Windows 11 comes with stricter installation requirements compared to its predecessor, including limitations on older processors and requiring an Internet connection and Microsoft account. Fortunately, there are workarounds that allow upgrades to Windows 11 on unsupported CPUs, and the company doesn’t block those workarounds. But if you are looking for a clean Windows 11 install and want to configure the system with just a local account, now you can easily do that with a tool called Rufus.
The app has long been used by IT departments to quickly create bootable Windows installers. The latest beta versionas indicated by Ars Technica, now has the ability to remove the Microsoft online account requirement, among other workarounds. It can bypass computers that don’t have TPM 2.0 (including Intel Macs), computers that have less than 4 GB of RAM or 64 GB of storage, and you can also disable data collection automatically.
You still need to keep your computer completely offline during installation to skip the Microsoft account requirement, just like with previous methods. But the Rufus method makes it much easier by skipping manual registry edits, and the software is free and open source.
Microsoft annoyed some users when they upgraded to Windows 11 Home last year by requiring an internet connection and a Microsoft account, and now with the latest 22H2 update, the restrictions apply to Windows 11 Pro as well. And for those who get around the restrictions, Microsoft may start using a watermark on those machines, just like it treats non-serialized installations of Windows. Microsoft may also block software updates on unsupported machines when it sees fit.