When Windows Operating System doesn’t read particular user profile settings and files properly during the booting process, it will load with temporary new user profile. That will look like a brand new user profile and have the default desktop and icons. You can’t find your customized desktop with icons, files and program shortcuts, that could shocking for you. Do not worry, your files and folders are safe in your computer. This guide talks about temporary profile in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 and how to fix it.
Realistically Windows 8/8.1 handles temporary user profile issue better than Windows 7. You will not face this issue most of the time if you have a freshly installed Windows 8 or 8.1 computer. But you may face this sometimes if you have a Windows 8 which was upgraded from Windows 7.
This problem usually occurs when user profile settings got corrupted by some software or virus or unexpected shutdown of computer and even by delay in reading settings files while booting.
The following troubleshooting steps are more identical to our earlier guide how to fix temporary profile issue in Windows 7.
[Fixed] Temporary Profile Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 Problem
1) Do not worry, just restart the Windows 8 computer twice or thrice and see whether the issue has been fixed and you are getting your original user profile back, if not, go to next step.
2) Check and repair corrupted files. You can do this in two ways. The user account must have administrative privilege to perform these tasks.
a) Even though Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 does the disk error checking automatically as part of ‘Automatic Maintenance’, still you can run it manually when you face this temp profile issue. If any system files corruption found, that will be fixed during the scan.
Right click on C drive, Tools and Error checking.
b) The recommended way to find and replace corrupted files in Windows 8 and 8.1 is running ‘SFC’ scan.
Start the command prompt as administrator like shown below ( search for cmd, Right click and select ‘Run as administrator’)
Type sfc /scannow and press enter to start the process. You may need to have Windows installation DVD with you for this process, it is required to replace corrupted files from original installation medium.
Restart the PC after repairing/replacing corrupted files (if found), possibly this could fix the issue.
3) Registry changes- this could be the last attempt you can try to fix temporary profile in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 problem.
Remember – Modifying the computer registry should be done with extra care, wrong modification can give real trouble to Operating System which may stop booting.
Usually when temp profile is loaded, it would create a new registry key. The new profile registry key would look like same as original profile key, but the original profile key would have .bak at the end as shown below.
Login to the computer with another user account which has administrator permission, go to registry ( Go to search and search for regedit) and modify it as shown above.
Basically you need to remove the .bak from original correct profile key and rename the new temp key. Restarting the Windows 8 or 8.1 computer after modifying registry probably will bring back your old profile with your customized desktop and icons.
You can find more information about modifying temp profile registry key in our earlier Windows 7 temp profile issue post
4) If none of the above methods work for you, the only final way is creating a new user account and copy the data. Follow these simple steps;
Create a new user account (you can’t keep two same user names on a computer) in control panel or computer management, add the new user to local administrator group, so it will have full access to copy files from other profile.
Recommended Reading – How to Show My computer icon in Windows 8 desktop
Login to computer with newly created user name, first login would create the profile settings and folder structure for new user account.
Then access your old user profile folder which usually resides in C:\users\old_username. Make sure you have enabled the hidden items view option.
Copy (or cut) the all files and folders from old user profile folder ( except Ntuser.dat, Ntuser.dat.log, Ntuser.ini) to new user profile C:\users\new_username and replace them. This step will copy your all old user profile settings and files to your new user profile. Logoff and login to see the changes.
This would be the final and permanent solution to fix temporary profile Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 issue.
Also, you can try system restore or re-installation (repair) of whole Windows 8 Operating System if none of the steps work for you.
You can find more information from Microsoft site here about how to fix temp profile in Windows 8 or 8.1