Windows 11 Pro now requires a Microsoft Account and Internet during setup

Yesterday, Microsoft released a new Windows 11 preview build with a huge load of new features and capabilities. Windows Insiders are happy to test a new Task Manager, an improved taskbar, Start menu, and File Explorer enhancements. Sadly, the latest Windows 11 preview build also comes with a fly in the ointment. Starting with Windows 11 build 22557, Microsoft requires an active Internet connection and a Microsoft Account to set up every consumer-oriented Windows 11 SKU.

Here is what Microsoft says in the changelog for build 22557:

"Similar to Windows 11 Home edition, Windows 11 Pro edition now requires internet connectivity. If you choose to setup device for personal use, MSA will be required for setup as well. You can expect Microsoft Account to be required in subsequent WIP flights.

In a nutshell, the change means you cannot set up a new Windows 11 computer if you do not have an active Internet connection. You will simply hit a wall with a demand to connect to the Internet. Plus, a Microsoft Account is now a must.

It is worth mentioning that those requirements are not something new for Windows 11 users. The current stable Windows 11 Home (build 22000) requires an Internet connection and a Microsoft Account during the initial setup.

Luckily, there is still a way to bypass the enforcement for the Microsoft Account, and get the OS installed without a Microsoft Account. But the method is very tricky. However, it still requires your device to be online.

Users could ignore the demands in the Pro SKU and get a system into a working state in offline mode. Unfortunately, starting with Windows 11 22557, that is no longer the case.

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14 thoughts on “Windows 11 Pro now requires a Microsoft Account and Internet during setup

  1. SweSG

    This is going to be the end of Windows for me. I will never sign in with an account on Windows. I’ve been running Linux for 15 years or so but hung around with a Windows computer for some jobs. I think I can bring all jobs to Linux today.

    Reply
      1. SweSG

        I have several computers and have different OS on them. But I usually stick to Debian-based OS. Pop!_OS is a bit of a favorite for me. Otherwise stock Debian.

        Debian:

        https://i.imgur.com/vVr5my8.png

        Pop!_OS:

        https://i.imgur.com/sQnqOkV.png

        Reply
        1. Sergey Tkachenko

          Cool!
          I remember I started with Fedora Core but quickly came to Debian.
          After Debian, I have been an Arch Linux user for long, but eventually got fed up with minor bugs that often come with latest app versions.
          So now I am on Xubuntu. Most my devices run either 18.04 or 20.04. I have to say that Xubuntu is fine for my tasks.

          Here’s one of my laptops: http://i.imgur.com/L067kU7.png

          Reply
          1. SweSG

            I use Arch sometimes too.

            https://i.imgur.com/6y4fIaM.png

            I like Xfce. You can make it look how you want. kind system requirements and rolls on most computers without any problems.

            Bonus image of Tux on a Dell XPS laptop.

            https://i.imgur.com/8kVjkAU.jpg

            It is a Dell XPS Developer Edition. Come from scratch with Ubuntu preinstalled.

  2. Jigen

    Counting down from 10 for the horde of penguins forecasting the end of windows and microsoft.
    Chaps, meet you at the microsoft windows users club once you get real.

    Yes, you need an account. Yes, you need to be online.
    And yes, you will comply after you complain.
    We both know.

    Reply
    1. matthiew

      I am waiting, hoping that MS brings offline accounts back. It seems to me that MS have stripped out so many useful features because they weren’t sure how many people used those features. But, they are willing to bring the features back if there is demand for it. They have done it with some of the features already e.g. drag-and-drop to the taskbar. So if enough people ask for offline accounts back, I think that MS will recreate it in Win11. If I’m right, then there is no need to comply after complaining.

      I’m not a Linux user btw. I’m a Win10 user who isn’t willing to switch to 11 while it’s missing features that I find useful.

      Reply
    2. SweSG

      It’s not that I think Windows is going to die. It’s more that I soon can’t use it because I don’t like the road they take it.

      Otherwise, I don’t have a big problem with that. The fact that I have been a Linux person for many years has nothing to do with it. I only complain about things I don’t like. I do, even if it’s Linux. There are a lot of things I don’t like there too ;)

      Reply
  3. Cody

    I am pretty sure you may still be able to select the option for business use to join to a local domain and be able to create a local account there. Because that would hurt businesses that do only have an on-prem AD environment if they didn’t have the option

    Reply
  4. SweSG

    @Sergey Tkachenko

    Yep, it’s cmus. I usually use it on Linux! It’s working fine! If I want a music player with a GUI, I’ll use Sayonara Player. A few years ago, I tried all the music players on Linux. Cmus and Sayonara fit my taste.

    I didn’t have a reply button on the post.

    @Cody

    Let’s hope!

    Reply
  5. Sargon

    If it’s gonna be anything like the Home edition, it will be easily bypassed. However what are businesses who wish to join on-premises Active Directory supposed to do? Pay extra for the Enterprise Edition or deal with all the extra hassle? How will the unattend.xml answer file work? It just seems like another dirty push towards Azure and away from on-premises systems. I can’t believe that businesses will now be forced to jump through hoops or hack the out of box experience just to get on with preparing work machines.

    Reply
  6. Sargon

    If it’s gonna be anything like the Home edition, it will be easily bypassed. However what are businesses who wish to join on-premises Active Directory supposed to do? Pay extra for the Enterprise Edition or deal with all the extra hassle? How will the unattend.xml answer file work? It just seems like another dirty push towards Azure and away from on-premises systems. I can’t believe that businesses will now be forced to jump through hoops or hack the out of box experience just to get on with preparing work machines.

    Reply

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