If you get an error message on Windows after you’ve already logged in, it could be an easy fix. You can often find the instructions to fix it somewhere online. Even if the issue is beyond your skills, you can still get help from IT experts. But what happens if you can’t even log in to your Windows profile?
The issue of a corrupted profile is all too common. You’re experiencing a corrupted profile if you see the following message when you try to log in:
The User Profile Service failed the logon.
User profile cannot be loaded.
Depending on which version of Windows you’re using, you might even get this message:
The User Profile Service service failed to sign in.
User profile cannot be loaded.
Either way, the error and solution will be the same. So, how can you bypass this issue and log in to your computer? In this guide, we will cover the step-by-step process to solve this problem and access your profile and computer securely.
What Is A Corrupted User Profile?
A corrupted user profile is simply a way for Windows to tell you that there is an issue preventing the software from opening your profile correctly. Since your user profile houses all of your personal settings, a corrupted profile can result in a loss of your preferences (if the issue is not resolved). Like a corrupted file, a corrupted profile is just not operating as it should. When this happens, your computer will automatically close access to your profile until the problem is fixed.
What Causes A “User Profile Service Failed The Login” Error?
While a corrupt profile sounds like a huge issue, it is often the result of very commonplace errors. If you get a “corrupt user profile” message, it is most likely the result of a disk writing error. This can happen if your profile does not have permission to write files on your hard disk. A lack of proper permissions can happen because of a change in user settings, a software update, a power outage, or even a virus attack.
Since it is impossible to know the cause of a corrupted user profile when you first encounter the error message, it is important to deal with the issue as soon as possible. Even if it is just the result of a power outage, you’ll want to gain access to your computer as soon as possible. In the event that a virus is causing a disk writing error and corrupting your profile, you will want to address the issue immediately so that you can run a virus scan and root out the underlying problem.
In some cases, this message can be the result of a missing profile. For example, if your computer cannot find your profile data on your hard disk, you won’t be able to log in. This could occur if you accidentally delete files necessary to execute the login or transfer your profile data to an external hard drive. If you encounter this problem frequently, be sure to check your Event Logs for potential clues as to what is causing the problem.
How To Fix “User Profile Service Failed The Login” Errors In Windows
The process you need to follow to fix this error will vary based on the version of Windows you’re running and the configurations of your profile. First, you’ll need to know if your computer is on a domain or workgroup. If you’re unsure, you can check by following these steps:
- Open the Start Menu
- Go to “Computer”
- Click on “Properties”
- In Properties, you will see your computer’s name, domain, and workgroup settings; this info will tell you whether your computer is connected to a domain or a workgroup.
Then, it’s good to know which version of Windows you’re using. Fortunately, the process to fix this issue is largely the same for Windows 10, Windows 8.1, and Windows 7. If you’re using an even older legacy operating system, you may need to contact an IT expert for help. Otherwise, you can follow the steps in one of the next few sections to bypass the error and access your profile.
Boot In Safe Mode
Whether your computer is connected to a domain or a workgroup, you’ll need to boot it in Safe Mode. This is because the profile error prevents you from being able to access your computer’s functions as you normally would. Follow these steps to start your computer in Safe Mode:
- Turn on your computer
- At the sign-in screen, hold down the Shift button and select Power > Restart
- Once your computer restarts, select “Troubleshoot” from the available options
- Go to Advanced Options > Startup Settings > Restart
- Once your computer has restarted again, click “Safe Mode with Networking”
Now, you can proceed to use your computer in Safe Mode. From here, you will need to create a new profile and then copy the files from your old profile into the new one.
Computer Connected To A Domain
Now that you’re in Safe Mode, you can confirm whether your computer is connected to a domain or a workgroup. If it’s a domain, follow the steps below. Alternatively, if your computer is connected to a workgroup, skip to the next section. Here are the steps to create a new profile if your computer is connected to a domain:
- Open the Start Menu
- Type “mmc” into the search box
- After you press Enter, it will take you to the Microsoft Management Console (you may need to put in your admin password)
- On the left-side menu, choose “Local Users and Groups”
- Click on the Users folder and go to Action > New User
- You will be prompted to input some basic information for profile creation, then click “Create”
- Once you have finished creating a new profile, simply close the window and restart your computer
Now that you have created a new profile, you can start copying the necessary files from your old profile by following these steps:
- Open the Start Menu, type “file explorer” into the search box, and select File Explorer
- Choose “This PC,” then select your primary hard drive (typically the “C:” drive unless you have renamed it)
- In the Users folder, find the folder with your old username; it should look something like this: C:\Users\<Old_Username>
- Select and copy all of the files in the old username folder
- Find your new username folder (C:\Users\<New_Username>)
- Paste the files from the old username folder into the new username folder
- Restart your computer and log in as the new username profile
Computer Connected To A Workgroup
As previously mentioned, the steps you need to follow vary a little if your computer is connected to a workgroup. For a workgroup-connected computer, here is what you should do:
- Click on the Start Menu and go to Settings > Accounts > Family & Other Users
- Choose “Add someone else to this PC”
- Select “I don’t have this person’s sign-in information”
- Choose “Add a user without a Microsoft account”
- Create a new username, password, and password settings, then click “Next” to create a new user account
- Go back to Settings > Accounts > Family & Other Users, then choose the account owner name you just created
- Select “Change account type”
- Go to Account type > Administrator, then click OK.
- Restart your computer and sign in with the new admin account
From here, you can follow the same steps outlined in the previous section to copy the necessary files from your old admin account to your new one. Now you have bypassed the User Profile Service error!
Need help from dependable software experts? Reach out to Geeker today for on-demand IT and software solutions!