How to Fix Temporary Profile in Windows 7

Sometimes Windows 7 OS may not read your correct user profile properly, instead, load with temporary profile which will look completely different.  If you are not aware of temp profile or missed to see the pop-up message at bottom right side of the screen, then really you will be surprised to see completely different and new desktop without your files,folders,shortcut icons and any customized settings.This guide shows how to fix temporary profile issue on Windows 7.

“You have been logged on with Temporary profile”- that’s the famous message from Windows 7. Even though this article was published back in 2010, I’m rewriting this again on August 2012 with more information, inputs, related links and the experience I had on this issue for last two years in domain and workgroup environment.


Why Windows 7 Loads with Temporary Profile?

Obviously, your profile (the files and folders located under C:\Users\user_name) is corrupted. There is another chance which is a delay in reading your profile files due to Antivirus scan or something else during boot up. Usually after typing your user name and password Windows tries to read and load your profile, if it gets corrupted or delay in reading, Windows will load with temp profile to give temporary access on computer.

How to Fix Windows 7 Temp Issue on Workgroup and Domain Environment

1) Before do anything, restart the computer 2 or 3 times to see whether it’s going back to your old correct profile. Go to next step if this doesn’t work.

2) Rename the temp profile registry and revert back the old registry settings for the correct profile. This method works most of the time for me in Workgroup and domain environment.

a)      Log in with temp profile.
b)      Start registry editor by typing regedit in find box of Windows 7.
c)      Navigate the following location.

Fix Temporary Profile in Windows 7

d)      You will see similar keys under profile list, but one with .bak, as shown below.

Fix Temporary Profile in Windows 7

e)      The key with .bak is for the correct old profile. Currently your Windows 7 computer logged in with fresh (temporary) profile with same key. So, rename the new profile key ( which is not having.bak) and remove .bak from correct profile key. See below.

Fix Temporary Profile in Windows 7

f)      That’s it. Log off and log in (or restart) with your user name and password. You must get your correct profile with icons and profile settings back in Windows 7, if you are lucky enough.

Still if Windows 7 computer loads with temporary profile and creates a registry key with .bak, that means user profile is really corrupted and Operating System is not reading it properly.


3) Few times this method worked for me,  repair the corrupted files. Usually the corrupted ‘Ntuser’ files cause this issue. So, run the check disk for partition which is having user profile.

Windows 7 check disk After restarting for check disk, if you see corrupted entries and repairing process inside your user profile folder, then you can hope for good news here. If it finds and repairs any files especially Ntuser files, you may get your old Windows 7 profile back.

If above steps do not help you out, then we need to create a new profile with new user name.

Basically we need to create a new user account, login with it and transfer the data from old user profile to new user profile. It is easy in workgroup environment as you can create new user name locally, but it is tricky in domain environment. Because, the existing user account is already there on domain server and nothing wrong with it. Also, creating a new different domain user account will cause issues on corporate emails, domain groups membership and shared permissions.

So, we need to treat both cases separately.

4) Create new user name in non domain (workgroup environment) from control panel or computer management.  Make sure to add the new user to administrators group.

Login with new user name and start copying your old data from old profile. I normally copy below data,

a) My Documents (Music, videos and downloads)
b) Desktop
c) Favorites
d) Any outlook PST files (find more information about location of PST files here)

But Microsoft suggests to copy entire old user profile (except 3 files) as shown in this official site link.


5) New user profile in domain environment.

Since we can’t delete and create new domain user account for this purpose, we will play around with client computer only. Let’s completely remove the user profile and re create again.

Copy the important user data (a to d in above step 4) or entire folders from corrupted profile to new location. Double-check that you have copied all required folders and files from old profile, because we are going to delete it now.

Go to Advanced settings of System as shown below, click on Settings (user profiles), select the corrupted user profile which is not loading properly in Windows 7, then press Delete button. Delete button will be enabled only if you login with different user account.

select the profile and remove

This will remove the entire user profile and related user SID from computer including the registery keys we talked about earlier. You can cross check the proper removal of user account (SID) by checking the C:\Users folder. Once it is remove properly, restart the computer and login with same user name (which was not loading earlier). The computer should create a new user profile as this is the first time the user is logging on. You need to copy back your old important data to new profile and set email outlook etc..if required.

I hope these tips help to fix temporary profile issue on Windows 7.


  1. Stalin says

    its not working and I don’t have a *.new, a *.bak, and the new temporary one. I have tried everything, still cant get out of this temporary log on.

  2. says

    I have found that creating a profile.V2 folder in the profile share fixes the problem.

    Windows XP Profile: \\servername\profile
    Windows 7 Profile: \\servername\profile.V2

    Now you can leave the old Profile folder there in case the user needs to log on to an XP machine as well, but this is how I fixed the problem. I tried all the other suggestions here and it didn’t work unfortunately.

    Also note, you DON’T have to update the Profile path in Active Directory.

  3. Wahid Amiri says

    Thanks from Michael Belsky, this solution worked fine. I want everybody to use Michael Belsky procedure which has positive result.



  4. maverator says

    Just like every other forum on the web where this problem is discussed, we get people saying “here is the fix”, as if it is actually going to work, and then you get a handful of people saying it worked for them, and others who say it doesn’t. How useless.

  5. angelene says

    I tried Michael Belsky’s fix. Created a new account and deleted the other one, bu the files did not go to the desktop and have now been lost – permanently I guess! Dont have a profile list or anything saying .bak?

    • Michael Belsky says

      Unfortunately you must backup the files you need in step 3 manually. This does not happen automatically. Did you check the location mentioned in step 3? Those files should still be there until you delete them manually. If you are asked while removing the user from Users in Control Panel if you want to delete the files, you should have answered “no”. Then you back them up to the desktop of the newly created temp profile, then delete the folder from the corrupted profile.

      I would edit my original post to make it more clear if I was able to.

  6. chestnutman says

    Thank you so much for this guide! Worked perfectly! What would I have done without this..

  7. cly says

    I fixed this issue by logging into the temp account, creating a new account with admin, then I Switched Users, deleted the temp account and everything worked fine.

  8. Mohar Jha says

    Thank you Very Much, this solution worked fine. I want everybody to use this procedure which has positive result :)

  9. Hank Arnold (MVP) says

    This was a really informative discussion. However, some posts talked about editing the registry. One of my biggest hot buttons is how we have started treating editing the registry as “just another routine activity”. Very seldom these days do I see what I think is a critical and mandatory warning:


    Hank Arnold (MVP)

  10. Don Gilcrease says

    I also do not have any HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileGuid key. So what does one do from there? I guess I’ll try cly’s (4 posts above) procedure.

    And Hank, you guys at Microsoft – I assume the MVP means you work there – 1) can’t seem to create a stable OS, and 2) provide any really useful information about how to fix, or at least work around the plethora of bugs. So, Microsoft having left us just hanging, we have to do what we can come up with to do Microsoft’s job.

  11. lacey says

    if you do this procedue do you lose all files on your original account such as photos, work, music, downloads?

  12. mitch says

    Trying to create a “roaming-mandatory” profile for users and getting the temporary profile message as well. I have checked in the registry, and I do not have a .bak entry for the user (nor do I have any registry setting for the user) so I do not have a GUID that would relate to that user. The profile (mandatory.v2) resides on a server share. I have tried all steps listed in this article, but I am still having no luck getting this profile to work properly.

  13. Halros says

    the thing is on my computer there is no .bak file!!! I dont know what is going on! I think its because of this one download thats really popular vindictus. If theres any other solutions let me know cuz im dieing without it/

  14. vasile says

    when i had first profile i dont have any pw and now it want to write user name and pw???I DONT KNOW IT?ANY IDEA ?PLS HELP ME TY