How to bypass internet connection to install Windows 11

Here's the workaround to install Windows 11 without an internet connection and using a local account.

Windows 11 setup bypass internet connection
Windows 11 setup bypass internet connection

Windows 11 requires an internet connection to finish the initial setup (out-of-box experience (OOBE)) for the Home and Pro editions starting version 22H2, but there’s a way to bypass the requirement.

Since Microsoft wants users to connect computers with a Microsoft account, the company has changed the initial Windows 11 setup to make it nearly impossible to continue configuring a new device or clean installation without an internet connection.

If the setup detects that the device doesn’t have a network connection, you’ll land on the “Oops, you’ve lost internet connection” page. If you click the “Retry” button, you will get a prompt to connect to the internet. 

You could easily skip this requirement in older versions and continue offline with a local account, but this is no longer possible on Windows 11 22H2 and higher releases. However, for those who may not have an internet connection at the time of the installation or want a more traditional offline experience, there is a workaround to bypass the requirement and finish configuring the out-of-box experience without an internet connection, whether you are setting up Windows 11 Pro or Windows 11 Home.

In this guide, you will learn the workaround to continue setting up Windows 11 22H2 without an internet connection. These instructions will walk you through the steps to perform a clean installation, but the workaround also works when setting Windows 11 on any method that may require completing the out-of-box experience.

Important: This process will delete everything on your device. It’s recommended to make a full backup of your computer before proceeding. You’ve been warned.

Install Windows 11 without internet connection

To install Windows 11 (version 22H2 or 21H2) without an internet connection, use these steps:

  1. Start the PC with the Windows 11 USB flash drive.

  2. Press any key to continue.

  3. Click the Next button.

    Windows 11 Setup

  4. Click the Install now button.

    Windows 11 install option

  5. Click the “I don’t have a product key” option if you are doing a reinstallation. If the Windows 11 installation were previously activated after the installation, reactivation would happen automatically.

    Skip license key option

  6. Select the edition of “Windows 11” that your license key activates (if applicable).

  7. Check the “I accept the license terms” option.

  8. Click the Next button.

  9. Select the “Custom: Install Windows only (advanced)” option.

    Windows 11 custom install option

  10. Select each partition in the hard drive you want to install Windows 11 21H2 and click the Delete button. (Usually, the “Drive 0” is the drive that contains all the installation files.)

    Delete partitions Windows 11 setup

    Warning: Deleting a partition also deletes all data on the drive. Also, it is not required to delete the partitions from a secondary hard drive.
  11. Select the hard drive (Drive 0 Unallocated Space) to install Windows 11.

    Clean install Windows 11 on unallocated space

  12. Click the Next button.

  13. Select your region setting after the installation on the first page of the out-of-the-box experience (OOBE).

    Windows 11 OOBE region

  14. Click the Yes button.

  15. Select your keyboard layout setting.

    Keyboard layout

  16. Click the Yes button.

  17. Click the Skip button if you do not need to configure a second layout.

  18. On the “Oops, you’ve lost internet connection” or “Let’s connect you to a network” page, use the “Shift + F10” keyboard shortcut.

  19. In Command Prompt, type the OOBE\BYPASSNRO command to bypass network requirements on Windows 11 and press Enter.

    Oobe bypassnro command

  20. The computer will restart automatically, and the out-of-box experience (OOBE) will start again.

    Quick note: You will need to select the region and keyboard settings again to get to the network connection page.
  21. Click the “I don’t have internet” option.

    Windows 11 OOBE don't have internet

  22. Click the “Continue with limited setup” option.

    Continue with limited setup

  23. Click the Accept button (if applicable).

  24. Confirm the name of the local default account on Windows 11.

    Create local account

  25. Click the Next button.

  26. Create a password for the account.

    Create local account password

  27. Click the Next button.

  28. Confirm the account password.

  29. Click the Next button.

  30. Select and complete the three security questions to recover the account.

    Configure local account security questions

  31. Click the Next button.

  32. Choose the privacy settings.

    Windows 11 OOBE privacy settings

  33. Click the Next button.

  34. Click the Next button again.

  35. Click the Accept button.

Once you complete the steps, Windows 11 (version 22H2 or 21H2) will continue the installation on the computer.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 15 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 21 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].