In Windows 7 and earlier versions, we had only local user accounts. Then, starting with Windows 10, Microsoft introduced the concept of signing in with a Microsoft account.
A Microsoft account allows you to sync your settings across PCs, buy apps and games from Store, find and erase stolen Windows devices and do much more.
Now that Windows 11 is around the corner, PC users wonder if a Microsoft account is required to install or upgrade to Windows 11.
Is a Microsoft account required to install Windows 11?
According to the official system requirements page, Windows 11 Home edition users will need a Microsoft account to set up the device for the first time. So, yes, you need a Microsoft account if you install Windows 11 Home edition. However, this is not a requirement for other editions, such as Pro and Educational editions.
On Windows 11 Home edition, you need a Microsoft account for setting up the device only. After setting up the device, you can create a local account or migrate your Microsoft account to a local account and start enjoying Windows 11 without a Microsoft account. That said, you will need a Microsoft account to use some features. For instance, if you would like to sync various settings across your PCs running Windows 11, you will have to sign in with a Microsoft account.
Additionally, when you are signing in to Windows 11 with a Microsoft account, you can track, lock, or erase a lost or stolen Windows 11 device.
Do I need a Microsoft account to upgrade to Windows 11?
When you upgrade your Windows 10 Home edition to Windows 11, you will automatically get the Windows 11 Home edition. As per Microsoft, Windows 11 Home edition users will need a Microsoft account to set up the device. So, if you are on the Home edition, you need a Microsoft account.
What if I do not have a Microsoft account?
You do not need to pay a single penny to create a Microsoft account. It is free! Just head over to this Microsoft page and create one by providing basic details about yourself.
Can I use a Google account to sign in to Windows 11?
You cannot directly use a Google account to sign in to Windows 11, but you can use your Google or Gmail email address to create a Microsoft account and then use the same to sign in to Windows 11.
Refer to our how-to-use Gmail email address to sign in to the Windows guide for detailed information.