Starting with Windows 11 22H2, setting up a new device will require a Microsoft account and internet connection. Previously, Windows 11 required a Microsoft account for Windows 11 Home installations only. Going forward, both Windows 11 Home and Pro will require a Microsoft account sign to set up the devices.
In other words, setting up Windows 11 installation running Home or Pro will be more of a hassle as you’ll need to enter the credentials before you can even boot to the desktop. The login is required during the setup screen itself i.e OOBE. Likewise, Microsoft says users will also need internet connectivity during the initial setup.
Microsoft is testing a number of new features for Windows 11, improvements and changes to the OOBE. This change is apparently set to ship with Windows 11 version 22H2 (fall 2022 update), according to Microsoft officials.
Previously, you could create a local user account during the initial setup as Microsoft offered the choice between offline and online. Of course, you can still enter a fake email ID and skip the mandatory sign-in, but there’s a new bypass that will simply eliminate the sign-in process itself.
The solid Windows Rufus now lets you download and install Windows 11 without creating a Microsoft account. In version Rufus 3.19, you can bypass the Windows 11 requirements as well as Microsoft account sign-in.
The version is currently in beta and it will be ready by the time Windows 11’s fall 2022 update arrive.
For now, it looks like a Microsoft account will remain mandatory for Windows 10 Home and Pro installations. Windows 11 Enterprise will still support local accounts by default.
According to reports, Microsoft is currently planning to launch Windows 11 version 22H2 in the fall, possibly around October as the company plans to finalize drivers by the end of September.