• How to set up a local account in any edition of Windows 11

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    • #2523825

      The “limited experience” approach to obtaining a local account was an especially interesting tactic. It would have been nice had it been left in place for Windows 11 operating system.

      Carpe Diem {with backup and coffee}
      offline▸ Win10Pro 2004.19041.572 x64 i3-3220 RAM8GB HDD Firefox83.0b3 WindowsDefender
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    • #2523836

      I sincerely hope that this last workaround is left in place by Microsoft, one last crumb of sanity.  If they did take it away, they’d probably replace it with infinite tries until you input an actual account and password.  And then, after that, they’d remove the option to revert to local after you create the desired account.

      Maybe I’m just old-fashioned for someone who’s not yet thirty, but forcing internet connection before the computer is fully set up seems very cart-before-horse.

      3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2525049

        Not only cart-before-the-horse, but also a security issue.  I don’t like having a network connection open before I can set up my firewall and anti-malware software!

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    • #2523837

      The next screen then leads you on your path to a local account. Enter the name you want to use for the account.

      Bear in mind that the account you’re creating here is a member of the Administrators group.  If you want to use your name for a local Standard user account, don’t use your name here.

      I use “Admin” as my local Administrator account, and I don’t use that account unless it is specifically required for certain activities (a repair/reinstall requires logging in as a member of the Administrators group, for example).

      Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
      We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do. We don't all have to do the same things.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2523833

      There is another way to setup a ‘Local’ account in Windows 11 that is fully supported by Microsoft:

      1. At the ‘How would you like to set up this device?’ screen, select ‘Setup for work or school’

      2. At ‘Sign in’, select ’Sign-in options’ and then select ‘Domain join instead’

      3. Enter your ‘Name’, then ‘Next’, then enter or skip ‘Password’, and continue on with the installation.

      When the installation is complete, your ‘User’ folder name is the same as the name you entered in step 3.

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      • #2524627

        The approach of choosing School or Work to join a domain works well for installations of Pro editions of Windows, but Home editions are different.

        For a Pro installation, it makes sense to allow creation of non-Microsoft accounts, under the assumption of joining a local domain.  Microsoft clearly prefers school and work users to be using Educational and Enterprise editions (and tight integration with Microsoft 365), and there is growing disrespect for SMB users who need the capacities of Pro, without paying the substantial overhead of going to one of the other versions.  Unless Microsoft completely kills off Pro editions (Windows 12 or later?) I think that Pro versions should be fine on this point.  Yet another reason to prefer Pro over Home editions.

        Home Editions are a different story, and Lance’s explanations are quite welcome.

        With Windows 10, we’ve seen how Microsoft treats Home users, including forced acceptance of Windows updates, and that Microsoft uses Home users for gamma testing, to flush out any remaining issues before adoption by Enterprise users.  Part of that is that they consider Home machines to be “unmanaged”, and where they’ve chosen to be the managers of those machines.  In use cases, the stereotype is users that are truly “home” users, including light-grade business use (in conjunction with work-based machines that are running Enterprise editions), and various forms of entertainment (including stuff that’s increasingly being done on cell phones).

        Although other posts in this thread suggest part of Microsoft’s agenda is in spying, I don’t believe that’s the case.  In particular, Microsoft isn’t really in the ad delivery business the way that other large providers are.  For manipulation, I think they’re more interested in pushing users into Microsoft 365 subscriptions.  And for good measure, for all the background telemetry that is included in a Windows installation, since the release of Windows 10, we haven’t seen much evidence of Microsoft abusing that, and doing anything more than they’ve publicly disclosed.

        With Microsoft IDs, I think Microsoft is primarily trying to do more with integration stuff delivered through the Microsoft Store than anything else.  Although there may be occasions when something in the Store *might* be useful or desirable, for the most part, it’s something that most people can ignore, except perhaps, doing Microsoft 365 subscriptions.  However, in Microsoft’s view, if you have a Microsoft ID, then it’s pretty easy to do a subscription, and if using the Microsoft ID, log into Microsoft 365 once, and be perpetually logged in.  From there, if you decide you want something else that is in the Store (even free), it’s easy enough to get to that with a couple of mouse clicks.

        For me personally, the only thing of interest I’ve seen in the Store is the Lenovo Vantage maintenance tool for ThinkPads, because Lenovo distributes that only through the Store. If I’m rebuilding a ThinkPad from a new installation of Windows, it is useful to have Vantage to ensure that all the drivers are there and updated.  But with a little digging, it’s possible to get Vantage (or the older Lenovo System Update) from other sources.

         

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    • #2523871

      When I tried the fake email address a week or two ago, it stopped with an invalid email address message and didn’t give the next option. Maybe there was something unique about my fake email, but I couldn’t bypass it and so went on with the Microsoft account, which was also needed to activate Office 2021. After all of that, I added local administrative and regular user accounts, stripped the administrative rights from the Microsoft one, and logged out of it. Unless I have to activate something depending on it sometime in the future, it will just remain an inactive account. Not sure if that keeps any snooping away, but it seems like a reasonable path. I considered deleting the Microsoft account, but wasn’t sure that would affect the Office activation.

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    • #2523967

      Thanks much for this – I excerpted it to a note and added it to my win 11 folder for if/when I go.

      - Thinkpad P15s Gen1 20T4-002KUS, i7-10510U, UEFI/GPT, 16GB, Sammy 500GB M.2.
      others...
      - Win 10 22H2. WuMgr. HP laserjets M254dw & P1606dn, Epson 2480 scanner.

    • #2523899

      If I don’t have any local accounts, and I lose Internet access, will I still be able to log in to Windows (either 10 or 11)? Will Windows still be fully functional? I seem to remember running into a ‘Catch 22’ with this in the past.

    • #2523941

      I have attached this problem from another angle. I log into the new windows installation with my M$ account. From there, I create two new local accounts; one administrator and one standard. I then log into the new administrator account and delete the M$ account. I have used this method with both Windows 10 and 11 without any problem.

      • #2524087

        “I then log into the new administrator account and delete the M$ account. ”

        By that point though, Microsoft have uniquely fingerprinted your computer, and they will associate it with your personal identity (name, phone number, email), which they extorted from you when they forced you to create the online Microsoft account that you didn’t want in the first place just to run your PC. Any future activity on that PC (programs run, websites visited), could be linked back to you, even if you give the PC away when you no longer want it, because the hardware fingerprint does not change, even if the drives are erased a hundred times over.

        No offense, but, do not assume that these companies were born yesterday. They are pulling out all the stops, and using every low-down, deceitful and customer-abusive move in the book. Otherwise there would be a simple “no thanks” button, and it would work. If they have to force something upon you, it is most definitely not being done for your benefit. In short, assume that they are doing everything you can think of, and some stuff that you haven’t thought of yet.

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    • #2524000

      but forcing internet connection before the computer is fully set up seems very cart-before-horse.

      MS wants to be able to spy on you and this is why they want internet connection before full computer is setup. This is why it make it harder to use local accounts.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2524082

      If things get to the point where Microsoft tries to force me to create a MS account and there is no workaround, then I’m done. I’m already dual-booting Linux Mint and have found Linux alternatives for most of my mission-critical software. Satya Nadella and his minions deserve the boot more than ever.

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2524077

      Lance – Valuable article! I’m about to start switching some of my Win10 Pro PCs to Win11 Pro. All of my Win10 PCs are setup with local accounts. When I let Windows Update switch them over to Win11 will I still have my local accounts or will it try to force me to go with a Microsoft acount?  Thanks!

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    • #2524131

      will I still have my local accounts or will it try to force me to go with a Microsoft acount?  Thanks!

      Upgrading doesn’t change current account settings.

    • #2524300

      Three Security Questions

      In the past with W10, If I left the lan cable unplugged and selected no Internet, I could bypass creating a password and the three questions.

      Will this work in this latest version of W11??

    • #2525403

      Although other posts in this thread suggest part of Microsoft’s agenda is in spying, I don’t believe that’s the case.  In particular, Microsoft isn’t really in the ad delivery business the way that other large providers are.

      I’m not sure I agree with this.  Otherwise, why do they artificially inflate ‘Bing’ metrics by injecting their search engine at every opportunity?

      With some of the browser updates, and with every new user profile, Microsoft re-enables keystroke logging in Edge browser.  For everyone screaming about Grammarly security issues…do you have a security/compliance agreement with Microsoft?

      Bing revenue in 2021 was over 8.5 billion USD.  This is why they shove it into every crack of the OS.  They saw how Google does it with Chromebooks and Android devices.  Monopoly makes money.

      • This reply was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by 616c. Reason: fix minor typos
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    • #2525534

      Although other posts in this thread suggest part of Microsoft’s agenda is in spying, I don’t believe that’s the case. In particular, Microsoft isn’t really in the ad delivery business the way that other large providers are.

      Why has duckduck go start to block Microsoft Trackers?
      DuckDuckGo will now block Microsoft trackers
      Microsoft, Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, doubleclick, youtube, ticktock, hotjar, Pinterest  any other social media sites, etc are the major companies that track people.

       

      Microsoft, Google, and Apple are the biggest since they are able to embedded directly into OS that they created.

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