Microsoft says it’s planning to update Windows 11 Pro so it will require an internet connection and a Microsoft Account during the initial setup phase. The changes will mirror the same requirements Microsoft originally added to Windows 11 Home last year, meaning you won’t be able to avoid Microsoft Accounts by creating a local user account during setup.
Microsoft has been increasingly pushing Windows users to use a Microsoft Account since Windows 10, and this new change to Windows 11 Pro won’t sit well with many hoping to avoid Microsoft’s data and telemetry gathering in Windows.
“Similar to Windows 11 Home edition, Windows 11 Pro edition now requires internet connectivity during the initial device setup (OOBE) only,” says an updated Windows Insider blog post. “If you choose to setup [a] device for personal use, MSA will be required for setup as well.”
Microsoft is currently testing this change in Windows 11 builds, and it will likely rollout to Windows 11 Pro in the coming months. Currently, Windows 11 Pro users have been able to avoid a Microsoft Account by disconnecting a PC from the internet during setup and creating a local user account instead.
The new requirement means fresh installations of Windows 11 Pro will require a Microsoft Account and internet connectivity during setup, and those hoping to avoid that will have to use a dummy Microsoft Account to then create a local one afterwards.