Windows 10 goes out of its way to force you to use a Microsoft account. The option was already hidden, but now it’s not even offered in Windows 10 Home when you’re connected to the internet. Here’s how to create a local account anyway.

We tested this with the latest stable version of Windows 10. This is version 1903, also known as the May 2019 Update. You will have to go through this setup process after installing Windows 10 yourself or if you get a new PC with Windows 10 installed.

Windows 10 Home: Disconnect from the Internet

Windows 10 Home does not have a visible option to set up Windows without a Microsoft account when you are connected to the internet.

In any case, in order to create a local user account, you need to disconnect from the Internet at this point in this installer. If you are connected via a wired connection, disconnect the Ethernet cable.

If you are using Wi-Fi, you can skip the Wi-Fi connection process at the beginning of the setup wizard (click the back icon on the top toolbar in Windows 10 Setup to go back). You can also press the Airplane Mode button on your laptop to turn it off — it could be one of the function keys above the number keys on your laptop keyboard. If all else fails, you can always just unplug your wireless router for a minute. It’s radical, but it will work.

Windows 10 requires a Microsoft account to continue.

If you try to create a Microsoft account while it’s disabled, Windows 10 will display an error message and give you a «Skip» button. This button skips the Microsoft account screen and allows you to set up a local user account.

Skip creating a Microsoft account during Windows 10 setup.

Windows 10 Pro: Domain Join

If you’re using Windows 10 Pro, you can select the «Join a domain» option in the bottom left corner of the Microsoft account setup screen to create a local account.

If for some reason you don’t see this option, don’t worry — the same «disconnect from the internet» trick that works in Windows 10 Home also works in Windows 10 Professional. When disabled, you will be prompted to create a local account.

After installation: switch to local account

If you already created a Microsoft account during setup, you can convert it to a local user account later. In fact, this is what Microsoft officially recommends during the installation process — just sign in with a Microsoft account and remove it later.

To do this, go to Settings > Accounts > Your Info in Windows 10. Click Sign in instead of a local account and Windows 10 will walk you through the transition from a Microsoft account to a local user account.

Converting a Microsoft account to a local account in Windows 10.

If you like Microsoft accounts, great, good, we use them on many of our PCs too. But if you don’t want to use a Microsoft account, you should be able to. And Microsoft should make it easier to search and stop hiding it with dark patterns.

RELATED: Confirmed: Windows 10 Setup now prevents local account creation

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