Wednesday 15 June 2022

Installing Windows 11 offline and creating a local account - is it possible?

The Windows 11 setup procedure now insists that you are connected to the internet and that you must use an online account rather than a local account. However, there are some ways around this:

Setup + Ethernet connection to internet

Win11 Setup will see that you have an internet connection and ask for your account email address and password. However, if you enter an invalid password with Windows Pro or Home, it will fail and then allow you to create a local account. e.g. or with any password.

Setup + WiFi only

Win11 Setup will insist that you connect to a WiFi network if it cannot detect an internet connection via Ethernet. If you connect to the internet by WiFi by entering the WiFi SSD credentials, you can also use the same trick of using an invalid online account + password or if installing Win11 Home see the next section.

Setup + no internet

If you do not want to or you cannot connect to a WiFi router, you can use the oobe bypass method as in this Britec video.

The other alternative is that you use an unattend XML file which will automatically create a local account for you. You can edit the XML file before you start so it uses the user name that you want (and can also force it to install Pro even if it was OEM registered for Home). The XML file can also skip the TPM and other checks that Win11 insists on.

In E2B v2.14cBeta (Alternative Downloads - Latest Betas folder), I have added some XML files which you may find useful.

WIN11_LOCAL_ACCOUNT_USER1_SKIP_CHECKS.xml   (no product key - Setup will ask)

Only the default settings will be used. The install is almost fully automated.

You can make an XML file with your own settings using WAFG (and XMLtoE2B.exe - optional) if you wish (see here for more details). The same XML files can be used by E2B, agFM, grubfm and Ventoy.

For more information on fully automating Windows installations see eBook #2.

E2B v2.14dBeta now has XML files which will allow the user to create either a local OR an online account during Setup without having to specify the name of the user account within the XML file. It also bypasses the TPM checks.

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