Microsoft is once again trying exceptionally hard to ensure PC users create an online account. The Windows 11 Home Edition will need a Microsoft account to even install or set up.
The basic edition of Windows 11 will mandatorily need a Microsoft account. Concerningly, the OS installation or new device setup won’t even continue with a local account.
Windows 11 Home will require a Microsoft account (MSA) at the beginning of the installation process, according to a source close to the company. Windows 11 users who want to use a local account when setting up a new PC will be required to use or upgrade to Windows 10 Pro.
— Carey Holzman (@TheCareyHolzman) July 1, 2021
Microsoft completely removes any option to create a local account while installing Windows 11:
The latest preview builds of Windows 11 are now available to Windows Insider Program participants. Several people testing these ISOs have come across Microsoft’s seemingly heavy-handed approach with Windows 11 Home Edition.
It appears Microsoft has completely removed any option to use a local account. The condition applies only to Windows 11 Home Edition. In other words, Windows 11 Pro and Enterprise Editions allow users to continue with a local account.
— IT Solution INDIA (@itsolutionindia) July 1, 2021
Previously, Windows OS users could manipulate the setup by merely disconnecting the Internet. Assuming the computer was offline, Microsoft allowed the setup to continue.
This way users could get away with a local account. However, the Windows 11 Home setup will halt completely at the account creation window if the PC is not connected to the Internet.
Should Windows 11 users skip creating a Microsoft account?
Using a Microsoft account with Windows 11 has quite a few benefits. Microsoft Office automatically integrates into the Start Menu.
Creating a Microsoft account at the setup process lets users seamlessly sync data across multiple devices. Windows 11 automatically configures OneDrive and users can easily set up Windows Store apps like Cortana.
Incidentally, nearly every Windows 10 Home Edition user already has a Microsoft account. This is because Microsoft made it exceptionally difficult to continue with a local account for this particular version of Windows OS.
I am surprised by lack of news about Windows 11 Home edition requiring Microsoft account, not possible to use with local account.https://t.co/XawytQSI6e
— Peter in PRG (@peterinprg) June 29, 2021
Windows OS users who are determined to use a local account, do have a few tricks. It is interesting to note that Microsoft does not insist on creating an online account during the upgrade process.
Simply put, if the previous OS had a local account, then Windows 11 will continue using the same. Hence, users could install Windows 10, and create a local account while setting up the same. Thereafter, upgrade the Windows 10 installation to Windows 11 through the Windows Upgrade platform.
It looks like Windows 11 Home edition won't let users create a local account during setup, mandating the use of a Microsoft account instead. On the bright side, it requires TPM 2.0 so it won't even run on my computer. pic.twitter.com/CFy9Q2DRvi
— Adrian Lopez (@PaladinZilch) June 25, 2021
Incidentally, there’s no option to take this route for new devices that come pre-installed with Windows 11. For such devices, users must take the Microsoft account route. However, users can always remove the account post-installation, from Windows Settings.
Incidentally, despite using local accounts, Windows 11’s flagship feature widgets, which offer MSN feed, will work. However, advanced personalization controls will obviously work better with a Microsoft account.