Windows 11 installations nowadays require internet connectivity to complete a fresh installation or upgrade of the OS for both Home and Professional versions. Microsoft has added this option as a part of the installation process to ensure that we connect to our computers with Microsoft accounts as a part of the OOBE or the Out of Box Experience.
However, if your Windows 11 installation process gets stuck on Let’s connect you to a network screen, prompting us to connect to the Internet and refuses to continue, then this post explores the probable causes of this problem and the steps we can follow to resolve or bypass it.
Fix: Stuck on Let’s Connect You to A Network Windows 11
Follow these solutions to resolve the connection issue with Windows during the setup process.
- Reinitialize internet connection
- End network connection flow
1] Reinitialize Internet Connection
Going by the error statement, the primary step towards resolving the error is checking all the components responsible for a stable internet connection. In the effort to do the same, the very first step is to diagnose the network hardware involved.
If it is a wired connection we are using, the Ethernet cable connection or the router (in case of a Wi-Fi) can be checked to confirm if the internet connection is stable, at least on the hardware end.
In case problems are encountered with Wi-Fi connections, a mobile hotspot can also be used as a temporary alternative. The below-mentioned steps can be carried out to reset the hardware components and external network devices:
- Disconnect the power cable both from the router and the power outlet.
- Reconnect the router back to the power outlet after waiting 10-15 seconds.
- Connect the router back to the power outlet and the computer and restart it.
2] End Network Connection Flow
Interrupting the network connection flow during the installation can force the system to complete the installation offline. To do so:
- Press the Shift+F10 keys together to open the Windows Terminal during the installation.
- Type in taskmgr and press Enter to open the Task Manager window.
- Click on the Processes tab and locate the Network Connection Flow process under it.
- Right-click on the process and click on End Task to stop the service.
- Close the Task Manager window and type exit in the Terminal prompt to exit the Terminal window and continue with the setup process by following the on-screen instructions.
How to Bypass the Stuck on Let’s Connect You to A Network Windows 11
Apart from the processes mentioned above that can be followed to resolve the issue, we can bypass the requirement and avoid and complete the installation without an active internet connection from the Terminal prompt. The Terminal prompt is functional when the installation reaches this stage, whether for a fresh install or an upgrade. To do so,
- Press the Shift+F10 keys (Shift+Fn+F10, on particular laptops) together to open up the Windows Terminal during the installation.
- On the Terminal prompt, type the following and press the Enter key.
- The system would reboot once the process was completed. You can follow the on-screen instructions to reach the page where it will again display the Let’s connect you to a network, but this time, you can choose I don’t have internet.
- Click on Continue with limited setup to complete the installation without connecting to the internet.
This will disable the internet connection requirement and simultaneously forcibly restart the system, after which the setup process will continue. OOBE, however, is not a command in Windows Terminal.
How Does Oobe Bypass Work?
Since the Terminal prompt opens in the C:\Windows\System32, and OOBE is a folder in the System32 directory.
The OOBE folder contains a script file named bypassnro.cmd. When we enter the OOBE\BYPASSNRO, we are executing the below-mentioned instructions contained in the cmd file:
@echo off reg add HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\OOBE /v BypassNRO /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f shutdown /r /t 0
To simplify the above instructions:
- @echo off: Ensures that the executed commands are not displayed on the screen.
- The Reg add command adds a registry entry under OBE named BypassNRO.
- It sets the value of the key as 1 by mentioning /d 1, indicating that the No Restart Option (NRO) is bypassed.
- The /f or forced option ensures that the restart happens without displaying any confirmation prompts.
- The last command sends the instruction to shut down the system, wherein /r indicates a restart after the shutdown, and the /t 0 flag or switch sets the time delay to 0 seconds, ensuring an immediate restart.
This way, adding the registry key ensures that OOBE doesn’t require a network or connect to the Microsoft account during the installation to complete the installation process.
I hope this helps and that you can now complete the installation process.
Should I connect to the internet when installing Windows?
While Microsoft is making it compulsory, it is not necessary. You can always skip and set things later, including installing updates that Windows downloads to complete the setup. However, if you use a Microsoft account, it’s best to connect to the internet and get a better experience after the setup.
Can I reinstall Windows for free?
You can use a bootable USB drive to reset Windows under advanced options or the Reset this PC option in Windows settings to reinstall Windows.