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How to install Windows 11 without a Microsoft account

When it comes to Windows 11, one question always seems to come up: "Can I install Windows 11 with a local account like I have done in previous versions of Windows?" The answer is yes, you can, and I am going to show you how to install Windows 11 without a Microsoft account.

How to install Windows 11 without a Microsoft account

When it comes to installing Windows 11 without a Microsoft account, the process is relatively straightforward. However, there are a couple things you have to due during the installation to be able to create a local user account.

First and foremost, it's important to note that Microsoft strongly encourages users to sign in with a Microsoft account. While this provides access to additional features and seamless integration with Microsoft services, it is not mandatory.

Keep in mind that most Windows 11 systems come with Bitlocker drive encryption enabled and using a Microsoft account to login will place the Bitlocker decryption key inside of your Microsoft account online. If you like, you can always turn off Bitlocker after the installation is complete.

Now, the stage in the installation of Windows 11 that you need to make changes is called the Out-Of-Box-Experience (OOBE). This is when Windows 11 prepares for the first use. So, you can use this procedure on brand-new Windows 11 systems or clean installations of Windows 11.

This process will usually work flawlessly, but I have had issues with new computers that have Windows 11 in S mode. For more information about performing a clean installation of Windows 11, follow the link below.

How to perform a clean installation of Windows 11

As I mentioned before, the stage in the Windows 11 installation we need to modify is the OOBE. The one thing you will need to do is make sure you do not have an ethernet cable plugged into your computer.

Your computer cannot access the Internet until after you create the local user account. If Windows 11 detects Internet access, it will not allow you to bypass the network requirement, which is what you have to do to finish the installation using a local user account.

When you start your new Windows 11 computer for the first time or finalize a clean installation of Windows 11, the first screen that appears in the OOBE is the Is this the right country or region screen.
The Is this the right country or region screen in the Windows 11 setup
This is where we need to modify the OOBE.

Using your keyboard, press Shift + F10. If your laptop has an FN (Function) button, you may have to also hold it down to toggle the F10 key.
An Administrative Command Prompt running on top of the country or region screen
This will bring up an Administrative Command Prompt.

In the Command Prompt type:

OOBE\BYPASSNRO

and then press enter.
An Administrative Command Prompt with OOBE\BYPASSNRO in the prompt
This will restart the OOBE stage again using the BYPASSNRO (BYPASS Network Requirement Option) switch. You will now have the ability to skip using a Microsoft account to logon. Once the OOBE stage restarts, you return to the first screen (country and region).

Proceed through the screens until you reach the Let's connect you to a network screen.
The Let's connect you to a network screen in the Windows 11 setup
Left-click on the I don't have internet link at the bottom of the screen.

The next screen is the Connect now to quickly get started on your device screen.
The Connect now to quickly get started on your device screen in the Windows 11 setup
Left-click on the Continue with limited setup link. The next screen is the Who's going to use this device screen. Enter a name and left-click on the Next button.

Now you come to the Create a super memorable password screen. If you leave the password blank/empty and left-click on the Next button, your computer will automatically log in to your desktop. This is how to create a local user with no password.

In conclusion, installing Windows 11 without a Microsoft account is entirely feasible and allows users to maintain a local account on their system. Following the steps outlined in this article, you can successfully set up Windows 11 without needing a Microsoft account, giving you more control over your operating system.

How to repair the Start menu inside of Windows 11

The Start menu has been an essential component of Windows since Windows 95, helping users navigate the various programs and features. But what do you do when it does not work? Here is how to repair the Windows 11 Start menu.

How to repair the Start menu inside of Windows 11

You only realize how much you depend on the Start menu once it does not work correctly. And trying to fix it without being able to access any of the apps on it is hard. But there are ways to get to the tools required to fix the Start menu.

In this article, I want to show you some of the different things you can do to fix a broken Start menu in Windows 11. Most of the apps required for the following procedures can be found in the Control Panel under Windows Tools.

Since the Start menu is not functioning correctly, you must use an alternative way of getting to the Control Panel. Here is the easiest and fastest way to get there.

  1. Open a Run dialog box by pressing the Windows logo key Windows logo key + R (click here for more ways to open a Run dialog box).
  2. Type in Control and then left-click on OK.
  3. If viewing the Control Panel by Category, left-click on System and Security, then left-click on Windows Tools. If viewing by Large/Small Icons, left-click on Windows Tools.

Now that you have access to the Windows Tools, let's start with the solution that works most of the time, the PowerShell script.

Use PowerShell to repair the Windows 11 Start menu

1. In the Windows Tools folder, right-click on the Windows PowerShell shortcut and select Run as Administrator from the context menu that appears.

2. Copy and paste the following script into the Powershell prompt and press Enter.

Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers Microsoft.Windows.ShellExperienceHost | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}

If you get an error message stating the action could not be performed because the ShellExperienceHost is running, copy and paste the following script and press Enter to end the ShellExperienceHost task.

taskkill /ID ShellExperienceHost.exe /F

Then rerun the first script.

3. You must restart your computer for the changes to take effect. Since the PowerShell is open, copy and paste the following into the Powershell and press Enter to restart your computer immediately.

shutdown.exe -r -f -t 00

Check your drive for errors

If the Start menu is still not working correctly after running the PowerShell script, it may be time to check your drive for errors. There are several ways to run a disk check, but the easiest way is through File Explorer.

  1. Press the Windows logo key Windows logo + E keys simultaneously to bring up File Explorer.
  2. In the left-side column, left-click on This PC.
  3. In the right-side column, right-click on the drive you want to check and select Properties.
  4. Left-click on the Tools tab.
  5. Under Error checking, left-click on Check.
  6. Left-click on Scan drive.

For all of the different ways to run a disk check, check out 'How to check your drive for errors in Windows 11'.

Check for corrupt system files

If the Start menu is still not working, you might want to check for corrupt system files. To run the System File Checker (SFC), you must use either a Command Prompt or PowerShell with administrative privileges. Open the Windows Tools folder, right-click on the Command Prompt or Windows PowerShell shortcut, select Run as Administrator from the context menu, Copy and paste the following into it, and then press Enter.

SFC /SCANNOW

If the scan finds corrupt files and fixes them, restart your computer. If it finds errors but cannot fix them, check out our article 'How to check and repair system files in Windows 11' for more in-depth ways to repair system files.

Repair Windows 11 with an in-place upgrade

If all else fails to fix the Start menu, performing an in-place upgrade might be the thing to do. I have seen in-place upgrades fix some of the most annoying problems with Windows. Check out our article 'How to perform a repair upgrade of Windows 11'.

Reset Windows 11

This would be the last resort to getting the Start menu running correctly again. The following article, 'How to reset Windows 11', will guide you through the steps you must take to reset Windows 11.

How to open a Command Prompt with Administrator privileges in Windows 11

Updated May 27, 2024

There may be a time when you need to bypass the Windows GUI (Graphical User Interface) and enter commands directly into an Administrative Command Prompt. Quite a few of our favorite Geeks Tips require the use of it. So here's how to open a Command Prompt with Administrator privileges in Windows 11.

The Command Prompt with Administrator privileges in Windows 11
The Command Prompt with Administrator privileges in Windows 11

Open a Command Prompt with Administrator privileges in Windows 11

  1. Left-click on the Start button Windows logo to bring up the Start menu.
  2. In the upper right-hand corner of the Start menu, left-click on All apps.
  3. Scroll down the list of programs and left-click on Windows Tools.
  4. Right-click on Command Prompt.
  5. On the context menu that appears, left-click on Run as administrator. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

or

  1. Left-click on the magnifying glass to the right of the Start button Windows logo to bring up the Search dialog box.
  2. In the Search dialog box, type Command Prompt.
  3. In the list of results, the Command Prompt should be highlighted.
  4. In the right-hand column under Command Prompt, there is an options menu. Left-click on Run as administrator. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

Using the Power User menu to open a Command Prompt with Administrator privileges in Windows 11

  1. Right-click on the Start button Windows logo to bring up the Power User menu.
  2. Left-click on Terminal (Admin). If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  3. On the title bar, left-click on the pull-down menu and left-click on Command Prompt.

or

  1. Press the Windows logo key Windows logo key + X to bring up the Power User menu.
  2. Press the letter A to select Terminal (Admin). If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  3. On the title bar, left-click on the pull-down menu and left-click on Command Prompt.

How to change the default program for Windows Terminal

  1. Right-click on the Start button Windows logo to bring up the Power User menu.
  2. Left-click on Terminal (Admin). If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  3. On the title bar, left-click on the pull-down menu
    The Settings pull down menu for Windows Terminal inside of Windows 11
    and left-click on Settings.
  4. In the center column under Startup, left-click on the Default profile pull-down menu
    The Default profile pull down menu for Windows Terminal inside of Windows 11
    and left-click on Command Prompt.

or

  1. Press the Windows logo key Windows logo key + X to bring up the Power User menu.
  2. Press the letter A to select Terminal (Admin). If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  3. On the title bar, left-click on the pull-down menu
    The Settings pull down menu for Windows Terminal inside of Windows 11
    and left-click on Settings.
  4. In the center column under Startup, left-click on the Default profile pull-down menu
    The Default profile pull down menu for Windows Terminal inside of Windows 11
    and left-click on Command Prompt.

How to repair the Windows 10 Start menu apps

When it comes to using Windows 10, the Start menu app tiles are a popular way to open some of your favorite programs. But what happens if the app tiles stop functioning correctly? Here is how to repair the Start menu apps.

How to repair the Windows 10 Start menu apps

The Start menu apps are not standard desktop Windows programs; they are Universal Apps, UWP (Universal Windows Platform), to be exact. They are designed to run on all Microsoft devices, including Xbox, Surface Hub, and HoloLens. Microsoft has set quite a few of them as default apps in Windows 10 for opening photos, videos, music, etc.. So when they stop working, it can be a significant problem.

The steps outlined in this article should be taken in the order listed. Remember to restart your computer between each step so that changes have a chance to take effect. The links to the blogs referenced in each stage are highly detailed and will open in new browser tabs. That way, you don't have to worry about trying to get back to this article.

Reinstall the Start menu apps

This step is one of the most straightforward procedures and should fix the Start menu apps most of the time. All you have to do is copy a string of text and paste it into an Administrative PowerShell console.

There are several ways to open an Administrative PowerShell. Here are a few of the most popular

  1. Open an Administrative PowerShell using one of the following procedures.
    • Bring up the Start menu by left-clicking on the Start Windows logo button.
    • Scroll down to the Windows PowerShell folder and left-click on it.
    • Right-click on Windows PowerShell and select Run as Administrator on the context menu that appears.
    or
    • Bring up the Power User menu by right-clicking on the Start Windows logo button.
    • Left-click on the Windows PowerShell (Admin) link.
    or
    • In the search box to the right of the Start Windows logo button type PowerShell.
    • In the right-hand column of the search results, left-click on Run as Administrator directly below Windows PowerShell.
  2. You will get a prompt stating Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your device? Left-click on Yes.
  3. Copy and paste the following text into the PowerShell window.
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}
  4. When the script is done running, close the PowerShell window by typing exit and press enter.
  5. Restart your computer.

Don't worry if a couple of errors are generated while running the PowerShell command. It happens even on a clean Windows 10 installation. If numerous errors are generated, then you may need to proceed with the following steps.

I once had a system that the Start menu apps would not reinstall because the Windows Security Service would not start. I had to repair it before I could get the Start menu apps working again. Remember that once you complete any of the following procedures, restart your computer and rerun the PowerShell command.

Check the drive for errors

There is a possibility that the Start menu apps are not functioning correctly because there are errors on your C:\ drive. Running a quick standard disk check may be just the thing your computer needs to get the Start menu apps running again.

And even if it doesn't fix the problem with the apps, it is always an excellent procedure to do before the next step. Here's how to run a standard drive check in Windows 10.

  1. Open File Explorer using one of the following:
    • Left-click on the File Explorer icon (manilla folder) on the Taskbar.
    • Press the Windows logo key Windows logo + E at the same time.
    • Use the Power User menu by right-clicking on the Start Windows logo button and selecting File Explorer.
  2. In the left-side column left-click on This PC.
  3. In the right-side column right-click on the drive you want to check and select Properties.
  4. Left-click on the Tools tab.
  5. Under Error checking left-click on Check.
  6. Left-click on Scan drive.

If you get an error when trying to run a standard drive check, you may have to perform an advanced check. Here are all of the details on how to do it.

How to check your drive for errors in Windows 10

Check system files for corrupt or missing files

Now some of the files the Start menu apps require to operate correctly may be missing or gotten corrupted. Windows 10 has a utility called System File Checker (SFC) that can detect and repair problems with files required by Windows 10 for properly operation.

Let me forewarn you that you may have to run SFC more than once to fix some of Windows 10 files. You may even have to start your computer in safe mode to get SFC to repair Windows 10. Here's how to run a basic SFC scan:

  1. Open an Administrator Command Prompt using one of the following.
    1. Left-click on the Start Windows logo button.
    2. Scroll down the program list and then left-click on the Windows System folder to expand.
    3. Right-click on Command Prompt.
    4. On the context menu that appears, hover your cursor over More and then left-click on Run as administrator. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
    or
    1. In the search box next to the Start Windows logo button, type Command Prompt.
    2. In the list of results, the Command Prompt should be highlighted.
    3. In the right-hand column under Command Prompt, there is an options menu. Left-click on Run as administrator. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  2. Type sfc /scannow into the Admin Command Prompt and press enter.

And in the worst-case scenario, you may have to replace a corrupt file or two manually. Luckily there is a way to determine what files SFC repairs and what ones it cannot. The following article has all of the details on how to go about using SFC to its fullest potential.

Check Windows 10 system files with System File Checker

Perform an in-place upgrade of Windows 10

The next step to getting the Start menu apps to working again involves doing an in-place upgrade of Windows 10. Even though it sounds kind of scary, it is relatively simple.

When performing an in-place upgrade, your documents, pictures, and videos stay perfectly safe. And you can keep all of the installed programs too. The only downside is the default programs for specific file types revert to Windows 10 defaults. To me, that is no biggie. The following article gives all of the details on how to do an in-place upgrade.

How to repair Windows 10 by doing an in-place upgrade

Reset Windows 10

This step is the completely last resort to fixing the Windows 10 Start menu apps. I defiantly don't recommend it, but I do have to suggest it (reluctantly) as an option. With resetting Windows 10, you can keep all of your documents, pictures, and videos. But all of the programs that did not come with Windows 10 will be gone. The following article gives all the details on how to reset Windows 10.

How to reset Windows 10

How to open a Command Prompt with Administrator privileges in Windows 10

Updated July 20, 2020

There may be a time when you need to bypass the Windows GUI (Graphical User Interface) and enter commands directly into an Administrative Command Prompt. Quite a few of our favorite Geeks Tips require the use of it. So here's how to open a Command Prompt with Administrator privileges in Windows 10.

The Command Prompt with Administrator privileges in Windows 10
The Command Prompt with Administrator privileges in Windows 10

Open a Command Prompt with Administrator privileges in Windows 10

  1. Left-click on the Start Windows logo button.
  2. Scroll down the program list and then left-click on the Windows System folder to expand.
  3. Right-click on Command Prompt.
  4. On the context menu that appears, hover your cursor over More and then left-click on Run as administrator. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

or

  1. In the search box next to the Start Windows logo button, type Command Prompt.
  2. In the list of results, the Command Prompt should be highlighted.
  3. In the right-hand column under Command Prompt, there is an options menu. Left-click on Run as administrator. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

With the Windows 10 Creators Update (version 1703), the Command Prompt on the Power User menu was replaced with Windows PowerShell. But it can be changed back by changing the default setting for the Taskbar.

How to restore the Command Prompt option on the Power Users menu in Windows 10

  1. Right-click on an empty space on the Taskbar.
  2. On the context menu that appears, left-click on Taskbar settings.
  3. In the right-hand column, find the setting labeled Replace Command Prompt with Windows PowerShell in the menu when I right-click the start button or press Windows key + X.
  4. Move or left-click on the slider to the off position.

Using the Power User menu to open a Command Prompt with Administrator privileges in Windows 10

  1. Right-click on the Start Windows logo button to bring up the Power User command menu.
  2. Left-click on Command Prompt (Admin). If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

or

  1. Press the Windows logo key Windows logo key + X to bring up the Power User command menu.
  2. Press the letter A to select Command Prompt (Admin). If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

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