How to Fix User Profile Cannot be Loaded Error in Windows 10

BY Sourav



You may encounter an error message “The User Profile Service failed the sign-in. User profile cannot be loaded” while trying to log into Windows 10 with your username and password. Even if it’s a New Local User Account, this error also prevents you from logging in to it.

The error generally appears when the user profile or Windows registry file gets corrupted, or the Permission Settings are misconfigured.

So, to help you fix the problem, we’ve provided different quick solutions in this guide.

Reasons for Error “User Profile Cannot Be Loaded”

If the error User profile cannot be loaded occurs when you first log into Windows 10 with a new account, it indicates the Default profile has corrupted, or there’s a change in the Default profile folder permission.

The default user profile is a template profile used when the new users log on to Windows for the first time. The settings are then copied to the new profile during the first login. So, if the C:\Users\Default directory (or the Default Profile folder NTUSER.DAT) is missing or corrupted, the system’s Profile Service can’t copy data from the default directory to the new profile directory.

The other reasons behind the error are:

  • Antivirus software is scanning the system during the login, and it causes the User Profile to be corrupted. Hence, the error appears.
  • Registry settings are incorrect.
  • System files are corrupted.
  • Windows User Profile Service is unable to launch.
  • A system update sometimes corrupts the User Profile and triggers the issue.

Fix “User Profile Cannot Be Loaded” in Windows 10

First of all, try restarting your PC and then log into the account. If the restart doesn’t help, move on to the following solutions.

Create A Local User Account

If the User Account you want to log in to is new or doesn’t have important files, then you can fix the error by creating a New Local User Account.

This method only works if your Default User Account is not corrupted. To do that,

  1. Select Start > Settings > Accounts.
  2. Click Family & other users from the left side.
  3. Select Add someone else to this PC.
  4. Then choose I don’t have this person’s sign-in information and on the next window, click Add a new user without a Microsoft account.
  5. Enter a username and password and click Next to complete the process.

Restart User Profile Service

The error might appear if the User Profile Service on your system cannot start automatically during login. So, restarting it can help you fix the problem.

Here’re the steps to follow:

1. Boot the PC in safe mode.

2. Type cmd in the Search box, click Run as administrator, and open Command Prompt.

3. Type the following commands and press enter after each command:

sc config ProfSvc start= auto

sc start ProfSvc


4. Reboot your PC and check if you can log in.

Edit Registry Settings

The most common cause behind “The User Profile Service failed the sign-in” error is corrupted Registry Settings for that user profile. To solve it, you need to check the files and edit them.

Note: Back up the Windows Registry before making any changes. Doing so will create a restore point so you can go back to the previous OS version if anything goes wrong.

Follow these steps to edit Registry Settings:

1. Open Registry Editor by pressing Windows key+R and entering regedit.

2. Go to Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList

3. You’ll get the list of the profile folders along with their SIDs.

4. To get your SID, open Command Prompt.

5. Enter the command: wmic useraccount get name, sid. This will display all your user accounts on the system and their SIDs.

6. Now return to the Registry Editor and select your profile.

7. Note the value for ProfileImagePath on the right side of the screen.

8. There can be two identical registry keys that are distinguished by .bak extension in the end. Rename the key with the .bak as the main key and remove .bak. Next, add .bak to the other key.

9. If you have only one key with .bak, remove the extension. (If there’s no key with the .bak extension, that means the error is not caused by a duplicate program).

10. Navigate inside the profile key. Ensure that the values of State and RefCount are set to 0. If not, double-click on them and alter the value.

11. Restart the PC.

Change Folder Permission

If the profile folder permission isn’t set correctly, it can lead to the user profile error. It can happen when you make random changes in the settings.

To fix it, follow this process below:

1. Right-click on the default folder and choose Properties.

2. Navigate to the Security tab and click on Edit.

3. Checkmark the boxes for Read & execute, List folder contents, and Read options.

4. Also, checkmark the box for Full Control to allow the System and Administrator permissions.

5. Hit Apply and Ok.

6. Now, go to the Advanced tab.

7. Select the Replace all child … from this object option if it’s showing.

Replace NTUSER Data File

The next solution is to replace the NTUSER data file from the corrupted User Profile with the working User Profile. This will though change the profile configuration, you can solve the problem quickly.

1. Log in to Windows using your Admin account or User Account with admin rights.

2.  Open File Explorer.

3. Select the View tab above and tick the boxes for File name extensions and Hidden items.

4. Now, go to This PC > Local Disk > Users.

5. Select to open any Working User Profile.

6. Right-click on the NTUSER.DAT file in the User folder and click Copy.

7. Go to This PC > Local Disk > Users > Corrupted User Folder.


9. Finally, paste the NTUSER.DAT file to the corrupted User Profile from the Working User Profile.

Troubleshoot User Profile Service Events

The Windows operating system records and stores events in the system log. You can check User Profile Service Events in the log to find out the exact reason for the error.

To do that, log into the system from a different account or admin account and follow these instructions:

1. Press Windows key+R and enter eventvwr in the  Run command box.

2. Double-click to open Application and Services Logs > Microsoft > Windows > User Profile Service and select Operational.

3. Choose Filter Current Log.

4. Tick Error and click Ok.

5. Choose the most current error and go through its details.

You may understand if NTUSER.DAT or any other security settings are causing the error. It also possible that the system might be unable to access .sqm files.

To remove the error, you need to either replace the NTUSER.DAT file or make some changes in the permission settings. You can also delete .sqm files, and the system will access them later if the permissions are set correctly.

Restore Corrupted System Files

If the system files get corrupted, Windows cannot be able to load the user profile. Hence, repairing and restoring the files can help you with troubleshooting.

Here is how to do it:

1. Type cmd in the Search box and open Command Prompt as an administrator.

2. In the Command Prompt window, enter these commands:

dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth

sfc /scannow

chkdsk C: /f /x /r

3. Close and exit.

These are the quick solutions you can try to fix the annoying error. After performing the steps, you will be able to log in to the system. If you find this guide helpful, please share it with others. Also, let us know in the comment box if you know any more useful methods for this error.

About The Author


Sourav’s been working as a freelance writer and blogger for over five years. She is a firm believer in big dreams and realizing them. Her work has been published in Women On Writing, Be a Freelance Blogger, Make a Living Writing and Brazen Careerist among others