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Windows 10: Set Up With Offline/Local Account

By default, the Out-of-Box Experience (OOBE) of a Windows 10 system is to link the machine to a Microsoft account, which allows syncing settings across devices and file syncing to online storage. However this configuration is not always needed, or desirable. For example, if the password to the Microsoft account is forgotten or the account hacked, it makes the machine almost unusable.

(If you set up a new Windows 10 system to be joined to a business Active Directory/domain, this doesn't apply.)

To complete the Windows setup using a legacy-style “offline” account:

  1. When prompted for the setup style, choose Set up for personal use:

  2. When prompted to sign in, choose Offline account from the bottom-left:

  3. On the next screen, choose Limited Experience.

    Older versions of Windows 10 may prompt Sign in with Microsoft instead?, choose No:

  4. When prompted Who's going to use this PC?, enter a username:

  5. On the remaining screens, choose No for Activity History and Digital Assistant / Cortana.

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