Temporary Profile Error in Windows Solution!

Today, we will address a well-known error for users of the Microsoft operating system, the famous temporary profile error in Windows. This is a localized error in Windows 7, 8, and 10, and the problem is basically the following: You log in to Windows, but the system does not load your usual user profile. Instead, it generates a session with a temporary profile to which all files, personal folders, and desktop icons are missing. temporary profile error in Windows

Fix for temporary profile error (valid for Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and Windows 10)

The temporary profile error in Windows is quite common and usually occurs when the operating system fails to load your user profile data correctly from the Windows registry. If you access C: \ Users, you will see how there is a folder with the name ” TEMP ” (the temporary profile that Windows has loaded and that is doing the hell to you) and another with the name of your user account. If you enter your user account, you will see all the files you miss. Do not worry.

To solve the problem, you have to open the Windows registry editor and locate the folder created when the system could not correctly load your user profile. This folder is a «.BAK» folder, and your objective will be to delete it so that the system stops loading this temporary profile. The steps to follow are those:

IMPORTANT: If you have never touched the Windows registry, it is advisable to make a backup copy of it to ensure that you are not going to “break anything” if we make a mistake and screw it up. You can make a backup simply by clicking on “ File -> Export ” once you have opened the registry editor.

If at any time you want to restore the backup of the registry, open the editor again and go to ” File -> Import ” to load the backup that we just generated.

In any case, keep in mind that you are facing a very delicate process that can leave your PC unusable. If you are not sure what you are doing or have doubts, do not take another step. It is best to take the computer to technical service to have it checked.

Step 1: Open the registry editor

Execute the command ” regedit ” from the Start button (right-click) -> Run (or by pressing the Win + R keys) to open the registry. If your operating system is Windows 10, you can also open the editor by typing “regedit” in the search engine on the taskbar.

Note: Make sure your user has local administrator permissions. Otherwise, you will not be able to make any changes to the registry.

Step 2: Locate the “.bak” folder

Once inside the editor, navigate in the side folder tree to the following path:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows NT \ CurrentVersion \ ProfileList

The folders that begin with “S-1-5” and have a long numbering correspond to the existing profiles in Windows. There will be both your user profile and the temporary Windows profile.

Locate the folder that has the ending “.bak” and delete it by clicking on it with the right mouse button and selecting the “Delete” option. In this way, you will eliminate the temporary user profile that until now was loading Windows incorrectly.

Step 3: Restart the computer

Restart the PC for the changes made to take effect. If everything goes well, once the computer is restarted, the system will reload your usual user profile, and you will be able to access all your files and other settings without any problem.

If, after the restart, you still have problems, I recommend that you repair your user profile. Here is a link to the Microsoft page where they explain how to do the whole process.

Are you still having problems with your user profile? Maybe it’s a permission issue

If you have not been able to solve your problem, the error of not being able to log in to Windows with your user may be due to a permission problem. As discussed in this and this other  Microsoft forum, the lack of permissions on the C: \ Users \ Default folder also prevents a rudimentary login. To solve it, you must grant permissions to your user:

  • Log in with a user with administrator permissions.
  • Locate the folder C: \ Users \ Default (it is a hidden folder).
  • Right-click on the “Default” folder and click on “Properties.”
  • We go to «Security -> Advanced options».
  • By clicking on the «Edit» button, you can change the permissions:
    • ” Users ” and ” Everyone ” must have ” Read and execute ” + ” Show folder contents ” + ” Read ” permissions.
    • ” Administrators ” and ” System ” must have all the permissions enabled except ” Special permissions. “
  • Apply the changes and restart the computer. In case of error, it is recommended to make these changes by logging in in safe mode.

Migrating the data from the temporary profile to the main profile by hand

In some situations, you may end up with data stored in the temporary profile or another previous profile. In that case, you need to “migrate” your personal files stored from that profile to the current one (be careful, if the initial process has worked, it will not be necessary).

This step has no choice but to do it by hand. Go to C: \ Users \ and locate the old profile with your data. Enter each of these folders and cut + paste the contents of the folder (not copy the entire folder, but its contents) in the folder with the same name as your current profile:

The folders where your personal files are usually stored are those for Desktop, Videos, Music, Images, Documents, and Downloads. If you use the Edge browser or Internet Explorer, you will also copy the content of the « Favorites» folder.

It is a bit cumbersome work, but it is the only way to pass the data to your profile in a simple way.

If none of this works for you and you work with Windows 10, you may need to consider a system restore. 

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