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Microsoft keeps making it harder to use local accounts with Windows 11

In a sly move, Microsoft has removed the online help page that shows how to switch to a local account on its Windows 11 operating system.

Windows Local account log in

If you’ve set up a Windows PC recently, you’ll know that the process includes logging into or creating a Microsoft account. Where once you could push on with just a local profile created, Microsoft is now making it harder for this to be done, now going as far as to remove an online help page explaining how to switch from an online account to a locally stored profile.

The need for an online Microsoft Account to do pretty much anything is becoming a bitter trend with Windows 11, and this latest development makes it hard to argue that the endgame is anything other than no local users being created for Windows devices with an active internet connection.

The removal of the online help page for converting online accounts into local ones was spotted by Tom’s Hardware. Using the Wayback Machine, it is possible to see that the page dedicated to detailing how to change to a local account was live up until June 17, 2024.

While Microsoft may be trying to hide this information in order to push the use of Microsoft accounts, it’s still entirely possible to convert an online account into a local one. Head to your PC’s settings, then the accounts page, and opt to sign in with a local account.

Time will tell whether Microsoft will go further to prevent or discourage the use of local accounts, but we certainly wouldn’t be surprise if it did. It’s a shame, as for the most part users only opt for this option to make their lives easier, not for anything nefarious. It means you can avoid overly complicated sign in options and avoid services you don’t wish to be a part of, though it does also lock you out of some useful features such as access to the Microsoft Store for apps.

By the time Windows 12 comes around, more may be done to enforce Microsoft accounts as mandatory, similar to how you need an Apple or Google account to use an iPhone or Android smartphone, although we can’t imagine it would be a very popular move.

For more Windows news, you can read about how Windows 11 is now installed on almost half of all Steam PCs, according to Valve’s data.