Windows won't let you in? User profile throws errors? How to fix it.

Most Windows errors occur after you log into your computer. But the error "The User Profile Service failed to sign in" won't let you sign in at all. This is why it is a little harder to fix than other Windows errors.

However, you can use the steps below to effectively diagnose and fix the problem.

Boot into Safe Mode

The first thing you should do is start Windows in Safe Mode. Although you cannot log in as usual, you can still use your computer in Safe Mode. Safe mode essentially boots Windows with the minimal features and programs it needs to function.

To boot into Safe Mode, do the following:

From the login screen

  1. Turn on your computer as you normally would.

  2. When you get to the login screen, hold shift and go to Performance> restart.

  3. Your PC will start up in a blue screen with three options. Choose Troubleshooting.

  4. Click on Advanced options> Startup Settings> Restart.

  5. After your computer restarts, click Safe Mode with Networking.

  6. Your computer will restart in Safe Mode.

If you cannot reach the login screen

  1. hold the power Button on your device until it turns off.

  2. Press the power Button to start your computer. Once it turns on and you see the manufacturer logo, hold the power Button again.

  3. Repeat this process twice until your computer boots into the Windows Recovery Environment (winRE).

  4. Now follow steps 3, 4 and 5 from the section above.

Use SFC to check for damaged files

The most likely cause of the "User Profile Service failed to login" error is a damaged user file. This can happen for a variety of reasons, from scanning antivirus software at boot to a power failure when you turn on your computer.

Related: How to Find Stop Codes and Fix Windows 10 Errors Error

Fortunately, Windows has a few built-in utilities that you can use to find and repair damaged Windows files automatically. The utility is called System File Checker (SFC) and it is run from the command prompt:

  1. Make sure your computer is in safe mode.

  2. By doing Start menu Search bar, Art cmd and choose command prompt.

  3. In the command prompt window, enter sfc / scannow and press Enter.

  4. Windows will start scanning your computer for any damaged files and automatically repairing them. The entire process should take about 30 minutes.

  5. After the scan is complete, restart your computer and try to log in again.

Restore your computer to a previous state

Windows has a useful feature called System Restore that allows you to undo changes made to your computer and restore it to an earlier point in time.

Before you proceed, you should know that the feature is not enabled by default and you will have to create restore points manually unless you use methods like these to create daily restore points.

If you remember creating a restore point before the error occurred, do the following:

  1. Press Windows Key + R to start the Run Dialog.

  2. By doing Run Box, type rstrui.exe and hit Enter.

  3. In the System Restore dialog box, click Next.

  4. Select a restore point from the list.

  5. In the next window, check everything and click Finished.

  6. Windows is restoring itself to a previous state and you should now be able to log in without any problems.

You should back up any important data or applications that you may have installed after creating the recovery point.

Change registry configuration

Another way to resolve the "User Profile Service failed to log on" error is to make some changes to the registry. This is an advanced troubleshooting method and it is recommended that you create a system restore point before proceeding.

To properly configure the registry, do the following:

  1. Use the steps in the first section of this article to start in Safe Mode.

  2. Press Windows Key + R the open Run prompt. Art regedit and press Enter.

  3. In the registry editor, use the navigation bar on the left to go to:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE Software Microsoft Windows NT Current Version Profile List

  4. Here you should see two files with the same name, but one will have .bak as an extension.

  5. Right-click the file with the .bak expand and select Rename. Remove that .bak Extension while leaving the file name unchanged and press Enter.

  6. Now right-click on the file that didn't originally have the .bak expand and add .bak at the end of it.

  7. In the folder containing the renamed file from step 5, right-click Status, then choose To change.

  8. Change the value to Measured value of 8000 to 0 (Zero).

  9. Then right click on the RefCount enter and change the value to Measured value to 0 (Zero).

  10. Confirm the changes and close the registry editor.

  11. Restart your computer and log in.

Related: The Best Rescue and Recovery Disks for a Windows System Restore

What if you can't find a .bak file in the registry editor?

It's unlikely, but your computer may not have created a file with a .bak extension. In this case, open Windows Explorer and go to:

C: Users Standard AppData Local Application Data

If you can find another folder called app data under the one you are on, delete it and restart your computer. It should fix the problem.

Enable the user profile service

In certain cases the user profile service itself can be deactivated. Usually a third party application is the culprit. Fortunately, you can enable it by running a simple command in the Command Prompt window:

  1. Start your computer in safe mode.

  2. By doing Search bar in the start menu, Art cmd. Right-click in the search results command prompt > Execute as administrator.

  3. In the command prompt window, enter sc config ProfSvc start = auto and press Enter.

  4. Then enter sc start ProfSvc, and press Enter.

  5. Shut down command prompt and restart your computer.

Sign in and use your computer

If you followed the steps above carefully, the "User Profile Service failed to login" error should be a thing of the past.

Some of these methods are also used to diagnose many other common Windows errors. It is therefore helpful to keep them in mind for other issues on your computer.

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About the author

Manuviraj Godara
(106 published articles)

Manuviraj is a feature writer at MakeUseOf and has been writing about video games and technology for over two years. He is an avid gamer who also spends his free time browsing and reading his favorite music albums.

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By Manuviraj Godara

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