Fix: PIN not working in Windows 10

By: Milan Stanojevic
10 minute read

Just like its predecessor, Windows 10 allows users to secure their operating system using a PIN. Many users prefer using PIN since it’s more convenient to memorize a PIN than a long password, but what can you do if your PIN doesn’t work in Windows 10?

PIN not working in Windows 10, how to fix it?

Not being able to use your PIN can be a big problem, and users reported several similar PIN-related problems. The most common variations of this problem are listed below:

  • Windows 10 PIN something went wrong – Sometimes this problem is followed by Something went wrong error message. This is a standard variation of this problem and it can be fixed with our solutions.
  • Windows 10 add PIN does nothing – This is another common problem that can appear on Windows 10. If this problem appears, you might not be able to add your PIN at all.
  • Windows 10 PIN not working after update – Many users reported this issue after a major Windows update. New updates bring many changes and sometimes these changes can affect your PIN.
  • Windows 10 PIN incorrect – Another problem that can occur with PIN codes on Windows 10 is the incorrect PIN problem. This is most likely a bug and you should be able to fix it with our solutions.
  • Windows 10 cannot add PIN – Many Windows 10 users reported that they are unable to add PIN code. According to them, they are forced to use password login instead.
  • Windows 10 PIN not showing – Several users reported that their PIN isn’t showing at all on Windows 10. In some more serious cases, you might not even see the PIN section at all.
  • PIN not working laptop HP, Acer, Dell, Toshiba, Asus – According to users, this issue can appear on almost any laptop. Users reported this problem on various models from major manufactures including HP, Acer, Dell, Toshiba, Asus and others.

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Solution 1 – Delete everything from Ngc folder

If you cannot access Windows 10 with your PIN, it’s advised that you open Ngc folder and remove everything from it. To do that, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Use your password to log in to Windows 10.
  2. Open File Explorer and navigate to C:\Windows\ServiceProfiles\LocalService\AppData\Local\Microsoft.
  3. Right click the Ngc folder and choose Properties.
    Windows 10 PIN something went wrong
  4. Navigate to the Security tab and click on Advanced button.
    Windows 10 add PIN does nothing
  5. Locate the Owner section at the top and click Change link.
    Windows 10 PIN not working after update
  6. In Enter the object name to select enter Administrators, if you’re using administrator account, or your user name and click Check Names and OK.
    Windows 10 PIN incorrect
  7. Check Replace owner on subcontainers and objects and click Apply and OK.
    Windows 10 cannot add PIN
  8. Now you should be able to enter Ngc folder.
  9. Once you open Ngc folder, select all files and folders in it and delete them.

After you’ve deleted everything from Ngc folder, you can create new PIN for your Windows 10 device by doing the following:

  1. Go to Settings app > Account settings. Choose Sign-in Options and click Add a PIN.
  2. Follow the instruction to add a new PIN.

You can also reset permissions over the Ngc directory by using the Command Prompt. This method is faster, but it requires some familiarity with the command line. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + X to open Win + X menu. Select Command Prompt (Admin) from the menu. If Command Prompt isn’t available, you can use PowerShell (Admin) instead.
    PIN not working laptop HP
  2. When Command Prompt opens, enter icacls C:\Windows\ServiceProfiles\LocalService\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Ngc /T /Q /C /RESET and press Enter to run it.
    Windows 10 PIN something went wrong

After running this command you should be able to access Ngc directory without any problems. Several users claim that you can fix this problem simply by resetting permissions over the Ngc directory. According to them, it’s not necessary to remove any files or to recreate your PIN.


Solution 2 – Recreate your PIN

If PIN isn’t working on Windows 10, you might be able to fix the problem simply by recreating it. According to users, simply by removing and recreating your PIN the issue was resolved. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app. You can open it using the Windows Key + I shortcut.
  2. Navigate to the Accounts section.
    Windows 10 add PIN does nothing
  3. In the left pane, navigate to Sign-in options. Scroll down to the PIN section in the right pane and click on Remove.
    Windows 10 PIN not working after update
  4. Windows will now ask you to confirm that you want to remove your PIN. Click on Remove.
    Windows 10 PIN incorrect
  5. Now you’ll be asked to enter your account password. Enter it and click on OK.
    Windows 10 cannot add PIN

This will remove your PIN. Now you just need to set it again. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Add button in the PIN section.
  2. Enter the desired PIN and click on OK.
    Windows 10 PIN not showing

After creating a new PIN the problem should be completely resolved.


Solution 3 – Choose Sign-in options from the login screen

If PIN is not working in Windows 10, you might not be able to log in at all. Several users reported that they managed to circumvent this problem by clicking on Sign-in options. From them you’ll be able to choose PIN sign-in or password sign-in.

Several users reported that simply by pressing the Tab key on their keyboard they managed to switch to password login. After you do that, you’ll be able to click on Sign-in options and choose PIN login from the menu. This is a simple workaround, and it works according to users, so be sure to try it out.


Solution 4 – Use I forgot my PIN option

Many users reported that PIN is not working for them in Windows 10. However, they managed to find a simple workaround that can solve this problem. According to users, you just have to use I forgot my PIN option to fix this problem. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app and navigate to Accounts section.
  2. Navigate to Sign-in options in the left pane. Scroll down to the PIN section and click on I forgot my PIN.
    PIN not working laptop Acer
  3. Confirmation message will appear. Click on Continue.
    Windows 10 PIN something went wrong
  4. Now enter a new PIN and click on OK.

Several users reported that they were asked to enter their Microsoft account password in order to proceed. However, Windows 10 wouldn’t accept the password. If this happens, convert your Microsoft account to local account and try to perform this solution again.


Solution 5 – Uninstall Dell Data Protection security tools

Sometimes your PIN might not work properly due to third-party security tools. Dell users reported that PIN is not working on their PC, and the main cause for this problem was Dell Data Protection security tools. According to users, to fix this problem you need to uninstall these tools from your PC. There are three Dell Data Protection tools you need to remove in order to fix this problem.

After removing these tools, it’s recommended to clean your registry and remove any leftover entries related to these tools. We already covered the best registry cleaner software, so feel free to use any of those tools to clean your registry.

Now you just have to recreate your PIN by following the steps from Solution 2. After doing that, the problem should be resolved and your PIN will start working.


Solution 6 – Remove your antivirus

As previously mentioned, third-party tools can interfere with Windows 10. If your PIN is not working, that might be due to your antivirus software. To fix the issue, you need to temporarily uninstall your antivirus and check if that solves the problem. To completely remove your antivirus software along with all associated files and registry entries, it’s advised to use a dedicated removal tool. Almost all antivirus companies offer these tools for their software, so be sure to download one for your antivirus.

After you remove your antivirus, check if the problem still persists. If not, install the latest version of your antivirus or switch to a different antivirus software. Users reported that Norton antivirus is the common cause for this problem, but other antivirus tools can cause this problem as well.


Solution 7 – Roll back to the previous build

Sometimes certain issues can occur after installing a new build of Windows 10. New builds might have some bugs that can cause this problem to occur. If PIN is not working in Windows 10, you might have to go back to the older build. This is relatively simple and you can do it by following these steps:

  1. Open the Start Menu, click the Power icon, press and hold the Shift key and choose Restart from the menu.
    Windows 10 add PIN does nothing
  2. List of options will now appear. Click on Troubleshoot > Advanced options.
  3. Click on See more recovery options.
  4. Click on Go back to the previous build and choose your administrator account. If required, enter your administrator password.
  5. Once you’re ready to start, click on Go back to previous build button.
  6. The process will now start. Keep in mind that this can take a couple of hours to complete, so be sure not to interrupt the process.

It’s also worth mentioning that Roll back option isn’t always available. This option is available for couple of days after you install a major update. If you performed a Disk Cleanup after the update, it’s possible that you removed the old version of Windows, so you won’t be able to go back to it. This isn’t the most reliable solution, but several users reported that rolling back to the previous build fixed the problem for them, so you might want to try that.


Solution 8 – Use on-screen keyboard

If your PIN is not working on Windows 10, you might be able to fix the problem by using on-screen keyboard. On the login screen there’s a virtual keyboard button that you can use to activate the on-screen keyboard. After doing that, use the virtual keyboard to enter your PIN. This is a simple workaround, but few users reported that it works, so feel free to try this solution out.


Solution 9 – Temporarily remove your laptop battery

Several users reported that they fixed this problem simply by removing their laptop battery. According to users, they removed the battery and disconnected the laptop from the power adapter. After doing that, they returned the battery and the problem was resolved. This is an unusual workaround, but few users claim that it works, so feel free to try it out.


Solution 10 – Create a local account

If PIN is not working, that could be due to problems with your user account. Your user account might be corrupted and that can cause this problem to appear. To fix the issue, you need to convert your Microsoft account to a local account. You can do that by following these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app and go to the Accounts section.
  2. Click on Sign in with a local account instead.
    Windows 10 PIN not working after update
  3. Enter the desired name for the new account and click on Next.
    Windows 10 PIN incorrect
  4. Now click on Sign out and finish.
    Windows 10 cannot add PIN

After doing that, the problem with your PIN should be resolved.

If the issue still persists, it’s possible that your user account is corrupted so you’ll need to create a new one. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app and navigate to Accounts.
  2. From the menu on the left choose Family & other people. Click on Add someone else to this PC from Other people section.
    Windows 10 PIN not showing
  3. Select I don’t have this person’s sign-in information.
    PIN not working laptop Dell
  4. Add a user without a Microsoft account.
    Windows 10 PIN something went wrong
  5. Enter the desired user name and click on Next.
    Windows 10 add PIN does nothing

After doing that, switch to the local account and check if the issue appears there as well. If not, you might have to move your personal files to the new account and use it as your main one.


Solution 11 – Change your Group Policy settings

Users reported that they fixed the problem with PIN simply by making a few changes to their Group Policy. Group Policy Editor is a useful feature that allows you to change various system settings, however, this feature isn’t available in Home versions of Windows. If you’re using the Home version, this solution won’t apply to you. To make changes to the Group Policy, do the following:

  1. Press Windows Key + R and enter gpedit.msc. Press Enter or click OK.
    Windows 10 PIN not working after update
  2. When Group Policy Editor opens, in the left pane navigate to Administrative Templates > System > Logon. In the right pane, double click on Turn on convenience PIN sign-in.
    Windows 10 PIN incorrect
  3. Select Enabled and click on Apply and OK to save changes.
    Windows 10 cannot add PIN

After making the necessary changes, the issue should be resolved and you should be able to use PIN without any problems.


Solution 12 – Change Startup type of IPsec Policy Agent

Your Windows uses various services in order to run properly. If PIN is not working on Windows 10, you might be able to fix this issue by changing the Startup type of IPsec Policy Agent service. To do that, you need to do the following:

  1. Press Windows Key + R and enter services.msc. Now press Enter or click OK.
    Windows 10 PIN not showing
  2. List of services will now appear. Double click on IPsec Policy Agent to open its properties.
    PIN not working laptop Toshiba
  3. Set the Startup type to Automatic and click on Apply and OK to save changes.
    Windows 10 PIN something went wrong

After making the necessary changes, restart your PC and check if the problem is resolved.


PIN is a useful option if you don’t want to memorize long passwords, however, PIN issues such as this can emerge. If your PIN and password aren’t working, your keyboard layout has probably changed. You might be unable to login to Windows 10, but fortunately for you, we already wrote about what to do if you can’t log in to Windows 10, so make sure to check that article for more solutions.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2016 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.


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