How to set up a local account in Windows 11 Pro

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Here’s how to choose a local account during or after the Windows 11 setup process. You can log into your personal PC without using a Microsoft account.

You can setup a local account in Windows 11 Pro.

You’re using Windows 11 Pro on a personal PC and would prefer to sign in with a local account rather than a Microsoft account. Microsoft doesn’t make it easy for you to use a local account, even in Windows 11 Pro, but it is doable. You can choose a local account during the initial setup or switch a Microsoft account to a local one. A local account also requires you to set up three security questions in the event you ever forget your password. Here’s how it works.

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How to set up a local account in Windows 11 Pro

Let’s say you’re setting up a Windows 11 Pro computer for the first time or are resetting Windows. At some point during the setup process, you’ll be asked whether you want to set up the PC for personal use or for a work or school account. Choose the option for personal use. Click Next (Figure A).

Figure A

The next screen asks you to sign in with a Microsoft account. Instead, click the link for Sign-in options (Figure B).

Figure B

At the next screen, click the entry for Offline account (Figure C).

Figure C

Of course, Microsoft still wants you to use a Microsoft account. At the next screen, click the link for Skip For Now (Figure D).

Figure D

As the screen asks who’s going to use this device, type a name you wish to use for your local account. Click Next (Figure E).

Figure E

Enter a password to use for your local account and click Next. At the next screen, retype your password to confirm it. Click next (Figure F).

Figure F

The next screen asks you to choose three security questions to help you recover your local account should you ever forget the password. Select the first question and then type your answer. Do the same for the second and third questions (Figure G).

Figure G

Complete the Windows 11 setup. After the setup finishes, you’re automatically logged into Windows 11 with your local account credentials. The next time you have to sign in, enter the password for your account (Figure H).

Figure H

After setup

If you’re already set up Windows 11 with a Microsoft account, you can switch to a local account at any point. Go to Settings and then Accounts. Select the setting for Your Info. Under Account Settings, click the link for “Sign in with a local account instead.” (Figure I).

Figure I

In an effort to deter you, Microsoft displays a screen with a large message asking if you’re sure you want to switch to a local account. Click Next. Type the password for your Microsoft account. At the next screen, confirm or change the name you want to use for your local account. Type and then retype a password and create a password hint if you wish. Click Next (Figure J).

Figure J

Next, click the button for Sign Out and Finish to log out of Windows with your Microsoft account. You’re then placed back at the login screen for you to sign back in with your local account (Figure K).

Figure K

 



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