When a Windows 11 leaked build appeared on the internet, we discovered something surprising. It appeared Windows 11 Home REQUIRED a Microsoft Account and Internet access to set up. If you were hoping that would change when Microsoft announced Windows 11, we have bad news: It didn’t.
Microsoft’s Windows 11 event gave us plenty to like. Customized desktop wallpapers for all your virtual desktops, better multi-monitor support, and support for Android apps all come to mind. But a few details here and there weren’t so great. If you like moving your taskbar to the left side of the window, that’s not an option in Windows 11.
And if you don’t want to use a Microsoft Account to set up Windows, you can’t buy Windows 11 Home. As Microsoft confirms on its requirements page, Windows 11 Home forces you to connect to the internet and sign in with a Microsoft account to complete setup. We saw this in the leaked build.
While Windows 10 tried to hide the local sign-in option, and you could get around it by disconnecting the internet, that’s just not an option in Windows 11 Home. All the local sign-in options are gone. And if you disconnect the internet, the setup process won’t let you move until you reconnect.
The only option is to upgrade to Windows 11 Pro (or buy a machine that comes with Pro). You might be able to set up with a Microsoft account then switch to a local account, but that’s not guaranteed yet. Microsoft didn’t promise that capability, and while the leaked build includes it, that could change. After all, the leaked build didn’t have a lot of features Microsoft announced at its event.
But here’s hoping that’s an option for those of you who don’t want to stay on a Microsoft account and can’t upgrade to Pro.