New requirement

Windows 11 Pro will require a Microsoft Account during setup

You will no longer be able to set up a Windows 11 Pro installation without a Microsoft Account just like the Home edition.

Windows 11 Home OOBE local account option
  • Windows 11 Pro will now ask you for a Microsoft Account to set up a computer.
  • This means that you won’t be able to complete the OOBE with a local account.
  • The change will affect new devices and clean installations of Windows 11.
  • It’s not clear when the company will roll out this requirement.

A Microsoft Account will be required to set up Windows 11 Pro. Until now, only the Home edition of Windows 11 required a Microsoft Account during the out-of-box experience (OOBE) to create an account on the computer. However, with the rollout of build 22557 in the Dev Channel, the company confirms that it is making changes to remove the ability to create a local account without a Microsoft Account.

In the notes for Windows 11 build 22557, the company explains, “similar to Windows 11 Home edition, Windows 11 Pro edition now requires internet connectivity. If you choose to set up a device for personal use, a Microsoft Account will also be required for setup. You can expect Microsoft Account to be required in subsequent WIP flights.”

Although removing the local account option and forcing users to connect their Windows 11 accounts to Microsoft services is not ideal, most devices are already configured with a Microsoft Account, which means that this change won’t affect a large number of users.

Furthermore, the change means that you will need a Microsoft Account for the initial setup of Windows 11, you can then disconnect the account to Microsoft services, or you can create a new local account without a Microsoft Account. This is just another inconvenient step for those who don’t want to stay offline.

Also, if this implementation is the same as the Home edition, you will be able to disconnect the network cable and click the “back” button during the account creation process to skip the Microsoft Account and continue creating a local account.

It’s important to note that this change will only apply to new devices or when starting from scratch with a clean installation. If you already have a Windows 11 Pro installation with a local account, you won’t be forced to change the configuration.