Windows 11 comes with more restrictive install requirements when compared to its predecessor, including restrictions on older processors as well as requiring an internet connection and Microsoft account. Luckily, there are workarounds that allow for upgrades to Windows 11 on unsupported CPUs, and the company isn’t blocking those circumventions. But, if you’re looking to do a clean Windows 11 install and configure the system with just a local account, you can now do that easily with a tool called Rufus.
The app has been long used by IT departments to quickly create bootable Windows installers. The latest beta release, as reported by Ars Technica, now has the ability to remove the requirement of an online Microsoft account, alongside other circumventions. It can bypass computers that lack TPM 2.0 (including Intel Macs), computers that have less than 4GB of RAM or 64GB of storage, and you can also automatically disable data collection.
You’ll still need to keep your computer fully offline during setup in order to skip the Microsoft account requirement, just like in previous methods. But the Rufus method makes it much easier by skipping manual registry edits, plus the software is free and open source.
Microsoft irked some users as they upgraded to Windows 11 Home last year by requiring an internet connection and Microsoft account, and now with the latest 22H2 update, the restrictions extend to Windows 11 Pro as well. And for those who bypass the restrictions, Microsoft may start using a watermark on those machines, much like how it treats non-serialized installations of Windows. Microsoft could also block software updates on unsupported machines whenever it deems doing so necessary.