How to install and configure Windows 11 without an Internet connection

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Philippe Gloaguen
@philippegloaguen
SOURCES CONSULTED:

support.microsoft.com

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Windows 11 Home forces you to connect to Microsoft's services during installation, but what if the internet isn't working? Here's how to set up Windows 11 offline.

Microsoft requires your system to have an active Internet connection to complete the Windows 11 installation. It asks you to log into your Microsoft account so it can download critical updates and new features before you get stuck in Windows 11.

This becomes a problem if you want to use a local user account or don't have an active internet connection during setup. Here we show you how to bypass this restriction and complete the Windows 11 installation without an internet connection.



Why does the installation of Windows 11 require an Internet connection?

According to Microsoft, an active internet connection is required to perform updates and download and use some features. Additionally, Windows 11 Home Edition requires a Microsoft account to complete device setup on first use.

However, this may not be feasible for many reasons. First, you may want to use a local user account, but connecting to the internet will force you to sign in with a Microsoft account. The second potential problem is missing WiFi drivers for connecting to the network. Finally, the unavailability of a working internet connection is another reason why you may want to circumvent this restriction.

In Windows 10, getting around this restriction was easy. You can click on the “I don't have Internet” option and proceed to create a local user account and complete the setup.

Windows 11, however, stops at the "connect to a network" screen with the "Next" button disabled. Pro edition users can click “I don't have Internet” and proceed to complete the setup with a local user account; however, Home edition users do not have this option.



Here are some workarounds to install Windows 11 Home without an active internet connection.

End the network connection flow process using Task Manager

You can bypass the “connect to a network” screen by closing the oobenetworkconnectionflow.exe process using the Task Manager.

Since you have already installed Windows 11 at this stage, you can launch Task Manager at the top of the installation wizard using the command prompt and finish the process. Here's how to do it.

  • Assuming you are on the Connect to a Network screen, press Shift + F10 to start the command prompt.
  • In the Command Prompt window, type taskmgr and hit enter to start Task Manager.
  • Alternatively, use the shortcut Ctrl + Shift + Esc to start Task Manager without command prompt.
  • click on More details to open Task Manager in full view.
  • In the card Processes , locate Network connection flow.
  • Select Network connection flow and then click the button End operation . Wait for the process to finish, then close the Task Manager.
  • Type exit in the command prompt and hit enter.

You will now return to the setup wizard. It will show some loading animations and then proceed to the next step. Enter your name and password here to create a local user account and complete the setup.


Terminate the network connection flow directly using the command prompt

If you are unable to end the network connection flow via the Task Manager, you can stop it directly using the command prompt. Here's how to do it.

  • On the Connect to a network screen, tap Shift + F10 to start the command prompt.
  • In the Command Prompt window, type the following command and hit enter to run:

    taskkill /F /IM oobenetworkconnectionflow.exe

  • Once done, close the Command Prompt window to continue with the installation.

Conclusions

Once setup is complete and a local user account is created, connect to the Internet to download critical security updates and features. You may also notice some icons missing after the initial setup. Windows will download these icons the next time you connect to the Internet.


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