When you log on to your Windows profile, all your profile’s information and settings are picked up from some registry entries and configuration files saved on your hard disk. Corruption of a single file can unable the windows from accessing it and it will log you on to a temporary profile which you can use, but a small delay in reading your account profile can also give the same results. Any changes you make to this temporary profile will not be saved hence loading a fresh profile each time you log in.
Cause of corruption can be a recently installed update or a software or incorrectly shutting your computer down for that matter. If you have already tried restarting your computer 3 to 4 times (Yes, that has worked for some users) then start following the solutions below.
For some troubleshooting steps, you will need to enable the built-in administrator account to use admin rights.
Press Windows Key + X. Click on Command Prompt (Admin).
In the black window, type the following command and press Enter.
net user Administrator /active:yes
Now restart your computer. On the log in screen, a new account named Administrator will now appear. Log in through it. After the troubleshooting, type the following in the same way in the command prompt (admin) – re-open it using Win + X keys.
net user Administrator /active:no
Solution 1: Through Check Disk Tool
If the corruption is not so deep, it can be repaired by linking the files to their correct destination by the check disk tool. Log in through built in Administrator account. (using the method above)
- Hold Windows key and Press E to open windows explorer. Right click on your C: drive, if you don’t see the C:\ drive, then click This PC from the left pane, then choose the C:\ Drive (which is where your Windows is installed)
- Click on Properties.
- Click on the Tools tab. Under Error checking, click Check now. Click Start to start scanning. If it says that it can’t scan while the drive is in use, then click Schedule disk check and Restart your system. It will scan and fix after restarting, so don’t press any key to cancel disc checking.
Let the scan and it will automatically restart when finished. Now check logging in with your original account. If the issue persists, then move on to the next solution.
Solution 2: Correcting registry Entry
Log in through built in Administrator account. (activate it if needed) as stated in steps above. An incorrect registry entry can mislead Windows from your profile location.
- Press Windows key + R. In the run window, type regedit and press Enter. Click Yes if the UAC warning appears.
- In the left pane, double click on HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE to expand it. Now click on Software under it. Similarly navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList
- Under ProfileList in the left pane, locate the SID keys which are something like “S-1-5-21..some long number”. You will see two or more of these SID keys, probably one will have .bak at the end and other one will be without it. The one with .bak is the link to your inaccessible profile and there will be one other that is to the temporary profile you are currently using.
- To confirm, click on any SID key to highlight it. Now in the right pane, next to ProfileImagePath in the Data row, it will be “C:\Users\’Your Inaccessible Profile Name’”. Click on all SID keys like “S-1-5-21….some long number” and delete the keys that have your profile name next to ProfileImagePath EXCEPT the one with .bak at in the end. Confirm the message and click OK.
- Right click on the “S-1-5-21….some long number” key with .bak at the end, and click Rename.
- Delete “.bak” from the end of the key. Close the window. Restart your computer.
- Now try logging in your original profile. If you’re still facing the same issue, then we can delete the remaining key too so that a new registry key is created.
- Log in through built in Administrator account.
- First backup all folders from C:\Users\’Your Inaccessible Profile Name’ by copying them to any other drive. You can paste them back later to the same location to get your desktop icons and my documents stuff exactly where it was before. After copying all the data, delete “Your Inaccessible Profile Name” folder from C:\Users.
- Navigate to the “S-1-5-21..some long number” key again. The .bak key will be there again. Delete both the SID keys whose value next to ProfileImagePath is “C:\Users\’Your Inaccessible Profile Name’”.
Solution 3: Run System File Checker
SFC can fix the most corrupt of the system files and replace them with fresh copies. We have a separate guide to run it here
Solution 4: Run Windows Update
Press Windows Key + R. Type ms-settings:windowsupdate and press Enter.
Now check for updates for your Windows and make sure you install all of them. It has worked for some users.