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Windows 11: Set Up With Offline/Local Account

By default, the Out-of-Box Experience (OOBE) of a Windows 11 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 11 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 add an account, choose Sign-in options:

  3. On the next screen, choose Offline account.

    Then choose Skip For Now or Limited Experience as the case may be:

    If “Offline Account” does not appear, this either because the operating system is Windows 11 Home or a version which disallows local accounts during Out-Of-Box.

    In this situation, enter the address [email protected] when prompted for the Microsoft account. This will fail, and then go back to the local account creation.

  4. Enter a username:

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