Thursday, June 6, 2024

Windows 11 Requires Microsoft Account

Laura Pippig (via Hacker News):

Before PC users can enjoy everything Windows 11 has on tap, they must first enter an e-mail address that’s linked to a Microsoft account. If you don’t have one, you’ll be asked to create one before you can start setting it up.

A frequently used trick to circumvent this block is a small but ingenious step. By entering a random e-mail address and password, which doesn’t exist and causes the link to fail, you end up directly with the creation of a local account and can thus avoid creating an official account with Microsoft.


This common method no longer seems to work, as Microsoft has apparently patched this bug. Instead of skipping the account link, you’re led into a kind of continuous loop that doesn’t end until you have entered the correct email address.


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People should just pirate the Windows 11 Enterprise version, which has many of these “limitations” removed. MS is really asking for it.

You can use Rufus to create a bootable USB with the requirement disabled.

I just had to figure this out on a PC in S-Mode where the cmd / bypassnro trick wouldn't work because it's not on the whitelist.

1. Get the installer to stop intercepting Windows-R by starting the onscreen keyboard or snipping tool
2. Run Edge from Windows-R and click settings, accessibility, to open the actual settings app
3. Create a new local admin user
4. Run oobe.exe from C:\windows\system32 or wherever it is to confuse the installer
5. Put the computer to sleep and wake it back up. Now it's confused because there's two defaultuser0 accounts from running oobe twice and it doesn't know the password to them because they're "special"
6. Log in as the other user instead. Everything will be totally screwed up, but it doesn't matter. Reboot the computer. It shouldn't restart OOBE because you managed to log in

At setup, at the very first step as soon as your language and keyboard are correct, press shift+f10.

Brings up a command window. enter: oobe\bypassnre

Computer immediately reboots, and re-enters setup. You may now choose a local account.

Don't bother entering a password here, it will force you to enter THREE security questions.

Just set password via ctrl+alt+del once booted into the system.

And with regard to the poster suggesting Enterprise, even that is getting junked up. It does skip straight to the bypassnre setup I mentioned above, but that's about it. Still all the same ads and popups and Edge acting like malware constantly trying to hijack your browser history, default apps, and everything else.

They even do it on Server now. Fewer advertising popups, but Edge is still malware.

So sad that increasingly the best thing you can say for macOS is that "well, at least it isn't Windows" and Microsoft works tirelessly every day, in some small way, to keep it that way.

Microsoft is annoying. To be fair, what percentage of Mac users who don't use an Apple account on their Mac is what? 20%? 35%? On iOS it's practically 100% right? But you want to know the funny thing? Even on Android, sometimes I disable/uninstall the Google stuff and just side load F-Droid and the like. No overarching account sign-in required. Same with my Fire tablets, I'm not signed into Amazon on them, instead I used a third party launcher when possible and F-Droid. (Sometimes Google Play to be perfectly weird about it).

I guess what I am saying is, this trend of required account access for devices is alarming, but maybe a losing battle if you are going to stick with mainstream devices. My Linux desktop does not require that for instance. My routers don't require accounts (but many do because they are essentially as a service devices at this point). Roku? Yep! Apple TV? Yep (as far as I know since I haven't used one in a few generations)!

And yes I know, people opting to sign-in isn't the same as required. Android technically doesn't require it, but unless you make changes to how you used the device, it will be tough to use. MacOS not required, but strongly pushed. Which is definitely not required.

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