Windows 10 Home now forces you to sign in with a Microsoft account unless you first disconnect from the internet. Microsoft has always wanted you to sign in with a Microsoft account, but now it goes even further.
The ability to sign in with a classic local Windows account has always been hidden behind the Offline Account option. We have now confirmed that it has completely disappeared from the Windows 10 setup process.
How Windows 10 Home Forces a Microsoft Account
The screenshots in this article were taken while installing Windows 10 version 1903 Home, the current stable version of Windows 10, also known as the May 2019 Update.
During the initial setup process — either after installing Windows 10 on your own or while setting up a new Windows 10 PC — you are now prompted to «Sign in to Microsoft» and there are no alternatives.
Windows 10 Professional reportedly has a «Domain Join» option that creates a local user account. But this is only on Windows 10 Professional. Windows 10 Home doesn’t have this option at all.
If you try to click «Next» or «Create an account», Windows 10 will ask you for «a valid email address, phone number, or Skype name.» There is no obvious way around this.
You can click «Learn More» to find out more information about the account creation process. If you do this, Windows 10 Setup says you can avoid signing in with a Microsoft account:
If you don’t want a Microsoft account associated with your device, you can remove it. Finish setting up Windows, then click the » Start» and go to » Settings»>»Accounts»>»Your data» and select » Sign in with a local account» .
That’s right — if you don’t need a Microsoft account, Microsoft says you still need to sign in and then delete it. On Windows 10, there is no option to create a local account during the installation process.
How to create a local user account instead
Fortunately, there is one hidden way to bypass this process in Windows 10 Home: you can unplug your computer from the network.
If you have a computer with an Ethernet cable, unplug it. If you are connected to Wi-Fi, turn it off.
After that, try to create a Microsoft account and you will see the error message «Something went wrong». You can then click «Skip» to skip the Microsoft account creation process.
Once you’ve skipped creating a Microsoft account, the old «Who will use this PC?» screen will appear. You can now create an offline account and sign in to Windows 10 without a Microsoft account — it’s always been possible.
Even if you have a laptop with Wi-Fi, Windows 10 will ask you to connect to a wireless network before moving on to this part of the process. Most people connect online and find that a Microsoft account is required.
It is possible that a future version of Windows 10 will refuse to allow account creation until you are connected to the Internet. “At the end of the day,” Microsoft will say, “telemetry shows that most people just create Microsoft accounts.”
This is another grim example from the company that brought us «Upgrade Now or Update Tonight» during the Windows 10 free upgrade.
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