How to Fix Temporary Profile in Windows 7/ 8.1/10

After typing the login password, if you see ‘you have been logged on with a temporary profile’ in Windows 7 (or sometimes in Windows 8.1), it clearly indicates a temporary profile in Windows 7.

Sometimes Windows 7 or Win 8 OS will not read the user profile properly. Therefore, it will load with a temporary profile that looks like a new user profile. In that case, you will be surprised to see the brand new desktop without your files, folders, program shortcut icons, and personalized settings.

This step-by-step guide shows you how to fix the temporary profile issue in Windows 7/8.1/10 and Windows Vista.

This guide has been updated with several methods, more information, inputs, related links and my experience on this issue in a domain and workgroup environment.

Temp Profile

Why Does Windows 7/8.1 (& Vista) Load with a Temporary Profile?

  • Your profile (the files and folders located under C:\Users\user_name) is corrupted.
  • Another chance is a delay in reading your profile files due to an Antivirus scan or something else during boot up. Usually, after typing your username and password, Windows tries to read and load your profile. If it gets corrupted or delayed in reading, Windows will load with a temp profile to give temporary access to the computer.

Temporary Profile Issue in Windows 10 and 8.1

Windows 10 or 8.1 computers rarely load with the temporary profile. These Operating Systems handle this issue better than older Windows 7. If you face the same temp profile issue on Windows 10 or 8.1, you can follow the steps below. The registry modification should fix the problem easily.

How to Temporary Profile in Windows 7- Workgroup & Domain

The below screenshots are taken from several Operating Systems but are still valid for all desktop Windows OS.

1) Restart the Computer

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

2) Registry Modification

Rename the temp profile registry and revert to the old registry settings for the correct profile. Most probably, this method will fix the problem.

  1. Log in to the computer with the temp profile.
  2. Start the registry editor by typing regedit in the search box of Windows 7/8.1 or Windows 10.
  3. Navigate to the following location.
Fix Temporary Profile in Windows 7
  1. You will see similar keys under the profile list, but one with .bak, as shown below.
Fix Temporary Profile in Windows 7
  1. The key with .bak is your correct old user profile. Your Windows 7 computer is currently logged in with a fresh (temporary) profile with the same key. So, rename the new profile key (not having .bak) and remove .bak from the correct profile key.
Registry Key Windows 8 Temp Profile Thumb
Fix Temporary Profile in Windows 7

After modifying the registry correctly, log off and log in (or restart) with your user name and password. If you are lucky enough, you must get your correct profile with icons and settings back in Windows 7.

Still, if the Windows 7 laptop or desktop loads with the temporary profile and creates a registry key with .bak, that means the user profile is corrupted badly, and the Operating System is not reading it properly.

3) Scan and Repair Disk in Windows 7/8.1

A few times, repairing the corrupted files worked for me. Usually, the corrupted ‘Ntuser’ files cause the temporary profile issue. So, run the check disk for the partition with the user profile.

Windows 7 check disk

After restarting the computer to continue the check disk tool, you can hope for recovery if you see corrupted entries and the repairing process inside your user profile folder.

If it finds and repairs files, especially the Ntuser files, you may get your old Windows 7 profile back.

Even though Windows 8 and 8.1 does the disk error checking automatically as part of ‘Automatic Maintenance’, you can still run it manually when you face this temp profile issue. If any system files corruption is found, that will be fixed during the scan.

a) Right-click on C drive, Tools and Error checking.

Temporary Profile Windows 8 - error checking

b) The recommended way to find and replace corrupted files in Windows 8 and 8.1 is by running the ‘SFC’ scan.

Start the command prompt as administrator like shown below (search for cmd, right-click and select ‘Run as administrator‘)

run as admin command prompt

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 the original installation medium.

sfc scan in windows 8 to fix Temporary Profile Windows 8

Restart the PC after repairing/replacing corrupted files (if found). Possibly, this could fix the issue.

4) Try System Restore

System restore is another solution you can try before going to the next step. System restore does not affect the user file. It will revert the system state to a certain date.

Few users reported this method as a solution for temporary profile loading issues in Windows 8.1/10 and 7 computers.

Also, you can try a system restore or re-installation (repair) of the Windows 8 Operating System if none of the steps works for you.

If the above steps do not help you out, then you need to create a new profile with the new username.

5) Create a New User Account

We need to create a new user account, log in with it and transfer the data from the old user profile to the new user profile. It is easy in a workgroup (home and individual PCs) environment as you can create a new username locally, but it is tricky in the domain environment.

Because the existing user account is already there on the domain server, and there is nothing wrong with it. Also, creating a new different domain user account will cause issues with corporate emails, domain group membership and shared permissions.

So, we need to treat both cases separately.

1) Create a new username in the non-domain (workgroup) environment from the control panel or computer management.  Make sure to add the new user to the administrators’ group.

added to admin

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

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

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

2) New user profile in the domain environment.

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

Copy the important user data (a to d in step 1) or entire folders from the corrupted profile to a new location (like D drive or a different folder in C drive). Ensure you copied all required folders and files from the old profile before deleting the original folder.

Go to Advanced settings of System as shown below, click on Settings (user profiles), select the corrupted user profile not loading properly in Windows 7, and then press the Delete button.

The delete button will be enabled only if you log in with a different user account.

select the profile and remove

This step will remove the entire user profile data and related user SID from the computer, including the registry keys we discussed earlier. You can cross-check the proper removal of a user account (SID) by checking the C:\Users folder.

Once it is removed properly, restart the computer and log in with the same username (which was not loading earlier). The computer should create a new user profile like the first time the user logs on.

You need to copy back your old important data to the new profile and set email outlook clients etc..if required.

I’m sure one of the above steps will fix the temporary profile issue on the Windows computer. Do let us know which one worked for you.

If any of the above solutions did not fix the Windows PC issues, we recommend downloading the below PC repair tool to identify and solve any PC Issues.

Dinesh is the founder of Sysprobs and written more than 400 articles. Enthusiast in Microsoft and cloud technologies with more than 15 years of IT experience.

85 thoughts on “How to Fix Temporary Profile in Windows 7/ 8.1/10”

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

    Windows XP Profile: \servernameprofile
    Windows 7 Profile: \servernameprofile.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. Thanks from Michael Belsky, this solution worked fine. I want everybody to use Michael Belsky procedure which has positive result.



  4. 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. 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?

    • 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. 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.

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

  8. 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)

  9. 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.

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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/

  13. 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

  14. Got the same issue on AD Windows 7 SP2 with 5 existing profiles. I deleted 4 not important but still can’t fix the important one. Non of above works and my worry is why does it happen and if it will happen again. There is no issue with disk as far I can see, is it corrupted Windows ?

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