Windows 11 22H2 apparently removes the option to setup device with local account even when your install edition is Windows 11 Pro. Previously, the change for Windows 11 Home users removed the ability to use a local account, requiring users to set up their device with a Microsoft account.
Starting with Windows 11 version 22H2, Microsoft wants to link the installation of the operating system to your Microsoft account. This measure is no longer limited to just the Windows 11 Home edition, as Microsoft now requires users to link accounts on Windows 11 Pro as well. However, Windows 11 Enterprise remains unchanged and users can configure it as they wish.
When you connect your account, Microsoft automatically configures OneDrive for the device and begins syncing data across your devices. This automatically includes settings and preferences across different devices to help you easily manage multiple PCs.
Although 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.
In Build 22616, Windows 10 Pro installations force the setup of a Microsoft account and users must have an active internet connection during the installation process.
This is only the case if you choose to configure the device for personal use. If you select the Work or school account option, you’ll be prompted to use your organization’s domain instead.
At this time, 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 can click the “Next” button and create a local account. It’s hardly particularly convenient for the user, but it seems like the easiest workaround.
Under Windows 10, if the machine is not online during installation, it is possible to configure a local account. On the other hand, an internet connection is mandatory on Windows 11. Of course, there is also a way to disable the internet connection requirement, but the process is complicated as it requires you to modify operating system 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 is not mandatory and it is possible to set up your iPhone without creating an Apple ID, but some apps or services like the App Store may not work properly.
It goes without saying that there are benefits to setting up Windows with your Microsoft account, especially if you’re heavily invested in Microsoft’s ecosystem. Benefits include access to services like Xbox, Your Phone, OneDrive, automatic syncing of your settings across different devices, and more.
However, Windows users like having a choice. Many people, including those who don’t care about their privacy, may feel more comfortable with a local account.