Microsoft unveiled Windows 11 on Thursday, and its least expensive version Windows 11 Home will now require an internet connection at setup — and a Microsoft account. Previous versions would let you opt out of Microsoft accounts by creating a local account instead, though the company didn’t necessarily make it easy to find and pushed you to use Microsoft’s login instead. It’s possible you’ll still be able to use a local account afterwards.
The internet requirement may make sense since Windows 11 will largely be delivered via a Windows Update, like many of the updates to Windows 10, so you’d need an internet connection to install it on your PC. You’ll need to make sure your machine has enough free storage space to install the updates, Microsoft notes in its spec sheet for Windows 11.
The minimum hardware requirements for Windows 11 are a PC with a dual-core 64-bit CPU, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage. It will be a free upgrade for existing Windows 10 users.
Here’s how Microsoft describes these requirements:
Windows 11 Home edition requires internet connectivity and a Microsoft account to complete device setup on first use.
Switching a device out of Windows 11 Home in S mode also requires internet connectivity.
For all Windows 11 editions, internet access is required to perform updates and to download and take advantage of some features. A Microsoft account is required for some features.