Windows 11 comes with more restrictive installation requirements compared to its predecessor, including restrictions on older processors as well as an internet connection and Microsoft account. Fortunately, there are workarounds that allow upgrades to Windows 11 on unsupported processors, and the company isn’t blocking those workarounds. But, if you’re looking to do a clean install of Windows 11 and configure the system with just a local account, you can now do that easily with a tool called Rufus.
The application has long been used by IT departments to quickly create bootable Windows installers. The latest beta, as reported by Ars-Technica, now has the ability to remove the requirement for an online Microsoft account, along with other workarounds. It can bypass computers without TPM 2.0 (including Intel Macs), computers with less than 4 GB of RAM or 64 GB of storage, and you can also automatically disable data collection.
You will still need to keep your computer entirely offline during the installation in order to skip the Microsoft account requirement like in the previous methods. But the Rufus method makes it much easier by skipping manual registry tweaks, and the software is free and open source.
Microsoft frustrated some users when upgrading to Windows 11 Home last year by requiring an internet connection and a Microsoft account, and now with the latest 22H2 update, the restrictions extend to Windows 11 Pro as well. And for those who work around the restrictions, Microsoft may start watermarking these machines, much like it treats non-serialized installations of Windows. Microsoft could also block software updates on unsupported machines whenever it deems necessary.