Microsoft has been making it tougher and tougher to perform a clean install of Windows without a Microsoft account. And it’s about to get even harder. Windows 11 22H2, which is set to roll out later this year, removes the option to set up a device using just a local account (that’s not tied to a Microsoft account).
But the developers of an open source tool for creating bootable USB flash drives already has a workaround. Rufus 3.19 Beta, which was released over the weekend, allows you to install Windows 11 22H2 without signing in with a Microsoft account.
A bit of background: Windows 11 Home already requires a Microsoft account. What’s new in Windows 11 22H2 is that the requirement also applies to Windows 11 Pro.
But Rufus allows you to bypass that requirement whether you’re installing Windows 11 Home or Pro. Just download the Windows 11 installation media as an ISO (disc image), fire up Rufus 3.19 or later, and make sure you’re not connected to the internet during installation and you should be able to set up Windows using just a local account.
Rufus has also added some other tools for circumventing Windows 11 system requirements, including options to:
- Bypass Secure Boot and TPM requirements
- Skip all data collection questions (automatically setting all answers to “Don’t allow” or “Refuse”
Prefer not to use Rufus? You can also use the official Windows USB media creation tool to create a bootable Windows 11 22H2 installer. But you’ll have to take a few manual steps during installation if you want to set up the operating system using only a local account:
- When you get to the “connect to the internet” screen, hit Shift + F10 to open a command prompt.
- Type OOBE\BYPASSNRO and then press enter.
- Your computer will reboot, and this time when you get to the internet connection screen you should see an “I don’t have interent” button that you can click to continue setting up your PC using only a local account.