Are you encountering the error message “The user profile service failed the sign-in. User profile cannot be loaded” or “User Profile Cannot be Loaded” or “User Profile Service Failed the Logon” when trying to sign in to your Windows 11 operating system? This error typically appears immediately after entering your username and password on the Windows logon screen.
This issue is primarily caused by a corrupted user profile or when the user profile fails to start. Given that this error prevents you from accessing your system, resolving it can be more complex than other Windows errors. However, it is possible to fix it. In this article, we will present several troubleshooting methods to resolve the “The User profile cannot be loaded” error on Windows 11.
You can employ these troubleshooting methods by using another account with administrative privileges. If you are locked out of your sole user account, you can enable the hidden administrator account and troubleshoot your PC through that. This post will also demonstrate how to activate the hidden administrator account on Windows 11.
What causes the “User Profile Service Failed the Sign-in” Error in Windows 11
Encountering the ‘User profile service failed the sign-in’ error when attempting to access your system can be a frustrating experience. This issue can be caused by several factors, some of which we will delve into below.
One possible cause of this error is an improper Windows Update. When updates are not installed correctly, it can interfere with the user profile service, leading to login failures.
Another potential cause is the incorrect configuration of default profile permissions or NTFS permissions. Such incorrect settings can prevent the user profile service from running correctly, resulting in login failures.
A third factor that can trigger this error is incorrect values or a corrupt Windows registry. The registry plays a critical role in the proper functioning of the user profile service, and any corruption or incorrect values can lead to login issues.
A fourth possible cause is corrupted user profile files. This can occur due to a variety of reasons, such as hardware failures or malware infections, and can prevent successful login attempts.
Additionally, resizing a partition on the hard drive can also cause the ‘User profile service failed the sign-in’ error. This is because such an action can disrupt the user profile service, rendering it unable to function correctly.
Moreover, it is possible for an antivirus program to block access to the profile folder during authorization, resulting in login failures.
Lastly, improper shutdowns and restarts can lead to user profile service errors. When a system is not shut down or restarted correctly, it can cause issues with the user profile service, preventing successful logins.
How to Fix the “User Profile Service Failed the Sign-in” Error in Windows 11
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1. Restart your PC
If you come across the error message “The User Profile Service service failed the sign-in” while attempting to log into your user account for the first time, there are several troubleshooting methods you can try to resolve the issue.
Firstly, you can try restarting or shutting down your Windows 11 PC from the lock screen by clicking on the power button and selecting “Restart” or “Shutdown”. Upon rebooting, check if the issue has been resolved.
2. Check for updates
In the event that you are facing errors on your Windows 11 PC, it may be caused by running an outdated build or encountering bugs in the previous build. To address this issue, it is crucial to keep your Windows system up-to-date by installing the latest available update.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to update your Windows 11 PC:
1. To access the Windows Settings, click on the Start menu and select ‘Settings’, or simply press Win+I on your keyboard.
2. In the Windows Settings, navigate to the ‘Windows Update’ tab located on the left pane and click on the ‘Check for updates’ button on the right-side pane.
If an update is available, Windows will automatically download and install it through the Windows Update feature. In some cases, you may need to manually select the ‘Install’ button to proceed with the installation of the available updates.
Once the update has been installed, it is important to restart your computer to ensure that the changes take effect.
Updating your Windows system with the latest updates not only fixes bugs and issues but also enhances your PC’s performance and security. Hence, it is advisable to keep your system up-to-date to ensure its smooth operation.
3. Replace the NTUSER.DAT file
NTUSER.DAT is a crucial file that contains various details, such as settings, configurations, and preferences. If this file gets corrupted or damaged, Windows might encounter login problems. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to fix the corrupted NTUSER.DAT file.
Method 1: Replace the file from Guest profile or another working profile
One of the ways is to replace the NTUSER.DAT file with a new one. You can copy the file from a working user profile or another computer with the same build and operating system. This method can be done in three different ways.
1. First, log in to the default administrator account or an account with administrative privileges.
2. Then, open File Explorer and navigate to the C:\Users folder to check if the Default profile folder is visible.
3. If it’s hidden, enable the Show hidden items option from the View > Show > Hidden items.
4. Next, rename the NTUSER.DAT file to ‘NTUSER.DAT_bak‘ or copy it to another location as a backup.
5. Afterward, copy the ‘NTUSER.DAT‘ file from the Guest or Administrator folder and paste it into the Default folder.
Finally, restart your computer and try logging into the user account that’s experiencing issues.
Method 2: Replace the file from another PC
1. Firstly, open File Explorer on a computer with the same operating system and build, and check if both computers share the same build and OS version.
2. Then, right-click the Default folder on that computer and copy the entire folder to a USB drive or external storage device.
3. Afterward, go back to the computer that’s showing the error and rename the ‘Default‘ folder to Default.old.
4. Insert the USB drive and copy-paste the ‘Default‘ folder to the Users directory.
Finally, restart your computer and ensure that the C:\Users\Default folder has the necessary permissions.
To check the permissions, type the following command in PowerShell:
Ensure that it shows the following permission for the folder:
NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM:(OI)(CI)(F) BUILTIN\Administrators:(OI)(CI)(F) BUILTIN\Users:(RX) BUILTIN\Users:(OI)(CI)(IO)(GR,GE) Everyone:(RX) Everyone:(OI)(CI)(IO)(GR,GE)
Method 3: Replace the file of the Default folder from corrupted User profile
1. Firstly, go to the C:\Users location and rename the ‘Default‘ folder to ‘Default.old‘.
2. Next, restart your computer and boot into safe mode.
3. Then, create a new folder named Default in the ‘C:\Users‘ folder and create the following empty folders in the specified locations:
C:\Users\Default\AppData C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local C:\Users\Default\AppData\Roaming C:\Users\Default\Desktop C:\Users\Default\Documents C:\Users\Default\Downloads C:\Users\Default\Favorites C:\Users\Default\Links C:\Users\Default\Pictures C:\Users\Default\Save Games C:\Users\Default\Videos
4. Afterward, open the elevated Command Prompt and copy the NTUSER.DAT file of the corrupted profile to C:\Users\Default by using the following command:
xcopy C:\Users\<USERNAME>\NTUSER.DAT C:\Users\Default
Make sure to replace <USERNAME> with your windows account name.
Finally, restart the computer, create another user account, and try logging into the account.
4. Repair the System Files
In the event of encountering issues with Windows files, it is prudent to resort to SFC and DISM commands to rectify corrupt files within the Windows system. These commands serve distinct purposes in addressing specific file corruption problems.
DISM operates by resolving corrupt files within the component store of the Windows system image. On the other hand, SFC scans and replaces any corrupt, missing, or damaged system files that may be present within the Windows system.
To run the SFC scan on your Windows 11 operating system,
1. Launch the Command Prompt as an administrator. This can be achieved by searching for ‘Command Prompt’ or ‘cmd’ in the Start menu, then selecting the ‘Run as administrator’ option.
Subsequently, type the following command and press Enter to initiate the SFC scan:
In order to perform a Deployment Image Servicing and Management Tool (DISM) scan, the following commands should be executed sequentially in elevated CMD mode. Enter each command, then press Enter:
DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /scanhealth DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
These commands are essential in maintaining the integrity of the Windows system, and it is advisable to use them periodically to keep the system in optimal condition.
5. Change User Profile Values in Windows Registry
In order to resolve the ‘User Profile Services failed the logon’ error on Windows 11, it is possible to modify the values of the user profile in the Registry Editor. This is one of the advanced troubleshooting methods available for fixing many issues in Windows 11.
However, modifying the wrong registry value can cause Windows to malfunction, so it is important to back up the Windows Registry before making any changes by going to File > Export.
1. To begin, log in to another account with administrative privileges or boot into safe mode and then edit the registry editor.
2. Start by booting the Windows PC into Safe Mode using the Windows Safe Mode Guide, then sign in to the account that has the problem or any other account that has administrative privileges.
3. Once signed in, launch the Windows Run command dialog with the Win+R shortcuts and enter ‘regedit‘. The Windows Registry Editor will automatically start with administrator privileges after hitting the Enter key.
4. Next, navigate down to the following path in the left panel of the Registry Editor or copy-paste the following path into the address bar:
5. When you expand the ‘ProfileList‘ folder, you will see a list of entries that starts with ‘S-1-5‘. Select each registry key with the suffix ‘S-1-5-21‘ (SID key) followed by a series of numbers and check the entry named ‘ProfileImagePath‘ on the right pane.
Check the ‘Data‘ column of ‘ProfileImagePath‘ on each folder and locate the user account folder that is causing the error.
For example, the user profile (Bhanu) with the SID key – ‘S-1-5-21-4209958417-3236085656-3328254797-1001‘ may be the one causing the ‘user profile service failed the sign-in’ error.
6. Once you have located the right SID key that is causing the error, double-click the ‘State‘ entry and change its value to ‘0‘ in the right pane.
Similarly, double-click the ‘RefCount‘ entry and set its value data to ‘0‘.
If you don’t have RefCount, you can create it yourself by right-clicking on the SID key and selecting ‘DWORD (32-bit) Value’. Then, specify the ‘RefCount‘ value as ‘0‘.
In some cases, there may be two ‘S-1-5’ folders (keys) with the same SID (same suffix strings) under ProfileList, one folder with ‘.bak’ (extension) at the end and one without it.
In such cases, you need to rename the .bak folder by removing ‘.bak’ from the end and rename the folder that doesn’t have the extension by adding ‘.bak’ at the end. This is because the .bak is actually a backup key that can be used if the original becomes corrupted or damaged.
However, renaming the keys can be a bit tricky because you cannot have two keys with the same name in the same location. Therefore, you must first change the name of the key without ‘.bak’ to something else, such as ‘S-1-5-21-2965335139-3050804504-3361004240-1002.new’.
Then, rename the key that ends with ‘.bak’ by removing the ‘.bak’ extension from its name. Finally, rename the ‘.new’ folder to ‘.bak’. Once this is done, select the key (folder) without the ‘.bak’ extension and change the ‘State’ and ‘RefCount’ values to ‘0’ in the right pane.
6. Check User Profile Services
If you are still encountering the ‘User Profile Service failed the sign-in’ Error, you can boot into Safe Mode and check the status of the User Profile Service. The User Profile Service controls everything related to user profiles including sign-in processes.
If this service doesn’t automatically start with the system, you may have problems when signing in to user accounts.
Here’s how you can do this:
1. Once you have booted into Safe Mode, press Windows+R and type ‘services.msc’ then hit Enter.
2. From the list of services, scroll down and locate the ‘User Profile Service’ and then double-click on it.
3. In the User Profile Properties window, set the ‘Startup type’ to ‘Automatic’ and ensure that the Service status is ‘Running’.
If not, click the ‘Start’ button to start the service. After that, click ‘Apply’ and then ‘OK’.
Now, restart your PC and check if the ‘The User Profile Service Failed the Sign in’ error has been resolved.
7. Recreate the User Account
In case you are encountering issues with your user profile on Windows 11, you might consider deleting the problematic profile and creating a new one. However, it’s important to note that deleting a user account will lead to the deletion of all its data, including files on the desktop, downloads, photos, music, apps, and other files. If you have already backed up your library files on Cloud services such as OneDrive or saved the files in a different location, or there are no important files in the library folders, then you can safely delete the user profile and create a new one.
Delete a User Profile in Windows 11
Here are the steps to delete a user account in Windows 11:
1. To begin, press Win+I to open Windows 11 Settings.
2. In the Settings app, navigate to the ‘Accounts‘ section on the left, then scroll down and select the ‘Family & Other users‘ option on the right pane.
3. Under the Other users section, select the account you wish to remove.
4. Click the ‘Remove‘ button to delete the account.
5. Confirm the deletion by clicking the ‘Delete account and data’ button in the blue prompt box.
Create a New User Account
Once you have successfully deleted the problematic account, you can proceed to create a new user account by following these steps:
1. Log in to a user account with administrative privileges, then open Windows 11 Settings.
2. Select ‘Accounts‘ from the left pane and click on ‘Other users‘ on the right.
3. On the Other Users page, click the ‘Add account‘ button at the top.
4. A Microsoft account pop-up window will appear. Here, you can enter an email address or phone number and click ‘Next‘ to create an account.
If you prefer to create a local account without an email address, select the ‘I don’t have this person’s sign-in information‘ setting link.
On the next window, select ‘Add a user without a Microsoft account.’
Next, enter the username in the ‘Who’s going to use this PC?’ field. If you want to create an account without a password, leave the ‘make it secure’ fields empty and click ‘Next.’
If you prefer to add a password to the account, enter and re-enter the password under the ‘Make it secure’ field. Then, select three security questions and answer them below. Finally, click ‘Next’ to create the user account.
After following these steps, you can restart your computer and sign in with the new user account. It’s important to note that when creating a new account, it’s recommended to use a strong password and enable two-factor authentication to enhance security.
8. Use the Startup Repair
In the event of your Windows 11 user profile being inaccessible due to missing or corrupted files, fear not as the Startup Repair tool can come to the rescue. It can even be used for repairing user profiles that have become corrupted. Here’s how you can use it:
1. Firstly, log in to another account on your computer, and then right-click on the Start button. From the menu, select the “Settings” option, or simply press the Windows key and “I” simultaneously to open the Windows 11 Settings.
2. Once you’re in Settings, navigate to the “System” section on the left-hand pane and then click on “Recovery” on the right-hand pane.
3. You’ll then be taken to the Recovery settings page, where you should click on the “Restart now” button located next to the “Advanced startup” option.
4. After clicking on “Restart now,” your computer will reboot and enter the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE).
If your computer is unable to boot properly to access the above settings, you can still access WinRE through alternative methods such as booting into Safe Mode. Once you reach the “Choose an option” screen, select “Troubleshoot.”
5. Next, click on “Advanced options.”
6. You will then see the “Startup Repair” option under the Advanced options screen. Select it to initiate the diagnostic process.
The Startup Repair tool will now diagnose your system and attempt to fix your user profile if possible.
9. Restore your System
If you have attempted to fix the “User Profile Service failed sign-in” error in Windows 11 using the startup repair feature, but to no avail, then restoring your system to an earlier point when the user profile login was functioning properly may be worth a try.
The Windows System Restore feature automatically generates restore points whenever significant changes are made to your system, such as software installation, device installation, or Windows update. You can also create restore points manually.
By restoring your system to a previous state or point in time, this feature undoes all recent changes, including corrupted files, made to your PC. It will bring your Windows and essential system files, like drivers, installed programs, Windows Registries, and system settings, to their previous state. Here’s how to use this feature:
1. Click the Start menu or press the Windows key, and search for “System restore” in the Windows search. Select the “Create a restore point” control panel in the result.
2. When the System Properties window appears, click on the “System Restore” button under the “System Protection” tab.
3. The System Restore feature may suggest a recommended restore point if you have one. You can select the “Recommended restore” option if you wish to use it, or “Choose a different restore point” option if you want to use a different one. Then, click “Next.” If you don’t see the suggestion, then simply click “Next” to continue.
4. The next screen displays a list of all available restore points (manual and automatic) with timestamps and brief descriptions. Select the desired restore point and click “Next.”
5. Make sure to choose a restore point before your files were corrupted or at the time of file corruption.
Finally, click the “Finish” button to initiate the restoration process.
Your system will now be restored to its previous state before the selected event, and the original files will replace the corrupted files.
10. Reset Windows
Resetting Windows will reinstall Windows 11 from the backup image or cloud service. It will remove all the software, drivers, and settings, replacing them with fresh system files. This article will guide you through the process of resetting your Windows 11 PC.
1. The first step to resetting your PC is to access the Troubleshoot option. To do this, go to the Start menu and click on the power icon.
Hold down the Shift key on your keyboard and click on the Restart option. This will bring up a blue screen with a few options. Click on Troubleshoot to continue.
2. On the Troubleshoot screen, you’ll see a few options. Click on Reset This PC to begin the reset process.
3. When you click on Reset This PC, you’ll be presented with two options: Keep my files and Remove everything. Choose the option that best fits your needs.
If you’re experiencing issues with your computer after a recent update or trying to remove a bad app, you might want to choose the Keep my files option. This will remove all apps and settings but keep your personal files intact.
If you want to start fresh with a brand-new system, choose the Remove everything option. This will reset your PC to its factory settings, removing all personal files and apps.
4. Once you’ve chosen your reset option, click on Reset. This will start the reset process. The length of time it takes will depend on the speed of your computer and the option you chose in step 3.
5. If you chose the Remove everything option, you’ll need to choose your reinstall option on the next screen. You’ll have two options to choose from: Cloud download and Local reinstall.
If you have a stable and fast internet connection, choose Cloud download. This will download the latest version of Windows from Microsoft’s servers.
If you have a slow or unreliable internet connection, choose Local reinstall. This will reinstall Windows from the files on your computer’s hard drive.
6. Once you’ve chosen your reinstall option, you’ll need to choose your drive cleaning option. You’ll have two options to choose from: Just remove my files and Fully clean the drive.
If you want to keep your computer’s hard drive intact, choose Just remove my files. This will remove your personal files but leave the Windows drive intact.
If you want to completely wipe your computer’s hard drive, choose Fully clean the drive. This will remove all data from your computer, including the Windows drive.
7. Once you’ve chosen your drive cleaning option, click on Reset. This will start the reset process. Again, the length of time it takes will depend on the speed of your computer and the options you chose in steps 3 and 5.
8. Wait for the Reset Process to Complete. This can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, depending on the options you chose and the speed of your computer. During this time, do not turn off your computer or interrupt the reset process. Doing so can cause serious issues with your computer.
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