Door slammed on last remaining easy Windows 11 local account setup workaround

Microsoft Windows 11 Oops something went wrong account creation bypass
(Image credit: https://x.com/zacbowden)

In another blow to users who prefer to set up PCs with local accounts, Microsoft has removed the simple bypass that would let you set up a Windows 11 PC by typing in a blocked email address. As demonstrated in an X post by Windows Central Editor Zac Bowden, Windows has now started to loop back to the sign-in page if you enter an invalid email address to sign in to a Microsoft account on a new PC.

In the past, you could bypass the sign-in requirement by choosing ‘Offline Account’ or ‘Sign in with a local account instead.' However, Microsoft removed this option in recent years, meaning you would need an active internet connection to create a Microsoft account for a new Windows 11 install.

Some users discovered that they could bypass this requirement by using the following blocked email addresses: example@example.com, a@a.com, or no@thankyou.com, and then typing in a random password. While this would let you fall back to proceeding with an offline account until recently, it now results in an ‘Oops, something went wrong’ message, which will return you to the same email input screen.

Thankfully, there remains another way to install Windows 11 without a Microsoft account. When you’re at the log-in screen, you can hit Shift + F10 and type OOBE/BYPASSNRO, which will let you create a local account instead if you do not have an internet connection (so disconnect the internet for this). However, non-tech-savvy users will likely not know this, so many would likely end up creating another unwanted online account.

While a Microsoft account makes it easier to set up a new computer, many users — including Elon Musk — hate the fact that the company removed the option to not sign in. This is just one of the controversial steps Microsoft has recently been taking, like including ads in the Start Menu, nagging Windows 10 users to upgrade, or adding a watermark if your PC does not support AI features.

This requirement is another step where software companies are transitioning their products to software-as-a-service subscriptions, forcing users to pay monthly or annually to use the hardware they bought. This has already happened to some degree with Microsoft Office, where people opt for Microsoft 365, and it seems that Windows may be headed this way as well.

Freelance News Writer
  • NeoMorpheus
    I honestly dont understand why they are pushing for these online accounts so hard.

    Something is amiss.
    Reply
  • ezst036
    Admin said:
    This requirement is another step where software companies are transitioning their products to software-as-a-service subscriptions

    It seems pretty clear to me that this will never happen.

    Microsoft had two choices and they have already chosen. They could be an OS that people subscribe to monthly, even if it was only as little as $1 per month. Or Microsoft could make Windows a vector that serves up advertisements to its users, thus turning Windows users into products.

    Microsoft has already chosen as reported by Tom's Hardware itself as well as sister websites. Microsoft has made all of you the product. This is not a prediction, it is already here and currently exists.

    It is said by some that Microsoft could never make Windows a subscription without losing a significant chunk of its user base, well Microsoft would really lose big if they both made Windows a subscription while STILL cramming advertisements down your throat. To do both would be like setting out to be insulting with "fat mamma" jokes too.

    If Microsoft ever starts backing out on the product placement advertisements all of a sudden, that's when SAAS is coming. But for now, transforming its own users into the product following the Google model is by far the safer option. Market research has proven that users are numb to having their data stolen and ad delivery.

    Look, if I were the leader of Microsoft and I were staring down SAAS and/or advertisements, I would chose ads too. It's way safer.

    Microsoft had nothing to lose by embedding adware. It has much to lose with SAAS.
    The only way SAAS and advertisements live concurrently in Windows would be "We'll happily shut off these ads that you are bombarded with. $4.99 per month." So they could then charge people monthly, but make it look like they aren't charging for Windows itself. It's just a charge to shut off all the ads, that's all. There would be some wisdom in this considering that market research proves people are willing to pay to put an end to advertisements.
    Reply
  • ezst036
    NeoMorpheus said:
    I honestly dont understand why they are pushing for these online accounts so hard.

    Something is amiss.

    Pushing for online accounts makes perfect sense. Doesn't knowing the target of the delivered ads make the ads themselves more valuable?

    I think it does make them more valuable, way more valuable.

    Think about two different sets of advertisement results.

    1) Some random Amazon ads or Newegg or somebody. So 6 million generic people have clicked on this link here for a flower pot, i don't know what product. Ok, it's a good ad people click on it. Now what?

    2) Same ads. So 6 million specific people have clicked on this link here for a flower pot. We have their names, their addresses, their past click history for other ads. Did you know that last month 40% of these users clicked on and purchased an iWatch? Did you know that 10% of these users also purchased a certain kind of seeds together with those flower pots? Would you like to know who those users are? We can sell you the list for so and so thousand dollars.

    #2 is way more valuable. It's the advertisements, it's all about the money. Follow the money. By knowing who receives the ads, Microsoft can attempt to extract more money from Amazon or whoever and then turn around and sell user lists too. Even if they don't upcharge the per-ads themselves. User lists can be sold, and your name is on that list.

    https://www.tomsguide.com/computing/windows-11-is-getting-more-ads-in-the-latest-preview
    Reply
  • Heat_Fan89
    I have been using that bypass workaround but as the article mentions, Windows is now a service more than a retail product.
    Reply
  • AtrociKitty
    ezst036 said:
    Microsoft had two choices and they have already chosen. They could be an OS that people subscribe to monthly, even if it was only as little as $1 per month. Or Microsoft could make Windows a vector that serves up advertisements to its users, thus turning Windows users into products.
    Why do either of these choices need to exist when I already pay for my Windows license/key?
    Reply
  • punkncat
    TBH, the aspect of this that bothers me the most is when trying to build a PC for someone other than yourself. You have to then ask them what they want their sign in to be OR you have to give them a PC that hasn't been properly set up. I would say that 90% of the custom builds I do, and even refurbs of older systems are going to have a driver or two that don't install and so forth.

    It has come to a point now where I have personally been considering having on hand some cheap USB and loading on it the drivers and so forth to give to the new owner.
    Reply
  • CelicaGT
    AtrociKitty said:
    Why do either of these choices need to exist when I already pay for my Windows license/key?
    Line must go up, that's why. It today's market constant (sustainable or not) growth is the expectation. You will pay, you will have your usage habits dissected and sold to advertisers, and you will like it.

    As for myself I'm considering a dual boot with some Linux variant that uses Proton. I'm no Linux savant so I'd have some learning to do.
    Reply
  • parkerthon
    ezst036 said:
    It seems pretty clear to me that this will never happen.

    Microsoft had two choices and they have already chosen. They could be an OS that people subscribe to monthly, even if it was only as little as $1 per month. Or Microsoft could make Windows a vector that serves up advertisements to its users, thus turning Windows users into products.

    Microsoft has already chosen as reported by Tom's Hardware itself as well as sister websites. Microsoft has made all of you the product. This is not a prediction, it is already here and currently exists.

    It is said by some that Microsoft could never make Windows a subscription without losing a significant chunk of its user base, well Microsoft would really lose big if they both made Windows a subscription while STILL cramming advertisements down your throat. To do both would be like setting out to be insulting with "fat mamma" jokes too.

    If Microsoft ever starts backing out on the product placement advertisements all of a sudden, that's when SAAS is coming. But for now, transforming its own users into the product following the Google model is by far the safer option. Market research has proven that users are numb to having their data stolen and ad delivery.

    Look, if I were the leader of Microsoft and I were staring down SAAS and/or advertisements, I would chose ads too. It's way safer.

    Microsoft had nothing to lose by embedding adware. It has much to lose with SAAS.
    The only way SAAS and advertisements live concurrently in Windows would be "We'll happily shut off these ads that you are bombarded with. $4.99 per month." So they could then charge people monthly, but make it look like they aren't charging for Windows itself. It's just a charge to shut off all the ads, that's all. There would be some wisdom in this considering that market research proves people are willing to pay to put an end to advertisements.
    They have different versions of Windows for business vs pro vs home. I understand this. They are attempting to monetize Windows the same way ChromeOS is monetized for your home use consumers that will buy the cheapest device they can get their hands on.

    People think Linux is the answer, but forget that about 95 % of users out there are completely non-technical. They need easy to use and some level of support. Neither of those are free features. MacOS is a beautiful counter example of OS development trapped in Apple’s expensive and limited walled garden. There’s no easy alternatives here for most people.
    Reply
  • Giroro
    I wonder what the next step is for Windows to abuse its customers?
    I think likely routes are they either start forcing you to install an app on your phone, or they start forcing you to enable location tracking. The justification they would give for either one is "AI".
    Reply
  • CmdrShepard
    punkncat said:
    TBH, the aspect of this that bothers me the most is when trying to build a PC for someone other than yourself. You have to then ask them what they want their sign in to be OR you have to give them a PC that hasn't been properly set up. I would say that 90% of the custom builds I do, and even refurbs of older systems are going to have a driver or two that don't install and so forth.
    Anyone doing stuff like that should already know how to skip OOBE during setup, enter Audit mode and finish setup using full administrator account, then use sysprep to reseal to OOBE again. If they don't, sucks to be them.
    Reply