Options to create an offline account or a Microsoft account are presented to administrators and users who set up a Windows 10 PC.
Microsoft prioritizes the Microsoft account option heavily during first run; it is the default option that is put into the focus. The option to create an offline account has been part of the setup experience and while users have to confirm twice that they want to create a local account on the system, it was never the case that the option was removed entirely from the setup process.
Recent reports suggested that Microsoft removed the offline option from the setup experience, at least for some. We decided to install different editions — Pro, Pro N and Home, Home N and Home SL — of Windows 10 version 1909, the upcoming version of Windows 10, to find out if the setup experience changed indeed.
We installed Home and Pro editions of Windows 10 version 1909 multiple times and the offline account option was presented to us each time. It is quite possible that Microsoft is A-B testing the chance or that the change affects only some regions and not others.
Tip: if you have a domain join option on the account creation screen but no offline account option, click on domain join as you may find it behind it.
Windows customers have two options when it comes to the creation of offline accounts during the initial setup.
Option 1: disconnect the network connection
The first option is without doubt a straightforward one. If your Windows PC is connected to the Internet, cut the Internet connection as it is not possible to create a Microsoft account without Internet connection.
If it is connected via a cable to a router or mode, unplug the cable from the PC before you start the PC. If it is connected via Wi-Fi, consider disabling Wi-Fi on the router/modem before you do so.
Option 2: Disable the Internet connection during setup
If you have started setup already and don’t see an option to create an offline account, you may be able to enforce the creation of an offline account in the following way:
- While on the account creation page: use Shift-F10 to open a command prompt.
- type control netconnections and hit the Enter-key on the keyboard.
- Left-click on the active Internet connection and select disable this network device.
- Click on the setup screen to go back to it. If that does not work, use Alt-Tab to switch to it. The
- Click on the left facing arrow to go back a page to reload the account creation page as it is essentially reloaded when you do so.
- The page should ask for a Name at this point as it is required to create an offline account.
- Use Alt-Tab to switch to the Network Connections control panel window.
- Left-click on the Internet connection and select enable this device this time.
- Close the control panel window and the command line window.
- Proceed with the account creation.
You may use the workaround as long as the option to open a command prompt and the Network connections control panel applet remain available.