It seems Microsoft really doesn’t want you to be using Windows 11 with a local account – meaning one that doesn’t require signing in to your Microsoft account – as the company just closed another well-known loophole that enabled users to bypass that sign-in process.

The loophole in question could have previously been used when Microsoft prompted you to sign in to the account during Windows 11 setup. It worked by using a blocked email, such as [email protected], [email protected], or [email protected]. If you used such an email address, and typed in any random password with it, you’d get past the sign-in page and end up with Windows 11 having a local installation (with no Microsoft account attached to it).

Unfortunately, according to a post shared on X by Zac Bowden of Windows Central, Windows 11 now redirects you back to the sign-in page if you try to enter an invalid email address when asked to sign in to a Microsoft account.

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Apparently, if you try this now, you’ll be met with an ‘Oops, something went wrong’ message and be made to restart the sign-in process again. In short, the fake email isn’t accepted any longer, and you’re forced to enter a genuine one for your Microsoft account.

One workaround to get you in without a Microsoft account

That’s the bad news, then, but not all hope is lost if you’re installing Windows 11 and want to start using it without logging into a Microsoft account.

Tom’s Hardware reports that there is another existing workaround, albeit it’s a more complicated affair. Should you wish to try, it goes like this:

1. During Windows 11 setup, at the ‘Choose a country’ screen, press the Shift + F10 keys together.

2. At the command prompt that appears, type in OOBE/BYPASSNRO and press Enter.

3. The PC will reboot and you’ll return to the same screen, then you need to again press the Shift + F10 keys together.

4. This time at the command prompt that appears, you must type in ipconfig /release and press Enter. This disables your internet to allow for creating a local account.

5. Close the command prompt and continue Windows 11 setup as normal. When you reach the ‘Let’s connect you to a network’ panel, click on ‘I don’t have Internet.’

6. At the next screen click ‘Continue with limited setup.’

7. In the next panel, when prompted for a name, enter one you’d like for your local account, then enter a password (or leave it blank and press Enter if you don’t want any password for when Windows 11 starts up, but that isn’t recommended for obvious security reasons).

Then you can proceed with the rest of the Windows 11 installation as normal, but you’ll end up with a local account.

However, you’ve got to wonder how long Microsoft will leave this particular loophole working – although it is quite convoluted, and most users probably don’t know about it, so it could remain an option that’s present going forward.

A good many Windows 11 users have expressed their frustration that they are forced to sign into a Microsoft account to use the OS. This strategy is one of several that Microsoft has been pushing that has seemingly rubbed users the wrong way, and yet that doesn’t seem to have discouraged the company from continuing in this direction.


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