How to Fix “User Profile Service Failed the Sign-in” Error for Windows

Featured Image Windows11 User Profile Failed During Logon

Are you getting the “User Profile Service failed the sign-in. User profile cannot be loaded” error during Windows 11/10 startup? This message is shown as soon you type your password in the Windows logon screen, and your default user profile fails to launch. In its place, a corrupt user profile takes over, changing your lock screen and desktop background. Because the proper profile wouldn’t load, you’re unable to log in to your system. If you’re facing this frustrating issue, one of our solutions below will resolve it immediately.

Causes of “User Profile Service Failed the Sign-in” Error

There are many reasons you may encounter the “User profile failed the sign-in” error. Variations of this error include: “User profile cannot be loaded” and “User profile service failed the logon.” If you get any of these error messages, it means the default Windows user profile has been corrupted, which can be traced to one or more of the following factors:

  • Improper Windows Update: User Account Control (UAC) is designed to prevent unauthorized changes to your Windows device. Any irregular or unfinished updates or a crash can sometimes corrupt host files that are required for UAC to work properly.
  • Partition resizing error: when we resize the partition from “Disk Management”, occasionally those parts can get corrupted leading to an incorrect user profile.
  • Antivirus program: if an antivirus program was scanning your system while you tried to log in, it can abort the correct user profile and launch an incorrect one.
  • Improper shutdown and restarts in guest logons: if you did not exit smoothly from a local account created on your PC, you may encounter a user profile error on a subsequent login.
Windows11 User Profile Bare Desktop

Solutions for User Profile Service Failed the Logon Error in Windows 11/10

The good thing is that none of the above causes are major concerns. You can easily repair the corrupted user profile using one of the troubleshooting solutions below.

You should first attempt the first few easy methods. Go for the more intricate and time-consuming solutions toward the end only if the easy ones fail to resolve the problem.

1. Restart or Shut Down Windows 11/10 from Its Lockscreen

Sometimes you only need a simple restart or shutdown from the lockscreen window to fix the issue.

Whether you’re inside an administrator or guest logon, use Win + L to exit it and go to the Windows lockscreen. Navigate to the administrator profile (if a guest profile was previously used to log in), and click the lockscreen shutdown/restart options. Make sure you log in as the administrator during the subsequent startup.

Windows11 User Profile Restart After Removal Local Account

2. Delete a Local User Account in Windows 10/11

If the user profile error is due to improper shutdowns and restarts during a guest logon, you may want to delete the unnecessary local account temporarily using the Run command netplwiz.

  1. After signing in to your computer on an incorrect user profile, start the Windows Run command option using Win + R and enter netplwiz.
Windows11 User Profile Netplwiz
  1. You will encounter the Advanced User Accounts Control Panel screen. Enter your administrator password to proceed.

Sometimes there will be an error, as the system refuses to accept your admin password. In that case, use the Windows Safe boot to perform these steps. (See that solution in the FAQ below.)

Windows11 User Profile Uac
  1. Click the “Remove” option next to your guest/local account. Even if you’re currently logged in on your computer with the local account, the local profile here will be removed.
Windows11 User Profile Remove Local Account

4. Use Win + L to exit the local account logon window. Restart the computer and make sure to use your regular Microsoft account to log back in.

3. Move NTUSER.Dat File to Default Username Folder

A user profile consists of personalized menu items for desktop, downloads, documents, music, videos, saved links and are stored in a folder inside “C:/Users.”

For each of these profiles, a .dat file called NTUSER.dat is created by Windows. It contains personalized user settings.

  1. Go to the necessary local account inside “C:/Users” and “Cut” the NTUSER.dat file for that account.
Windows11 User Profile Ntuserdat Cut
  1. “Paste” the .dat file into the “Default” username folder.
  2. Delete the local account folder and restart the PC to see if the proper user profile is loading.
Windows11 User Profile Ntuserdat.users

4. Windows User Profile Repair Using Command Prompt

The evergreen Command Prompt can fix some of the hard disk-related issues that may have caused the user profile error problem. In both Windows 11 and Windows 10, it has to be launched in Admin mode from the Start menu search.

  1. First perform a Deployment Image Servicing and Management Tool (DISM) scan, which helps repair the Windows image and may solve the user profile services error.
DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /scanhealth
Windows11 User Profile Dism Cleanup
  1. Likewise, a System File Checker (SFC) command is the best way to repair corrupt Windows files including user profile settings. It’s a very simple command that can fix many PC issues at once.

5. Use Windows Registry Editor in Safe Mode

The Windows Registry Editor (Regedit) is one of the best solutions to fix the “User profile service failed the sign-in” error. For this, the troubleshooting is achieved in Safe mode.

  1. In Windows 11, go to “Advanced startup” from the Search menu (or Start menu search). For Windows 10, the corresponding option is “Change advanced startup options.”
  2. Click “Restart now” to initiate an advanced restart.
Windows11 User Profile Advanced Startup Restart Now
  1. After a restart, a blue screen comes into view. Select “Troubleshoot.”
  2. Go to “Advanced options -> Startup Settings” and initiate another restart of the device.
  3. Following the restart, you will see a number of startup settings that can be accessed using the number keys (1-9) or function keys (F1-F9). Select the option to “Enable safe mode.”
  4. Once you sign in, you will enter Windows 11/10 in safe mode. Very minimal options are visible in this mode.
  5. Start the Windows Run command option using Win + R and enter regedit. This task will be automatically created with administrator privileges.
Windows11 User Profile Safemode Regedit
  1. Navigate down to the following path in the Registry editor:
Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList
  1. Check the last few entries under “ProfileList” to see if there is any duplicates, e.g. the entries have similar names, but at least one will contain a .bak file.
  2. Rename the .bak extension if it’s present in the last entry to just .ba. For the other duplicate entry, rename it but add the “.bak” extension. Delete any surplus .bak extensions, if present, for duplicate entries.
  3. Delete the “.ba” extension in the entry that was just renamed.
Windows11 User Profile Windowsnt Profilelist
  1. Right-click and modify the “state” of the profile entry from where .bak was removed. Basically, we are switching the active default user profile through a minor Registry tweak.
Windows11 User Profile Windowsnt State Renamed
  1. Change the hexadecimal DWORD value from a numerical value to “0.” Click “OK” to save the settings.
Windows11 User Profile Windowsnt Valuedata0
  1. Restart the PC in normal mode.

The “User profile service failed the logon” error should be gone once you log in again.

6. Reset Windows 11/10 PC to Solve “User Profile Failed to Sign in” Error

If all above options fail, you can use the Reset option to go back to a clean factory reset of your Windows 11/10 operating system. You have to be connected online to achieve this cloud-based reset.

The Windows 11 reset method has been covered in detail for this tutorial. But the essential steps, which are common with Windows 10, are summarized below:

  1. Go to “System -> Recovery -> Reset this PC” and click “Reset PC.”
  2. Choose to “Keep the files” or “Remove everything.” Choose the former option so that you don’t need to save a backup.
  3. Choose the “Cloud download” option to reinstall Windows 11/10. The download will take some time to finish.
  4. Once you see the “Ready to reset the PC” screen, click “Next” to proceed.
  5. Sit back and wait for the reset to finish, as the download will take some time. The entire procedure can consume anything from a few hours to an entire day, so we recommend the reset method only if the other methods don’t solve the problem.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I fix the User Profile Failed error during sign-in for Windows 8/8.1 and Windows 7?

If you’re using an older Windows version, such as 8.1/8/7, only a few of the above described solutions will be able to address the user profile error. You can try a restart, use a DISM and SFC scan check in Command Prompt, and move the NTUSER.Dat file to a default folder. The options to delete a local user account and to enable a cloud-based reset will not work.

2. How do I solve the “We can’t sign in to your account” error while restarting the User profile service?

Sometimes, while restarting the user profile service in guest/Local account mode, you’re unable to sign in to your Administrator account. To solve the problem, boot into your Windows device in Safe mode and perform the same steps. (For accessing Safe mode, see the tutorial above for further details.)

Keeping the hard disk in good condition is one of the best ways to prevent the user profile failure problem. Check out the best tips to check hard disk health in Windows. Are you still on Windows 10 and looking to upgrade to Windows 11? Here’s all you need to know to download and install Windows 11.

Sayak Boral
Sayak Boral

Sayak Boral is a technology writer with over eleven years of experience working in different industries including semiconductors, IoT, enterprise IT, telecommunications OSS/BSS, and network security. He has been writing for MakeTechEasier on a wide range of technical topics including Windows, Android, Internet, Hardware Guides, Browsers, Software Tools, and Product Reviews.

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