How to install Windows 10 without Microsoft account

Yes, it's possible to set up a Windows 10 installation without a Microsoft account, and here's how.

Windows 10 without a Microsoft account
Windows 10 without a Microsoft account
  • To install Windows 10 without a Microsoft account, launch setup with USB media and proceed with the “Custom” option. While in the OOBE, choose the “Set up for an organization” option, and setup will allow you to create a local account.

On Windows 10, you can set up an installation without a Microsoft account using a local account. You only need to choose the “Set up for an organization” option instead of the “personal use” option during the out-of-the-box experience (OOBE), and in this guide, you will learn how without disconnecting the computer from the network or other system modifications.

Whether you want to install Windows 10 (or 11), Microsoft really wants you to use its online account since it allows seamless integration (and data collection) with the different products that the company offers and makes it easy to sync your files and settings across devices. However, if you prefer to use a local account because you prefer the offline experience, want to create a custom profile folder name, or plan to use the remote desktop feature and want to avoid problems making a connection, you can install Windows 10 without a Microsoft account. You only need to know where to find the option.

Although the company has removed the ability to continue the setup with an offline account from the out-of-the-box experience, it isn’t completely gone. You can still create a local account during the initial setup if you use the “Set up for an organization” option. The caveat is that this option is only available for Windows 10 Pro, not Home.

This guide will teach you the steps to perform a clean install of Windows 10 without a Microsoft account. You can use these instructions to set up Windows 11 without a Microsoft account.

Windows 10 install without Microsoft account 

To set up a Windows 10 installation without a Microsoft account, use these steps:

  1. Start the PC with the Windows 10 USB flash drive.

  2. Press any key to continue.

  3. Click the Next button.

    Windows setup

  4. Click the Install now button.

    Windows 10 install option

  5. Click the “I don’t have a product key” option if you are doing a reinstallation. (The system will reactivate automatically after the setup.)

    Skip license key on Windows 10 setup

  6. Choose the “Windows 10 Pro” option.

    Select edition of Windows 10

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

  8. Click the Next button.

  9. Select the “Custom: Install Windows only (advanced)” option to perform a clean installation.

    Windows 10 custom install option

  10. Select each of the partitions and click the Delete button. (Usually, the “Drive 0” is the drive that contains all the installation files.)

    Warning: When deleting a partition, you will also erase the data on the drive. You’re not required to delete the partitions from a secondary hard drive.
  11. Select the drive (Drive 0 Unallocated Space) to install Windows 10.

    Select SSD to install Windows 10

  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).

    OOBE select region

  14. Click the Yes button.

  15. Select your keyboard layout setting.

    OOBE select keyboard layout

  16. Click the Yes button.

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

  18. The computer will automatically connect to the network using an Ethernet connection. If you have a wireless connection, you must set up the link manually (a security key may be required).

  19. Select the “Set up for an organization” option for Windows 10 Pro.

    Set up as an organization

    Quick tip: The “Home” edition does not have this option. If this is the case, you can continue with the account creation process, and in the setting to confirm your Microsoft account, and enter the name for the local account. The setup will show an error, but it will let you continue with the offline account creation.
  20. Click the Next button.

  21. Confirm a local account name to set up the device without a Microsoft account.

    Windows 10 without Microsoft acount

  22. Click the Next button.

  23. Create a password for the account.

    Create local account password

  24. Click the Next button.

  25. Confirm the account password.

  26. Click the Next button.

  27. Create the three security questions in case you have to recover your account password.

    Create local account security questions

  28. Click the Next button.

  29. Confirm the privacy settings best suit your needs by turning on or off the toggle switch for each option.

  30. Click the Accept button.

    OOBE choose privacy settings

  31. (Optional) On the “Customize your device” page, select one or more ways you plan to use the device to allow the setup to suggest tools and services customization during this experience.

    OOBE customize device usage settings

  32. Click the Accept button to continue. Or click the Skip button to skip this part of the setup.

  33. Click the “No, thanks” button to skip linking your phone to your PC. (You can always do this from the Settings app.)

  34. Click the “No, thanks” button to skip the Microsoft 365 setup.

  35. Click the Decline button to skip the OneDrive storage offer.

  36. Click the “No Thanks” button to skip the Game Pass offer.

  37. Click the “Not now” button to disable Cortana.

    OOBE skip Cortana setup

Once you complete the steps, Windows 10 will apply the settings and finish the setup.

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 About.me. Email him at [email protected].