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


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.
In that case, I would recommend doing a System Restore using a restore point dated before the user profile error. Hopefully this will restore your system to working order. If not, then other than a clean reinstall, you might do a repair (Upgrade) install.
hmm.. okay so i got all my files back now
and everything should be working fine after i system restored it to a few days back :)

thanks. if i have any questions, i'll post it here? :)

First post. First I want to thank you for the informative walk throughs. I've tried this fix on my system, and although the instructions are thorough, I haven't recovered my user profile.

My system:

DELL Inspiron 1520, Intel Core 2 Duo 1.80, 2GB RAM, 100GB HDD
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1

The situation:

I ran a multi update System Update a couple of days ago. I actually ran the update as a part of shutting down the system. When I rebooted the following night, it scrolled some command lines across the top of the screen, which I assumed were just finishing touches on the updates. When the system came up, I was presented with my typical login screen. My password was accepted, but when the desktop came up, I knew something was wrong. The system had not remembered my trackball settings, nor did the Sidebar appear.

Upon further evaluation, the Start menu did not recall the last used programs or opened files, and after opening Firefox, I realized that my Bookmarks were not listed.

I rebooted (hot and cold) a few times, with no change, except that a time or two I got the "User profile could not be loaded. A temp profile has been loaded." message.

So I did some research to try to find out what had happened and found some of the forum posts covering the issue. I wasn't (at the time) in the mood to mess with registry settings, etc, so I tried System Restore. Some of the restorations seemed to run successfully, some threw an error message (System Restore could not complete successfully...), but the situation did not change. My profile was not restored.

I then resolved to try the resolution included in this forum thread.

I backed up my Firefox and Windows profiles/user accounts. Opened regedit, backed up the SID, and deleted it. When I "Logged off and logged back on" I got the "Profile service failed" message at the login screen and the system recycled back to the login screen. After a couple of times at that, I rebooted and was successfully able to log in. However, nothing was restored.

I then rebooted into Safe Mode, deleted my user folder from Windows and replaced it with the archived folder. Upon reboot, there was yet again no change. My Firefox profile seems to be in place, as far as the "places.sqlite" file.

It looks like even with my profile files and folders in place, the system is not picking them up.

What next?


UPDATE: I tried the fix for the failed profile service (switching the .bak with the loaded user profile) and it brought everything back.

Whew! What an ordeal!



i deleted the profile and deleted the registry keys, but still when I am logging, it says profile corrupted and temprory profile loaded... :(
Hi Aysha,

You might try a System Restore using a restore point dated before you got this error.

If that still does not help, then create a new administrator account to see if that one will log on to and run properly. If it does, then just delete your old account from while logged in to your new account. Before you delete the old C:\Users\(user name) folder, copy any shortcuts or files that you want from it to your new account's same folder.

Hope this helps,
i got this problem too, but that with the registry didnt help :huh:
and that system restore doesnt work too, it looks like nothing happens if i make it...
i tried to change the registry key that ends with .bak, i changed the direction of the user profile ( profile image path ), that didnt work too and i got an other TEMP folder in the user folders... ( i got 2 now, one is just TEMP named, and the other one looks like that: username.temp ) are there any other solutions than reinstallation of windows? :sarc:

i know, my english is not that good -.- but i hope you guys can help me :D
Hello Banana Joe, and welcome to Vista Forums.

First, backup anything you do not want to lose from your C:\User(user name) location to a safe location other than another user folder to be safe.

If you do not have another administrator account to use, then see if you can boot into Safe Mode. Next, see if you are able to create another administrator account that works properly. If it does, then just delete this old user account that you are getting the error with.

Hope this helps,
thanks for that quick answer :)
ahh the problem is that i want to keep all settings i had on the ols account.. i still got that original folder in c:\ , is there a way to "connect" a new account with that old user - folder so that i can remain the old profile?
If the corruption is not to bad, then you should be able to copy and replace the contents in the old C:\Users\(user name) folder into the new one to retain the settings. Test to verify before deleting the old account.
If everything copies over ok, then it should be almost the same. I'm sure that there will be a few things you may have to set back to the way it was.
everything works now, thank you again :)

but i will re-install windows... because i dont wanna waste space, especially because of my registry, i think there's too much useless in...
my computer got very slow since that happened so i think this is the best decision.

if this could help you: i dont know how it happened exactly, i think this problem appeared like this:
i was shutting down the computer and my monitor was already black , but the pc was still working, and then i accidently unplugged the power stipe. after that i ran windows normal and.... thats it.
You're welcome Joe. I'm happy to hear that it's working for you now. It sounds like may have gotten corrupted when the power was cut.

LOL, you're like me. If it's not perfect, it's time for a reinstall. ;)

Hello Tina, and welcome to Vista Forums.

If you are in a standard account, then you will need to have an administrator to enable your account again.

If not, and you have already followed the steps in the tutorial, then you can try doing a System Restore at boot (Method Two) using a restore point dated before this problem.

Hope this helps,