thanks, rufus —
Tool can also patch out the CPU, TPM, and Secure Boot install requirements.
Andrew Cunningham - Jun 30, 2022 8:45 pm UTC
Enlarge / The Rufus tool will offer to modify your Windows 11 install media when you create it. The workaround for the Microsoft account requirement is new to the 3.19 beta.
One of the new "features" coming to the Windows 11 22H2 update is a Microsoft account requirement for all new installs, regardless of whether you are using the Home or Pro version of the operating system. And that's too bad, because the 22H2 update corrects a few of Windows 11's original shortcomings while adding some nice quality-of-life improvements.
An easy workaround for this requirement is the Rufus USB formatting tool, which can create USB install media for Windows and all kinds of other operating systems. Rufus has already offered some flags to remove Windows 11's system requirement checks from the installer, removing the need for clunky Windows Registry edits and other workarounds. But the beta of version 3.19 will also remove the Microsoft account requirement for new installs, making it easy to set up a new Windows PC with a traditional local account.
When setting up Windows 11, make sure not to connect your PC to the Internet before creating your user account. This trick worked to circumvent the Microsoft account requirement in Windows 11 Pro and some of the later versions of Windows 10 but is being removed entirely from Windows 11 22H2. The Rufus tool merely reverts to the pre-22H2 status quo.
If you're using Rufus to avoid Windows 11's system requirements, your system will still be "unsupported" once you have Windows 11 up and running. That means putting up with periodic reminder messages about unsupported hardware and the vague threat that Microsoft may eventually stop providing updates and security patches for unsupported systems. On the other hand, Rufus doesn't keep Windows 11's TPM and security features from working once the OS is installed, so if you want to create a single USB installer that will cover both supported and unsupported hardware, Rufus makes that possible.
Microsoft provides its own media creation tools for people who want to make USB install drives for Windows 10 or Windows 11, but it obviously doesn't offer the same circumventions for the company's requirements.
Listing image by Getty Images