Windows 10 users on Reddit are saying that Microsoft has made it more difficult to create an offline account. While some believed the option had been removed entirely, others point out that it is simply less prominent.
“They have not removed it, it just is not visible by default if you are connected to the internet,” said Redditor Froggypwns. “Either run the setup without being connected to the internet, or type in a fake phone number a few times and it will give you the prompt to create a local account.”
Microsoft accounts hold several advantages over local ones. They persist across multiple PCs, letting you sync settings, data between pre-installed apps, and automatically enables BitLocker encryption. It also makes it easier should you need to reinstall Windows.
Still, many users prefer a local account for the simple fact that it’s less data going through Microsoft’s servers. Windows 10 telemetry happens regardless of whether users link their account, but less data is synced between machines.
Others say that while an offline account option still appears for them, Microsoft has re-worded the description to make it “sound like it was the worst choice”.
A History of UI Deception
In Windows 10 Pro versions, the name of the local account has switched to ‘Doman join instead’. With this technique, users can enter any username and password combination they like.
Either way, the tech giant is accused of pushing users into its preferred option with its user interface design. It’s not the first time it’s done so, with widespread controversy previously arising due to its Windows 7 to Windows 10 upgrade tactics.
Microsoft’s Chief Marketing Officer admitted the company went too far when the ‘x’ signs on dialog boxes accepted the upgrade. Previous iterations gave users the option of ‘upgrade now’, ‘upgrade tonight’, or ‘choose time’.
The company is yet to respond to the press about the recent changes, which users also believe are misleading.