Microsoft is making some changes to the setup process for Windows 11 Pro. In a widely criticised move, Microsoft will soon remove the ability to set up Windows 11 Pro offline and without a Microsoft account.
Microsoft already requires users to have an internet connection and a Microsoft account to sign into when setting up Windows 11 Home. However, many Pro users may need to set up a system offline due to various reasons, which is why this ability was in place. For whatever reason, Microsoft has now decided that an internet connection is absolutely mandatory during the Windows setup phase.
The change was revealed in the patch notes for the latest Windows 11 preview build. The relevant section reads:
“Similar to Windows 11 Home edition, Windows 11 Pro edition now requires internet connectivity during the initial device setup (OOBE) only. If you choose to setup device for personal use, MSA will be required for setup as well. You can expect Microsoft Account to be required in subsequent WIP flights.”
There are many Windows Pro users who do not use a Microsoft account at all, so this change will require a few extra steps for some. However, we would expect that users will also find various workarounds to avoid this.
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KitGuru Says: This is going to be particularly annoying for those looking to install Windows 11 Pro on a system without a WiFi or Ethernet driver. What do you all think of Microsoft's new internet requirements for installing Windows 11 Pro?