Windows 11 22H2 forces more users to have a Microsoft account for installation

Windows 11 Pro account

Windows 11 22H2 apparently removes the option to set up the
device with a local account even when your installation edition
is Windows 11 Pro. Previously, the change made for Windows 11
Home users removed the option to use a local account, forcing
users to set up their device with a Microsoft account.

Starting with
Windows 11 version 22H2, Microsoft wants to link the OS
installation to your Microsoft account. This measure is no
longer limited to just Windows 11 Home edition as Microsoft is
now forcing users to link accounts on Windows 11 Pro too.
However, Windows 11 Enterprise remains unaffected and users can
set it up the way they want.

When you connect your account, Microsoft will automatically
configure OneDrive for the device, and begin syncing data
across your devices. This includes settings and
preferences automatically across different devices to help you
manage multiple PCs easily.

While linking a Microsoft account to Windows 11 can be a very
useful thing to do, not everyone wants Microsoft to have access
to their information.

Windows 11 Microsoft account

In Build 22616, Windows 10 Pro installations are forcing the
setup of a Microsoft account and users must have an active
internet connection during the installation process.

This is the case only if you choose to set up the device for
personal use. If you select the Work or school account
option, you will be prompted to use your organization’s domain

At the moment, it is still possible to bypass the account
requirement by entering a non-existent Microsoft account email
and password. This will result in an error message, but you’ll
be able to click on the ‘Next’ button and create a local
account. It is hardly particularly convenient for the user, but
this appears to be the simplest workaround.

On Windows 10, if the machine isn’t online during installation,
it is possible to set up a local account. On the other hand, an
internet connection is mandatory on Windows 11. Of course,
there’s a way to disable the internet connection requirement as
well, but the process is complicated as it requires you to edit
the OS files.

Is it a good idea to force a Microsoft account?

This is an industry-wide trend. For example, Google has always
forced Google accounts on Android phones with Play services. On
Apple products, the process isn’t mandatory and it is possible
to set up your iPhone without creating an Apple ID, but certain
apps or services like App Store may not work properly.

It goes without saying that there are benefits of setting up
Windows with your Microsoft account, especially if you’re
heavily invested in Microsoft’s ecosystem. The advantages
include access to services like Xbox, Your Phone, OneDrive,
syncing your settings automatically across different devices
and more.

However, Windows users like to have a choice. Many people
including those who don’t care about their privacy may feel
more comfortable with having a local account.

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