User Profile Error - Logged on with a Temporary Profile

When you log on to Vista using a temporary profile (user account), and you receive this error message:
Your user profile was not loaded correctly! You have been logged on with a temporary profile.
How to Fix the Error "Your user profile was not loaded correctly! You have been logged on with a temporary profile." in Vista and Windows 7

information   Information
A user profile is a collection of settings that make the computer look and work the way you want it to for a user account. It contains the account's settings for desktop backgrounds, screen savers, pointer preferences, sound settings, and other features. User profiles ensure that your personal preferences are used whenever you sign in to Windows.

A user profile is different from a user account, which you use to sign in to Windows. Each user account has at least one user profile associated with it.

When you log on to Vista using a temporary profile (user account), and you receive this error message:

Your user profile was not loaded correctly! You have been logged on with a temporary profile.

Changes you make to this profile will be lost when you log off. Please see the event log for details or contact your administrator.

For more information, see:
A temporary profile is loaded after you log on to a Windows Vista-based system

Tip   Tip
This problem usually occurs if the current user's profile was accidentally deleted from the system or got corrupted.
warning   Warning
If you have this error message below instead, then see: How to Fix the Error "The User Profile Service failed the logon. User profile cannot be loaded."

The User Profile Service failed the logon. User profile cannot be loaded.

EXAMPLE: Error Message in Windows 7

Log On to the Computer as an Administrator
warning   Warning
You must be logged on to an administrator account using either step 1 or 2 below before you can move on to do the STEP TWO section below.

1. To Log on to another Administrator account
NOTE: If you do not have another Administrator account, then proceed to step 2.​
A) Go to the STEP TWO section below.​

2. To Boot into Safe Mode for the built-in Administrator account
NOTE: You may not need to enable the built-in Administrator account. If this was the only normal administrator account you had, then Safe Mode should automatically boot into the built-in Administrator account.​
Tip   Tip
If you cannot boot into Windows and do not have a Windows installation DVD, then you can create and use the boot disc below to boot into Safe Mode with instead.
Tip   Tip

Windows 7: (Option Two at link)
Vista: (Option One at link)
A) Boot into Safe Mode (in Vista) or Safe Mode (in Windows 7).​
B) If Safe Mode did not boot into the built-in Administrator​
account, then enable the built-in Administrator account. If it did , then go to step 2C.​
C) Log off in Safe Mode, and then log on to the built-in Administrator account to logon with that account in Safe Mode.​
D) Go to the STEP TWO section below.​

3. To Enable the Built-in Administrator account at Boot
B) When enabled, log in to the built-in Administrator account, and go to the STEP TWO section below for what you would like to do​

Delete the User Account Profile's SID Key

1. Backup anything that you do not want to lose in this user account's C:\Users\(user-name) profile folder, if the profile folder still exists, to another location, then delete the (user-name) profile folder.​
2. Open the Start menu.​
3. In the Start Menu search box, type regedit and press Enter.​
4. If prompted by UAC, then click on Continue (Vista) or Yes (Windows 7).​
5. In regedit, go to: (See screenshot below step 7)​
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList
6. In the left pane, click on one of the S-1-5..... folders (SID key) with the long number. (See screenshot below step 7)​
NOTE: It should have .bak at the end of it.​
A) In the right pane, look at the ProfileImagePath to see if this is the same user account that you deleted in step 1 above.​
B) Repeat step 6 until you find the one that you deleted in step 1 above.​

7. To Backup the Registry SID Key
WARNING: You should backup this SID key to be safe in case you delete the wrong one in step 8 below.​
A) Right click on the SID key from step 6, and click on Export.​
B) Type in a name and save the REG file to a safe location.​
NOTE: This is your backup. To Restore the Backup, right click on the REG backup file and click on Merge.​
C) Continue on to step 8.​

8. Right click on the SID key, from step 6 with bak at the end, and click on Delete. (see screenshot above)​
9. Click on Yes to confirm deletion. (See screenshot below)​

10. If there is another SID key with the exact same long number from step 6 for this user account without bak at the end, repeat step 7 first, then right click on this same SID key, and click on Delete. (see screenshot below step 7)​
11. Click on Yes to confirm deletion. (See screenshot below step 9)​
12. Close regedit.​
13. Log off and log on.​
Note   Note
After you log on to the computer, the profile folder you are having problems with is re-created. If not, then try a System Restore using a restore point dated before you got this error. If this still does not help, then you will need to create a new account and restore the user folder files from the backup created at step 1.

That's it,

Last edited by a moderator:
Shawn Brink


I am currently have this issue and intend to follow the solution provided here and appreciate your help. I just want to say this should be required reading for anyone contemplating buying a windows machine, think again. I never make this mistake again.
Hi JFRYE5, and welcome to Vista Forums.

I'm sorry to hear that you have gotten this error. I hope that you will be able to get it resolved quickly and be able to have a better experience with Vista.

Thanks it worked but when I made a new account in my computer it started to go slower then usually. How do i get it back to normal?
You're welcome Athrun, and welcome to Vista Forums.

Not sure why it would be running slower just because of that. Have you already deleted the old account?

You might also run a full antivirus and spyware scan to make sure that your computer is clean. These can cause your computer to slow down for no apparent reason.

Afterwards, thes items here should be able to help increase your computer's performance.

Hope this helps,
Shawn - is there any way to recover files that were accidentally placed in a temporary user account?


Hi Mondo, and welcome to Vista Forums.

If you mean in the user folders for that temporary account, then you can look to see if there is still a C:\Users\(temp user name) folder still there that may still have them in it.

Hope it is for you,
Well it was c:\user\temp so no nothing is there - there were some serious photos there. I think I will have to try some file recovery software. I'm annoyed (with Vista) as I never got the warning message or if I did I missed it (I was logging on with a fingerprint scanner and probably didn't have my glasses on)

This is a very poorly implemented feature of Vista - it should log you on to a permanent guest account or something rather than a temporary account.
Have the registry problem that it has forgotten who I am or cannot access my profile. Try to follow the recovery posted by brink but have no profilelist or .bak file per step 2, 5.
What can I doe?

here this goes

my name was spelled wrong

i had 2 or 3 folders with my name on them in explore

i changed my name in user account and

then i proceed to to move and or delelte files in explore

now everytime i reboot it states "temp logged on ...."

i read your tutorial on this BUT:

the name is what i wanted it to be in regedit

where it shows .bak

but not in the one before it

it shows temp.njnite-pc

what should i do delete s 1 5 .bak

and change the other s 1 5

any help would be greatfullllllllll

a little screwed on my part again
Hello NJNiteHawk,

I believe you had made your mistake when you renamed the C:\Users\(user name) folder. Doing so would cause this error. The only way you can rename the C:\Users\(user name) folder, and fix your current problem, is to create a new administrator account and delete the old one from within the new one from User Accounts. You will not be able to use any of the names used by the old account since they will all be tied to it though. Be sure to select the Keep Files option when deleting the old account to have the contents of the old account's user folders saved into a folder on the desktop of the new account. Afterwards, check in the C:\Users folder to see if the old user account is still is listed. If so, you can now safely delete it.

Hope this helps,

You can add your system specs, listed in your signature, to the My System Specs link at the bottom of your posts by going into User CP and Edit System Spec. This will avoid a long post. ;)

here goes

1create a new adim account with out any name assoc. with the first account
ex: if present is xsc the new one can not be sxc or csx

2 delete admin account

3 go into regedit and delete sid.bak file

4 go to c:\users\xsc and delete that folder

sorry i am a little slow on this one

please note an hour later than above post

i went to user account
created a new account
tried to keep files
and delete the old account
could not do it while i was looged in
sign on with new account
deleted old account
kept files
went to explorer
and viewed all files
new and old
deleted old user in explorer
seems ok
do i go into regedit
and delete the sid.bak now?

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Deleting the old user account from User Accounts in the Control Panel and it's C:\Users\(user name) folder should have the SID key removed automatically from the registry. You can check if you like to see if it was. If not then it will be safe to delete the SID keys for that old deleted user account only.
Hello Brink thanks for you're effort making this amazing guide
I had this problem 2 times already, and did what you said all good now thanks!
Well, Brink, I wanna say: great thread! You're very kind, taking your time to help others. :D The etherword of the net feels cozier when I find folks like you. I hope you're still around to reply to this! ;)

I'm excessively anal-retentive about my laptop so everytime my world doesn't go like it goes everyday (ie: I log on to my - MY- user profile) I get a bit...err, nuts. So, good thing I found this thread in less than 24 hrs of THE EVENT.

I hope Microsoft is working on this because it's incredibly annoying. I costumize a lot and to get thinks back to how they were I'll need a day minimum. Meh.

I've got one question, though. If I do all the things you say in the tutorial, will I get my user account preferences, the whole shebang? My stardock with all my icons, my firefox with all its pretty bookmarks and add-ons?

Thanks, Brink!
Hello Keeky, and welcome to Vista Forums.

If your user account is not to corrupted, you should be able to copy all of your user preferences from it's C:\Users\(User Name) folders into the new account after doing the tutorial. I would make a copy of all that folder's content to another location just to be safe though.

Hope this helps,
i deleted my user account and made a new one. it works fine now but everytrhing is running slower.. alot slower than it used to be.

any notes why?
its not just that. its like most of my programs is "not responding" its really im not even sure how to explain it. its just way slower than it should be.