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Windows 11 Pro setup will soon require Internet connectivity and a Microsoft Account

The new requirement means fresh Windows 11 Pro installations will require a Microsoft Account and Internet connection during setup.

Windows 11 Pro
The US tech giant has been increasingly nudging Windows users to Microsoft Accounts since the launch of Windows 10. (File)

Microsoft plans to update Windows 11 Pro to require a Microsoft Account and an Internet connection during the initial setup phase. The changes will mirror the requirements Microsoft originally added last year to Windows 11 Home, meaning it will no longer be possible to create a local user account during setup and avoid Microsoft Accounts.

The US tech giant has been increasingly nudging Windows users to Microsoft Accounts since the launch of Windows 10. However, this change to Windows 11 Pro is unlikely to sit well with many users hoping to avoid the company’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,” Microsoft said in an updated Windows Insider blog post.

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“If you choose to setup (a) device for personal use, MSA will be required for setup as well. You can expect (a) Microsoft Account to be required in subsequent WIP flights.”

Microsoft is currently conducting tests for this change in Windows 11 builds and is likely to roll it out to Windows 11 Pro in the next few months. Currently, Windows 11 Pro users managed to avoid a Microsoft Account by disconnecting the PC from the Internet during the setup phase and creating a local user account instead.

The new requirement means fresh Windows 11 Pro installations will require a Microsoft Account and Internet connection during setup. Those hoping to avoid the Microsoft Account will have to use a dummy account to create a local one afterwards.

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Microsoft also announced a slew of changes, including “a handful of new features for Insiders to try including folders in the pinned apps area of Start, live captions, a new Focus experience, Quick Access improvements in File Explorer, new touch gestures, and a lot more”, in the blog post. 

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