One of the pivotal feature of Windows Operating System is User Profiles. You can set up more than one user profile in your system to accommodate users with customized set of capabilities. The system creates a user profile when someone logs in for the first time on a computer. After which, on subsequent logons, the system loads the corresponding user profile followed by other system components which configure the user’s environment according to the preset data stored in the profile.
However, sometimes user profiles can get corrupted and fail to load which is quite frustrating. Windows 10 is densely connected with your MSA and user profile. If something goes bad with the user profile, it might cause some adverse effects. In this article, we are going to cover fixes for corrupt user profiles in Windows 10.
Fix A Corrupt User Profile In Windows 10
We highly recommend you to take a backup of your hard disk before moving forward with the solution provided below, which contains registry manipulation. This is to make sure that your important files are intact and safe in case anything goes south.
Method 1: Repait It Using Registry Editor
You’ll need to boot your PC in Safe Mode to go ahead with this fix. Learn here how to do so. Once you enter the Safe Mode, do the following:
1. Press + R to open Run prompt. Type regedit.exe and hit Enter. Select Yes in the User Account Control window that pops up, to launch Registry Editor.
2. Navigate to the following key on the left pane of Registry Editor:
3. Inside the key ProfileList, you will notice some keys which has names starting with S-1-5. These keys are pertaining to several User Profiles existing on the current system. You would need to find your profile which has been corrupted.
4. Now, click on each S-1-5 key and look for entry named ProfileImagePath on the right side. Double-click on it and make sure if this is the user account profile that has the error.
5. If you have any folder name starting with S-1-5 that has .bak or .ba in the end, then follow the instructions mentioned here in Microsoft Support Desk.
6. Once you have recognized the user profile which has the error and made sure that it doesn’t end with .bak, then select it on the left pane and double-click on the entry named RefCount. Change its value to 0 and click OK to save.
7. Now, double-click on entry named State and ensure that its value is also 0. If not, change it to 0 and click OK to save.
8. Close the Registry Editor and restart your system.
Method 2: Create A New User Profile Using Hidden Admin Account
In case, the above method didn’t help you, it indicates that problem might not be with the incorrect registry settings at all. In such a situation, the best bet is to create a new user profile by accessing hidden admin account. Follow the below steps to do so:
1. Restart your computer and boot in Safe Mode, as mentioned in the Method 1.
2. Right-click on the icon and select Command Prompt (Admin) to launch Command Prompt as an Administrator.
3. Type the following command in the prompt window:
net user administrator /active:yes
4. You should see the message “The command completed successfully”. Now, restart your computer.
5. After restarting, you would notice that Administrator account is also there on the logon screen. Sign in to the Admin account, which does not require any password. Once you have successfully signed into the Admin account, follow on to the below steps to create a user profile:
6. Open the Settings app by using key combination + I.
7. Click Accounts from the available options and then click Family & other users on the left pane.
8. Under Other users section, click on Add someone else to this PC, as shown in the image above.
9. Follow the instructions and complete the creation of new user account.
10. Now, you have created a whole new active user account profile. Now, we can transfer the data from your old corrupted account profile to the newly created one.
11. To copy the files from one account to the other, you need admin access. Hence, you would need to restart your computer and sign in to Admin account.
12. Once signed into the Admin account, go to corrupted user profile folder in C drive under Users folder (as shown in image below).
13. Copy the contents of the corrupted user profile folder to the newly created user profile folder. It is better if you copy it one by one to avoid replicating some hidden system files which refers to the corrupted user account.
14. After copying up all the files, restart your PC once again and login to the newly created user account. You should able to see all the files from your previous account.
That’s all! Now, you can configure your settings and desktop environment the way you like.