Microsoft isn’t afraid of taking controversial actions, even when said actions create a stir in the community. Case in point, making it harder for consumers to set up Windows 11 using just a local account.
This is something that has been the norm for ages now, but the company is slowly changing this.
While it was mandatory on Windows 11 Home, the latest preview builds of the operating system now make having a Microsoft Account compulsory when setting up Windows 11 Pro — much to the ire of the user base.
The software titan still maintains that using a Microsoft Account is the best way to experience all the wholesome goodness that Windows 11 has to offer.
As Redmond put it:
“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.”
So, in theory, sticking to an offline, local account like the good old days is no longer possible.
Then again, it is not impossible either.
Folks have been quick to discover a workaround to bypass the requirement in a ridiculously simple way. And the trick pretty much comes down to using a fake email address along with an associated password.
As it turns out, if you use a fake email address, even one that has already been blocked, Windows 11 will still let you continue and complete the setup and create a local account. Once you log in to the desktop, the OS does not show you any prompts to set up a Microsoft Account either.
Meaning, you can continue using the OS with a local account, obviously with an Internet connection.
Of course, there is still a chance that Redmond will block this workaround.
But even if it does, the community will keep on looking at ways to bypass this requirement as best as they can. After all, not everyone is okay with the idea of using an online, connected account just to use a device.