Microsoft says it plans to update Windows 11 Pro, so it requires an internet connection and a Microsoft account during the initial installation phase. The changes reflect the same requirements that Microsoft originally added to Windows 11 Home last year, meaning you can’t avoid Microsoft accounts by creating a local user account during installation.
Microsoft has been pushing more and more for Windows users to use a Microsoft account since Windows 10, and this new change to Windows 11 Pro won’t sit well with many who hope Microsoft’s data and telemetry collection in Windows is avoided.
“Like Windows 11 Home edition, Windows 11 Pro edition now only requires an internet connection during initial device setup (OOBE),” says an updated Windows Insider blog post. “If you choose to set [a] device for personal use, MSA is also required for installation.”
Microsoft is currently testing this change in Windows 11 builds and will likely roll out 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 installation and creating a local user account instead.
The new requirement means that new installations of Windows 11 Pro will require a Microsoft account and internet connection during installation, and those who want to avoid that will have to use a dummy Microsoft account to create a local account afterwards.