If you go to login.microsoftonline.com to create a Microsoft account you might not have to enter a phone number, however other times you will have to enter and verify a phone number in order to create the account. Why is this? Well, from my testing as of late 2018 it seems Microsoft uses both your previous browsing data and public IP address to determine whether you are abusing their services or not. If Microsoft’s system thinks the same person is trying to create more than one account within a short period of time they’ll be flagged as suspicious and thus a unique mobile number will be required for each additional account. This is very restrictive, because there are legitimate reasons why a person might need to create multiple Microsoft accounts at once, such as if they are providing IT services to a number of users. It also unfairly restricts users on shared Internet connections, like those in university dorms, large offices, hotels, serviced apartments etc. Fortunately it is possible to get around this restriction without too much trouble, which is what we will go through in this article.
Before proceeding, it is worth noting that the easiest and most reliable way to create a Microsoft account without a phone number is to add a phone number then remove it after creating the account. This allows you to use the same phone number over and over to create multiple accounts. If however you have no phone number you can use at all, read on for alternate methods to bypass the phone requirement completely.
Step One: Clear browsing history
The first step to try if you are prompted for a mobile number when creating a Microsoft account is to clear your browsing history, cookies etc and try again. Even if you are using a different Internet connection with a different IP, Microsoft’s system can tell from your browsing data if you have recently created a new account and will flag you as suspicious. Alternatively if you want to keep your browsing history you could use a different web browser.
Step Two: Use a different IP address
If after clearing the browsing history Microsoft is still requiring you to verify a mobile number in order to create an account, you will need to try creating the account from a different public IP address. Below I have listed some ways you can accomplish this. Note that you may have to clear your browsing history as instructed above in addition to using a different IP.
Use your mobile’s 4G connection
In the case that you just need to create one additional Microsoft account, the easiest way could be to use your mobile phone’s 4G connection as opposed to your wired Internet connection. The public IP will be different, so it should work. However what if you want to create two, three, four or more additional accounts? This brings us to our next method:
Use a free VPN service
Using a VPN service will allow you to create multiple additional Microsoft accounts within a short period of time, as you will have multiple VPN servers available to switch to. Any VPN service can be used whether it is free or paid, however bear in mind popular free VPN services may already be flagged as suspicious thus Microsoft will prompt for a phone number.
In my testing I used the free version of ZenMate VPN as a Chrome extension (click here to install it). As a free user you will have access to 4 different servers, which means 4 different IP addresses. Simply install the extension, connect to a server, clear browsing history and create your Microsoft account. If you wish to create another after that just switch to a different server, clear browsing history again, rinse and repeat.
Use a paid VPN service
Of course if a lot of people do this then ZenMate’s free VPN servers (or any other company’s for that matter) will be flagged as suspicious by Microsoft and you may not be able to use them to create accounts anymore without the requirement for a phone number. In this case a paid VPN service can be used — ZenMate offers this, click here to sign up. Another good option is NordVPN. You’ll get access to far more servers and each server will have far fewer other people using it, thus increasing the chance you’ll be able to create a Microsoft account without a phone number.