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The "helpful wizard" that runs upon booting a new Windows 10 laptop, (once you've managed to silence Cortana), seems to be stuck in a loop with no option to join a domain.

Do I need to create a machine admin first, before I can join it to a domain?

When selecting to [use the machine for work], it says sign in with Microsoft.

Then when you choose [Join domain instead] it says choose a name and password or [even better, use an online account]. Well I don't want to do either.

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    You will need a local admin, this is what W10 is doing by "choose a name and password". After that you can join your domain. It's not very different from W7/8/8.1 – Lenniey Apr 13 '18 at 13:07
  • Thanks @Lenniey I've created a local admin as per your instructions and it worked. – samerivertwice Apr 13 '18 at 13:19
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Create the local account. You need this and the associated permissions to join the computer domain. Handy in any case if something goes wrong and you can’t join the domain etc.

Once on the desktop open explorer -> this pc and properties (little white paper icon in top right) and near where it says the computer name there should be a link to change. You can enter the ad domain on the dialogue box that appears.

This option won’t be there if you are using a ‘home’ version of windows

  • It’s not advisable to disable the local account. Handy for recovery if the domain was unavailable – Timothy Frew Apr 13 '18 at 20:46
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Tell W10 you want to use it as a home machine and set up a local account. Then join the machine to your domain.

It is possible to skip the Microsoft Account screen - IIRC it's really tiny print near the bottom of the screen. But it's easiest just not to go there on the first place.

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