A Windows user profile is a collection of settings on your PC that contain system preferences and files from your Desktop, Favorites, My Documents and other locations. Your profile is what makes your login unique from other accounts on the computer.
If you try to log on to Windows and received an error message telling you that your user profile might be corrupted, you can try to repair it. If the repair fails, you will need to create a new profile, and then copy the files from the existing profile to the new one.
The User Profile Service Failed The Logon
If you get the error The User Profile Service failed the logon User profile cannot be loaded when you attempt to login, you can try to perform a repair of the profile. If you are able to login to an administrator’s account, switch to that account. If the damaged account is the administrator account, try rebooting and enter safe mode by tapping F8. Try and login to the account in safe mode. If successful, perform the following steps to repair the profile:
Click Start, and then type regedit in the dialogue box and press enter. This will launch the registry.
- In Registry Editor, click through the following directories: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList
- Find the folder(s) that begins with S-1-5 and are followed by a long number in the navigation pane. In the below example, we have two.
- Click each S-1-5 folder, and then locate the ProfileImagePath entry in the details pane to the right. Double-click ProfileImagePath to confirm this is the user account profile that has the error.
In the example above, you will notice there are two identical S-1-5 entries. One of them has a .bak extension and the other does not. Right-click the entry that does not have the extension and select rename. Leave the name alone but add a .ba extension to it.
Next, select the entry with the .bak extension and select rename. Leave the name alone, but delete the .bak extension.
Lastly, go back to the entry you renamed with the .ba extension and rename that. Remove the .ba extension and add a .bak extension.
What we’ve done, it effect, was swap the two entries.
Next, highlight the entry without the .bak extension and in the right pane double-click the RefCount entry and make the Value data field 0 (the number zero) and hit OK. Do the same for the State entry.
You can now close out of the registry and reboot the computer. Try logging into the account where you received the User Profile Service failed the logon User profile cannot be loaded error. The account should now load normally.