How to install Windows 11 without bloatware apps

Yes, you can install Windows 11 without annoying third-party apps, and this is how you do it.

Windows 11 no app bloatware
Windows 11 no app bloatware
  • To install Windows 11 without bloatware, launch the setup from a USB bootable media, choose the “English (World)” or “English (Europe)” option from the “Time and Currency format” setting, and continue with the on-screen directions as normal to complete the clean install.
  • Once on the desktop, you will have to choose the correct language and region settings from the Settings app.

UPDATED 10/18/2023: On Windows 11, you can use a workaround to install the operating system without third-party apps, and in this guide, you will learn how. When you perform a clean installation of Windows 11, in addition to the operating system, the wizard also installs promotional apps from Microsoft partners, such as Facebook and Instagram, Netflix, Twitter, Disney, ESPN, Spotify, and many others. 

Although these are simple links to promote services, they can clutter the Start menu with apps you probably will never use. Usually, after the installation, you can remove these bloatware apps from the Settings app or using the “Uninstall” option from the Start menu, but there is a trick (via ThioJoe and Neowin) that you can use during the initial setup to prevent the setup from adding those apps.

However, it’s important to note that this method will not stop the setup from installing those apps from Microsoft, such as Calculator, Outlook mail, Teams, Microsoft Edge, and others.

This guide will teach you the steps to proceed with a fresh installation of Windows 11 without bloatware.

Install Windows 11 without bloatware

To install Windows 11 without bloatware, use these steps:

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

  2. Press any key to continue.

  3. Choose the “English (World)” or “English (Europe)” option from the “Time and Currency format” setting.

    Windows 11 install option without bloatware apps

    Quick note: This is the setting that will make it possible to install the operating system without third-party applications. If you have another language requirement, remember to choose the correct “(World)” option for your location.
  4. Click the Next button.

  5. Click the Install now button.

    Windows 11 install option

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

    Skip license key option

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

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

  9. Click the Next button.

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

    Windows 11 custom install option

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

    Delete partitions Windows 11 setup

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

    Clean install Windows 11 on unallocated space

  13. Click the Next button.

  14. Select the hard drive (“Drive 0 Unallocated Space”) to install Windows 11 on your computer.

    Clean install Windows 11 on unallocated space

  15. Click the Next button.

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

    Quick note: You may encounter some errors during the out-of-box experience, and you may even see the “Something went wrong” error as the wizard tries to load the region settings. You can always use the “Skip” button to bypass the error.

    Windows 11 OOBE region

  17. Click the Yes button.

  18. Select your keyboard layout setting.

    Keyboard layout

  19. Click the Yes button.

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

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

  22. (Optional) Confirm a name for the computer.

    Windows 11 OOBE name PC

  23. Click the Next button. (The device will restart automatically.)

  24. Select the “Set up for personal use” option if you are configuring Windows 11 Pro. The “Home” edition does not have this option.

    Windows 11 setup types

  25. Click the Next button.

  26. Click the Sign in button.

    OOBE Sign in page

  27. Confirm your Microsoft account email, phone number, or Skype identification to create an account.

    Create Windows 11 account

  28. Click the Next button.

  29. Confirm your Microsoft account password.

  30. Click the Next button.

  31. Click on “View more options.”

    OOBE restore settings

  32. Choose the “Set up a new device” option.

    OOBE Set up as a new device

  33. Click the Next button.

  34. Click the Create PIN button.

    Windows 11 OOBE create PIN

  35. Create a new four-digit PIN.

    Create account PIN

  36. Click the OK button.

  37. Confirm the privacy settings that best suit your situation by turning on or off the toggle switch for each setting.

    Windows 11 OOBE privacy settings

  38. Click the Next button.

  39. Click the Next button again.

  40. Click the Accept button.

    Privacy settings continued

  41. (Optional) On the “Let’s customize your experience” page, select one or more ways you plan to use the device to allow the setup to suggest tools and service customizations during this experience.

    Windows 11 OOBE customize experience

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

  43. Click the Skip button for the Android phone link process.

  44. Click the “Next” button to automatically upload your Desktop, Pictures, and Documents folders to OneDrive. Or Select the “Only save files to this PC” option.

    OOBE OneDrive backup setup

  45. Click the Next button.

  46. Click the Decline button to skip the Microsoft 365 setup.

  47. Click the “Skip for now” button to skip the Game Pass subscription promotion.

  48. Open Settings after the setup is complete.

  49. Click on Time & language.

  50. Click the Language & region tab.

  51. Under the “Region” section, choose the country from the “Country or region” setting.

  52. Choose the Recommended option for the “Reginal format” setting.

Once you complete the steps, you can start using Windows 11 without annoying third-party applications in your correct language and region.

Update October 18, 2023: This guide has been updated with a hands-on video tutorial showcasing the steps on how to complete this task.

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 14 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 20 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].