Microsoft began A/B testing the option to prevent users from creating local accounts during fresh installs of Windows 10 last year. The only way to circumvent that limitation was to disconnect from the internet while performing the install, which then resulted in the ‘Offline Account’ option being visible again. This test was limited to just the U.S.
While not much was heard from the company about the plans on eliminating the option to use a local account during installation, it looks like the option to force users into setting up a Microsoft account during setup is rolling out to more regions. Spotted by German site Dr.Windows (via WinFuture.de), a fresh Windows 10 setup did not offer the option to use a local account.
Source: Dr.Windows (In German)
The option did, however, appear when the internet connection was disconnected, but the setup returned to the Microsoft account initiation set up when the system was connected back to the internet. As per the user, they could easily cancel this option. Interestingly, clicking on ‘More Information’ revealed that if users did not want to use a Microsoft account, they could remove it after installation.
The decision to not let users choose to use a local account while setting up their device might be met with criticism. While there are merits in setting up a Microsoft account for easier sync of settings and preferences, the added complexity of setting up an MS account and then removing it post the installation is a hassle for users. It is also not known if this change is live just for Germany or if installation media across regions have been updated with this change.
Have you recently done a clean install of Windows 10? If yes, were you provided with an offline installation option? Sound off in the comments!