How to Fix User Profile Cannot be Loaded in Windows 10?

Sometimes, when you log on into Windows 10 after entering the username and password, you may see an error The User Profile Service failed the sign-in. User profile cannot be loaded. The login is not performed, and you are asked to specify the username and password again and again. Among the most common mistakes with loading a user profile are:

  • Corrupted user profile on disk (local or roaming);
  • Incorrectly working antivirus software, which performs scanning and blocking of files in the profile folder at the time of authorization, which causes an error in loading the user profile;
  • Corrupted Windows registry file;
  • Corrupted default profile or incorrectly configured NTFS permissions.

Consider how to fix User profile cannot be loaded error in Windows 10 and log on into the system.
First of all, we recommend to restart your computer and try to log in using your account. If the reboot didn’t help, go to the following methods.

user profile cannot be loaded windows 10

Error “User Profile Cannot be loaded” When Logging in With a New User

If the error The User Profile Service failed the sign-in appears when you first log into the system under a new account, this means that the Default profile is damaged. Default profile is the directory with the profile template for all users of this computer, from which the settings are copied to the new profile at the first logon. If the C:\Users\Default directory is damaged or missing, the Windows Profile service won’t be able to copy data from this directory to the new profile directory.

To fix the problem, it is enough to replace the damaged C:\Users\Default folder by copying the same folder from the working operating system (it is desirable that the Windows 10 builds match). Verify that the properties of the Default folder and the NTFS permissions match.

the user profile service failed the sign-in windows 10 after update

Restart your computer and try to log in to the new account.

Error User Profile Cannot be Loaded for Only One Single User

If only one user has a problem with the profile, then only the directory or registry entry with the user’s profile is damaged. Try to logon as another user with administrator permissions. If this is not possible, boot your Windows 10 in safe mode, in the recovery console, or in the Windows PE environment.

First check the disk for errors using chkdsk. File system errors are the most common cause of corrupted Windows user profiles. Run the command:

chkdsk c: /f /r

Restart your computer and try to log in. In some cases, this may be enough. If this doesn’t help, boot your computer in safe mode again, open the Services.msc console and make sure that the User Profile Service is started and configured to start automatically.

the user profile service failed the sign-in

  1. Open the Registy Editor (regedit.exe) and go to the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList;
  2. In the list of the registry key tree there will be several sections with long names starting with S-1-5. Each such section corresponds to a single user profile. To determine which profile belongs to a specific user, you need to look at the value of the ProfileImagePath parameter. In our example, you can see that key S-1-5-21-3650440056-3766451173-3310994491-1001 corresponds to the root user (C:\Users\root). Check that this folder exists on the disk;
    the user profile service failed the sign-in windows 10
  3. If you find your user and the name of the registry key doesn’t end with .bak, change the value of the DWORD 32-bit parameters State and RefCount to 0 (if these parameters are missing, create them manually);
  4. If the profile tree for your profile has two sections, one of which ends in .bak, you need to rename in the registry the main section to .bak, and .bak to the main section. If there is only a key with .bak, simply remove this extension;
    user profile service failed the sign in
  5. Verify that the value of the RefCount and State parameters is 0;
  6. Restart the computer. In most cases this should fix the problem with the damaged user’s profile.

If this doesn’t help, the official documentation Microsoft recommends to create a new account and copy the profile data there.

Cyril Kardashevsky

5 comments

  1. Thank you for this. Saved me a load of time. Now I need to figure out what changed ownership and inheritance of the Default user directory.

    1. Chkdsk c: /f /r
      did it for my friend who I was helping. Note that it took 5 hrs for her PC to run chkdsk and repair. After reboot, everything was back as it should be.

  2. this seems to be caused by a random windows glitch, never did find the cause
    I’ve seen it occur in every version since NT
    my usual fix is steps 1, 4, 6, the rest is unnecessary and time consuming
    step 5 actually causes other problems, by deleting all the user settings
    I’ve only ever seen it reappear once, 3 years later and after an update

  3. You are the only one that gave the right information about two folders: Public and Default, which btw are not always hidden for some weird reason. If we delete these two with other users, there will be no chance of a new user to log on. Therefore the message: “The user profile service failed to sign – in” as it uses these two folders to take the staff from it.

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