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My Windows Out-⁠Of-⁠Box Strategy: Local Account, Fresh Start, and More
Updated  2022-October-24

Page contents

News

2022-October-10  Published this evolving⁠[1] article.

 

Overview

My Windows 10 laptop…

  • is old,

  • is often too hot to touch,

  • and, according to Task Manager, is often using 100% of its CPU or 100% of its RAM (or both).

So, I decided to buy a new inexpensive⁠[2] Windows 11 Home laptop that I will use as a Windows device (rather than as a Linux device).⁠[3] Below I describe my Out-of-box experience, which is also known as OOBE and is pronounced “oo-⁠bee.”🎶

 

1. Stay offline

For the steps below, I was not (and never had) connected this new Windows 11 Home laptop to the internet.

 

2. Create a local user account

Microsoft claims that you must use a Microsoft Account (MSA) to set up Windows 11 Home, but fortunately that is not the case. There are a lot of methods to use a local user account, five of which are described here:

I used METHOD 1: Using OOBE\BYPASSNRO Command and it worked! This runs the following built-⁠in batch file.

C:\Windows\System32\oobe\BypassNRO.cmd
@echo off
reg add HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\OOBE /v BypassNRO /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f
shutdown /r /t 0

 

The Windows 11 22H2 Professional and Home editions can be set up without the requirement for a Microsoft account. However, the old trick of using the command OOBE\BYPASSNRO in a command window right after setting up the computer no longer works.

22H2 is slowly rolling out now. It will probably be a while before you can buy a new device that is running Windows 11 22H2.

 

3. Use “Fresh Start” to remove bloatware

After I created my local user account, I removed all bloatware, including McAfee LiveSafe, by using Microsoft Fresh Start to do a clean install of Windows 11 Home. Details are here:

 

To remove bloatware, you must…

  1. select Keep my files and

  2. set Restore preinstalled apps? to No.

 

4. Get online, activate, and update

After creating a local user account and running Fresh Start, I connected - for the first time - to the internet and did the following.

  • Activated this instance of Windows 11 Home (this happened automatically).

  • Did a time synchronization so the clock was correct.

  • Updated Windows, which involved rebooting a couple times. After the second reboot, I was prompted with Let’s add your Microsoft account and I thought “Oh no😱” but after clicking Back, one of the options was Skip for now.😌

 

My next steps

After the above four steps, I started installing apps that I use, starting with Installing GVim and Vim.

 

My to-do list

 

Endnotes


1. Many Infinite Ink articles, including this one, are evergreen and regularly updated.
2. On sale at Costco for $499 and includes a 2-⁠year warranty.
3. To learn about my adventures in Linux, see Infinite Ink’s Notes About Choosing a Linux Distribution⁠🐧︎.
4. IMHO Dropbox promotion should have been uninstalled by Fresh Start.

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