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If you start the Windows 11 setup without an internet connection, you will likely get stuck on the Let's connect you to a network screen with a grayed out Next button and the following message:
You'll need an internet connection to continue setting up your device. Once connected, you'll get the latest features and security updates.
As you can see in the screenshot, the Next button is grayed out, and there is no apparent way to bypass this screen. This will also prevent you from creating a local user account and using your device without a Microsoft account if you do not have an internet connection.
However, there is a way to bypass the internet requirement during Windows 11 22H2 setup.
Running the OOBE BypassNRO command
To bypass the internet requirement and use Windows 11 with a local user account, follow these steps:
- Start the Window 11 setup.
- When you see the Let's connect you to a network screen with the grayed-out Next button, press Shift + F10. This launches a command prompt.
- Now run the following command at the command prompt:
- After you execute this command, your system will restart. Alternatively, you can run the following commands instead:
reg add HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\OOBE /v BypassNRO /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f shutdown /r /t 0
After your system restarts, you need to select your region and keyboard layout once again. But this time, on the Let's connect you to a network screen, you will see a new I don't have internet option. See the screenshot below.
If you are installing the Windows Enterprise edition, you get this option by default, so there is no need for any workaround.
- Just click the I don't have internet option, and then click the Continue with limited setup option, as shown below:
- Create a local user account. The setup continues.
The following screenshot shows that I was able to run Windows 11 22H2 with a local user without an internet connection.
Windows 11 running with a local user and without an internet connection
You just learned how to bypass the internet connection requirement during Windows 11 setup. Please share your opinion about Microsoft's increasing pressure to force Windows to create a Microsoft account.