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”
You can download Rufus 3.19 Beta from Github or wait for the version 3.19 of the software to go stable and then download it from the Rufus home page.
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.
It’s easy to install Windows 11 without an account anyway. Just unplugged the network cable. Then when the First Boot wizard asks for an internet connection, plug in the cable, click next, and then IMMEDIATELY unplug the network cable. It will then let you create a local computer login.
That used to work in Windows 11 21H2, but Microsoft disabled it in the recently released 22H2, and that’s the capability that Rufus restores.
In short, by default, Windows 11 22H2 does not let you proceed with account creation (and installation) unless you are connected to the internet, period. And then you can only use a Microsoft online account. You can no longer simply unplug your network cable to be automatically proposed a local account, like you used to be able to do with 22H1.
And as a matter of fact, all the Rufus bypass does for 22H2 is restore the capability to be proposed a local account when the network is unplugged, which means you still need to proceed as you did with 21H1 to get proposed a local account.
Bravo to the Rufus team. Never used it for Windows OSes but that’s about to change.
i can install linux without any account 😉
I look forward to the day when one can only install or update Windoze using authentication from one’s personal, inserted-at-birth, microchip. Only in that way, will a truly personal and lifetime bonding experience with Micro$oft be established.
Great opinion. Governments and institutions don’t see what’s happening. Big tech is most important danger for freedom and democracy.
Meh, you can glue an RFID implant to any larger object and it’ll do the same thing. More realistically, if they wanted everyone to never be able to leave their pasts behind (which, BTW, these social engineering companies absolutely do want) they would likely insist on using Windows Hello and remove the “PIN” option, and then, maybe, remove the security key option, thus leaving face or fingerprint recognition or that stupid bluetooth phone proximity thing .
Ventoy is way better then Rufus
Ventoy is an open source tool to create bootable USB drive for ISO/WIM/IMG/VHD(x)/EFI files.
With ventoy, you don’t need to format the disk over and over, you just need to copy the ISO/WIM/IMG/VHD(x)/EFI files to the USB drive and boot them directly.
You can copy many files at a time and ventoy will give you a boot menu to select them (screenshot).
You can also browse ISO/WIM/IMG/VHD(x)/EFI files in local disks and boot them.
x86 Legacy BIOS, IA32 UEFI, x86_64 UEFI, ARM64 UEFI and MIPS64EL UEFI are supported in the same way.
Most types of OS supported (Windows/WinPE/Linux/ChromeOS/Unix/VMware/Xen…)
Rufus has 11 open issue and 1760 closed, while the one you talked about has 274/1051. Don’t think anyone should touch a software with over 20% issues unfixed.
Man, they’re REALLY making it a pain in the rear for anyone using Active Directory. Apparently they don’t want anyone using that anymore at all. There are so many sluggish menus to click through, each one hiding the previous one as if my monitor was 8″, and then you have to create a local account, then make that account an admin, then disconnect from Azure, then log in to that local account, then join the domain. This takes way more clicks than it needs.
They want businesses to use enterprise, they couldn’t care less about power users.