Skip to main content

How to set up Windows 11 without a Microsoft account

The best way to use Windows 11 is with a Microsoft account. You can sync different settings, use the Microsoft Store to download apps, and restore Windows by using backups from OneDrive. All of this is part of the reason why prompts to use a Microsoft account with Windows 11 will show up during initial setup of the operating system.

Difficulty

Moderate

Duration

5 minutes

What You Need

  • Keyboard and Mouse during initial setup

But we understand that it is not for everyone, especially if you're worried about your Microsoft account being used to track you and want to set up Windows the traditional way with a local account, we have some good news. Even though Microsoft doesn't make it easy to set up Windows 11 without a Microsoft account, there is a workaround for it.

A screenshot of the Windows 11 Microsoft Account setup page
Arif Bacchus/ Digital Trends

As of the time of writing, it appears as though has since patched the Command Prompt trick where you'd disable internet at setup to avoid getting the Microsoft account sign-in page. Instead, you can now use a login for a false or non-existing Microsoft account to prompt Windows 11 setup with a local account instead.

Step 1: Set up Windows 11 like you normally would. When you get to the Unlock your Microsoft Experience screen choose Sign in.

Step 2: Enter in a false email. You can type gibberish like admin. Or, use sample emails like 1@1.com , and test@test.com. After that, choose Next.

A screenshot of the sign in with Microsoft Account page on Windows 11
Arif Bacchus/ Digital Trends

Step 3: Enter in a false password. Try something like test.

A screenshot of the Microsoft Account login page on Windows 11 showing a password
Arif Bacchus/ Digital Trends

Step 4: You'll see a prompt for Oops, something went wrong. Click Next to proceed.

A screenshot of Microsoft Account going wrong on Windows 11
Arif Bacchus/ Digital Trends

Step 5: You'll be prompted to set up Windows using a local account, as seen below.

A screenshot of the local account setup page on Windows 11
Arif Bacchus/ Digital Trends

Step 6: Enter a name and a password, and you'll be taken to the final parts of the OOBE.

That's all there is to setting up Windows 11 without a Microsoft account. There's a chance Microsoft could patch this method too in the future, and if that happens, you'll probably be forced into setting up Windows with a Microsoft account anyway. But don't worry, you can remove it after you set up your PC and convert your Microsoft account to a local one. Simply head into the Settings app, tap on your Profile icon or name. Then choose Your Info. You can then choose the Sign in with a local account instead option and follow the steps on the screen.

Editors' Recommendations

Arif Bacchus
Arif Bacchus is a native New Yorker and a fan of all things technology. Arif works as a freelance writer at Digital Trends…
4 high-end features Windows laptops still have over MacBooks
Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 9 top down view showing tablet and pen.

Apple's MacBook lineup has exploded over the last several years, with its Silicon chipsets offering class-leading performance and efficiency. The MacBook Pro, in particular, is faster than many Windows laptops, longer-lasting than most, and has an excellent mini-LED display. There are many good reasons to choose a MacBook over a Windows laptop in today's market.

But all isn't lost for the Windows platform. Even aside from the upcoming Snapdragon X Elite laptops that look to be competitive, there are still some more basic features that you can only get on a Windows laptop at the moment. Here are the four that I keep coming back to.
Windows Hello

Read more
If you use a VPN, don’t skip this important Windows 11 update
Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3 rear view showing lid and logo.

It's not you; Windows is causing the issues this time. If the VPN on your Windows 11 or Windows 10 computer is having a hard time connecting, it is likely because of Microsoft's April security updates for Windows 11 (KB5036893 for) and Windows 10 (KB5036892), which have been reported to be the cause of the problems.

But there's good news. According to Microsoft, a patch is now available to fix the VPN problems users are experiencing.

Read more
Insane deal gets you Microsoft Office for Mac or Windows for $25
Box for Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2019 edition.

One of the worst parts about using the Microsoft Office suite is paying for it. Often, again and again, if you buy the subscription-based Microsoft 365. In the past, contributors have written defenses of using Microsoft Office over the Google suite for this very reason. It feels hard to justify the price. That is, until it doesn't. Just now, we've found a great deal that gives you Microsoft Office 2019 for Mac or Windows at a price point of just $25. That's $204 off of the typical $229, and feels basically free in comparison. Check out the version you want and get this deal while its still active by tapping the appropriate button below. Alternatively, keep reading for an overview of the apps provided, an overview of the subtle differences between the Windows and Mac versions, and some important tips about the software.

Why you should buy Microsoft Office 2019
When we compare Microsoft Office vs Microsoft 365, there are a few differences, but one major one: Microsoft Office is a static, single-payment service and Microsoft 365 is a subscription service. They each have advantages (the subscription service gets updates on the regular) but for a deal like this, you definitely appreciate getting the Microsoft Office license.

Read more