’t encounter the account sign-in page in the OOBE (Out of Box Experience) setup for Windows 11. Make sure to use an 8 GB or bigger USB drive. Here’s how to do it:
1. Download the portable version of Rufus from its official site. This way, you don’t need to install the application.
2. Download the latest edition of the official Windows 11 ISO from Microsoft.
3. Go to the Download location and double-click on the Rufus.exe file to launch the app. The User Account Control window will appear. Click on Yes.
4. Connect a USB drive to your system. In the Rufus window, click on the Select button and browse your system for the Windows 11 ISO file. Double-click on it to select it.
5. Leave the rest of the settings as they are and click on the Start button.
6. A new window will pop up. Select the Remove requirement for an online Microsoft account checkbox and click on OK.
7. Lastly, click on the OK button one more time and wait for Rufus to create a bootable Windows 11 USB drive.
8. Now, connect the USB drive to a PC and power it on. Press the power button and then press the designated F-key to open the boot device options. The F-key varies with each manufacturer’s version, so check the appropriate key for your device.
9. Select the bootable USB drive using the arrow keys and press Enter to boot.
10. Continue with the Windows installation. After selecting the language and keyboard layout, you will straightaway see the create local account page. No need to log in with or create a new Microsoft account.
1. How to Bypass a Microsoft Account Without a Password?
There are multiple methods to do it. You can use a bogus email ID and password combination or create a bootable USB drive with Rufus that will bypass the page automatically. Apart from that, you can press the Shift + F10 keys on the setup page to bring up Command Prompt. Type oobe\bypassnro command and press Enter. Your PC will restart and now you will see an I don’t have internet option. Click on it and continue with a limited setup by creating a local account. There are some other workarounds as well.
2. Can I Use Gmail for My Microsoft Account?
You need an email address to sign up for a Microsoft account. It doesn’t specifically mean that you must use an Outlook account only. You can use Gmail, ProtonMail, Yahoo, or any other active email address provider’s account to sign up for a Microsoft account. But remember that you need to create a Microsoft account using any email address. You cannot use a Gmail account instead of Microsoft account with Windows 11.
3. How to bypass Windows 11 key activation?
If you don’t have a valid license for Windows 11, you can still install and use the operating system with minor sacrifices. Select the I don’t have a product key option while installing Windows 11 and configure it for the first boot. After that, you can use Windows 11 (any version) on your PC. But you cannot customize the visual appearance of your PC without activating it.
Install Windows Without a Microsoft Account
Microsoft’s decision to impose the usage of an official account while setting up Windows 11 isn’t applicable to every user. On top of that, not offering a simple button or option to avoid the sign-in page ruins the setup experience. But now you know multiple methods to bypass the Microsoft account requirement which you can use whenever you install Windows 11.