Microsoft account login screen at Windows setup

You may have heard (or experienced for yourself) that Windows 11 Home edition won’t let you set up your computer without signing in to or creating a Microsoft account. If that worries you, you should also know that Linux never requires anything of the sort.

Grasping for your data in the name of security and convenience, Microsoft has long forced you to jump through hoops to complete an initial Windows 10 setup without a Microsoft account. In Windows 11 Home, however, the company has removed the possibility entirely with no known workarounds. You must connect your PC to the internet and sign in or create an account.

This is of serious concern if you care about privacy in computing, and Windows certainly doesn’t have a great track record in that area. Yes, you could shell out for a Mac, but you’ll still need an Apple ID to get software through the App Store or to sync with your other Apple devices.

If you’re absolutely dead set on using Windows 11 without signing in to a Microsoft account, you can upgrade to Pro for a price. For no cost, however, you can change operating systems and jump on over to Linux.

Keep Your Data from Being Sold

Linux puts your concerns and preferences first, without the worry of any data grabbing. You won’t be obligated to register an account, pay money (usually), or look at ads. Instead, you’ll experience a desktop that makes a concerted effort to get to work and get out of your way.

If you’ve been using Windows forever, some Linux distributions (like Zorin OS and Ubuntu MATE) do their best to give you a Windows feel. Others, like Manjaro, try to be faster and leaner than other Linux builds.

Changing operating systems, of course, isn’t a decision to be made lightly. Not all popular software can be run on Linux. If you like what you’re hearing, it doesn’t take too much to get Linux up and running.

RELATED: How to Install Linux

Profile Photo for Jordan Gloor Jordan Gloor
Jordan Gloor is Technical Editor at How-To Geek. He's been writing technology explainers and how-tos since 2020, but he's tinkering with computers and other tech since childhood. He writes on everything from Windows to Linux and from cord-cutting to generating art with AI.
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