Can’t log into Windows 10? Try these steps

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
11 Comments
Download PDF
Affiliate Disclosure

  • The Windows 10 login screen acts as a way to separate user profiles between each other, as well as a method of protecting one's private data.
  • Unfortunately, various issues can lead to errors that can prevent you from logging in efficiently, and that is what we will be looking over in the article below.
  • This hub is part of our much larger dedicated hub for troubleshooting System Errors, so make sure you save it somewhere since they happen quite often.
  • For more great troubleshooting guides, check out our dedicated Windows 10 Fix page.
what to do if I can't log in to Windows 10

Windows 10 has its share of issues, and one of the more troubling issues that users have reported is the inability to log in to Windows 10. This sounds like a big problem, but there are few things you can do to fix it.

Not being able to log in to Windows 10 can be one of the worst problems that PC users can face. You can’t access your files or applications, and not being able to use Windows 10 can cause major problems especially if you use Windows 10 regularly for work or school projects.

What are the different error variations?

  • Windows 10 can’t sign into your Account
    •  You’ll get this error in case something’s wrong with your User Account.
  • Windows 10 won’t let me log in to my computer
    • In case you recently encountered this problem, we have an article about it.
  • Windows 10 can’t login with Microsoft Account
    • If you receive this error on login, check out our article about resolving this problem.
  • Windows 10 can’t login with password
    • This error appears when there’s something wrong with your password.
  • Windows 10 can’t login after upgrade
    • Windows upgrades are known for causing various login problems to users.
  • We can’t sign into your account this problem can often be fixed
    • In case you’ve encountered this problem, check out our full guide about solving this issue
  • Windows 10 can’t get to login screen
    • This is a more serious issue, as it probably means your computer is unable to boot correctly.
    • In this case, we recommend you our article about booting problems in Windows.

What can I do if I can’t log in to Windows 10?

  1. Check your keyboard
  2. Make sure you’re connected to the internet
  3. Run PC in the Safe Mode
  4. Use the Local Account
  5. Install Windows Updates
  6. Perform System Restore
  7. Scan for viruses
  8. Run the SFC scan
  9. Reset Windows

1. Check your keyboard

  1. On login screen on the bottom right click Ease of Access icon.
  2. Find On-screen keyboard and click it.
  3. Keyboard should appear on your screen.
  4. Use your mouse to enter the password and try to log in again.

Make sure that if you’re using a localised keyboard that you’re entering the correct password. Sometimes with localised keyboards, key placement might be a bit different so keep that in mind.

Sometimes special characters or numbers in some rare cases can be assigned to different keys when you use a localised keyboard, so that might be preventing you from accessing Windows 10.

If you still have trouble logging in to Windows 10, you can always try using a different keyboard especially if your current keyboard has different letter placement. So if you have spare keyboard try connecting it to your computer and using it to log in to Windows 10.

This solution sounds simple, but it has been confirmed that it works by many users so make sure that you give it a try.


Want to step up your typing game? These are the best keyboards money can buy!


2. Make sure you’re connected to the internet

If you recently change your Microsoft Account password in the web browser, there’s a chance your computer hasn’t ‘registered’ it yet.

So, before moving on, make sure your computer is connected to the internet. This will allow your PC ‘to’ register the new password, and you’ll be able to log in to your PC again.

If you’re already connected to the internet, move on to the next solution from down below.


In case you cannot log in because of your password, it is important to know that you can solve it by using a specific password recovery tool. We strongly recommend you to use Windows Key, a password recovery software that is present on the market for 20 years.

This software can help you to recover Windows password, passwords for Android, ZIP, Apple File System, and macOS High Sierra Keychains. The big plus of Windows Key is that you don’t need to be a high-skilled computer user in order to handle it.



Epic guide alert! Solve all your internet connection problems in one go!


3. Run PC in the Safe Mode

  1. Restart your computer while holding the SHIFT button
  2. The Advanced Startup menu will open on the boot.
  3. Go to Troubleshoot.Windows 10 can't sign into your Account
  4. Now, go to Advanced Options > Startup Settings.
  5. Click the Restart button.
  6. A window with various startup options will show up.
  7. Press 5 or F5 on your keyboard to choose Enable Safe Mode with Networking.Windows 10 won't let me log in to my computer
  8. Wait for your computer to boot.

If you’re still unable to login to your PC, the only thing you should do next is to enter the Safe Mode. The Safe Mode does wonders in cases like this.

Not only that it’ll help us get your computer up and running, but it’ll also help us with determining the cause of the problem, and solving it. Running your computer in the Safe Mode will also be required for some of the solutions below. So, keep that in mind.

That’s all, now that we’re in the Safe Mode, we can move on finding and solving our problem.


Safe mode is not working on Windows 10? Read up on this guide.


4. Use the Local Account

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to the Accounts section. Now navigate to the Your info tab.
  3. Click  Sign in with a local account instead.Windows 10 can't login with Microsoft Account
  4. Enter your password and click Next.
  5. Now enter a username for your local account and click Next.
  6. After doing that, click the Sign out and finish button.
  7. Now log into Windows 10 with your local account.

This is another temporary solution until we determine the exact cause of the problem. If you’re having trouble switching your account or it doesn’t work properly, take a look on this article to solve account issues.


5. Install Windows Updates

Sure, Windows updates are known for causing and solving various problems. It’s like an infinite loop. But in this case, you shouldn’t be worried about the actual content of the update.

To install any Windows update, you need to restart your computer to apply changes. And that’s where things can get nasty. It’s more than likely for the update you just installed to disrupt your booting process.

We recommend you to check our article about problems with installing Windows updates for more potential solutions.


6. Perform System Restore

  1. Restart your computer while holding the SHIFT button
  2. The Advanced Startup menu will open on the boot.  Go to Troubleshoot.
  3. Choose System Restore.
  4. Choose your last restore point, and follow further on-screen instructions.
  5. Finish the setup.

If something inside your system got corrupt, System Restore is a tool that might come in handy.


Hving System Restore problems? We’ve got a useful guide that will help you solve them.


7. Scan for viruses

There’s also a chance you’ve picked up a virus somewhere, and it’s blocking you from logging into your PC. So, boot in the Safe Mode, and perform a deep virus scan.

If there are any threats, your antivirus program will remove them, and hopefully, you’ll be able to log in to your computer normally again.

Not everybody has an antivirus program. If you’re in this situation and you’re looking for the best ones for Windows 10, here are our best recommendations.


8. Run the SFC scan

  1. Go to Search, type cmd, right-click Command Prompt, and go to Run as Administrator.
  2. Enter the following command, and press Enter on your keyboard: sfc/scannowWindows 10 can't login after upgrade
  3. Wait for the process to finish.
  4. Restart your computer.

The SFC scanner is a handy tool used for dealing with various system-related problems. As there’s a chance our problem lays deep in the system, the SFC scan could prove as useful.

In some cases, scannow can cause you some trouble and you won’t be able to properly run the command because the process stops. For this situation, we’ve got a complete guide to help you fix it.


9. Reset Windows

  1. Go to the Settings app.
  2. Go to Update & Security > Recovery.
  3. Under Reset this PC, select Get Started.Windows 10 can't get to login screen
  4. Choose whether you want to completely wipe your partition, or keep your personal files.
  5. Follow further on-screen instructions very carefully. Note: If you’re not certain about doing this, ask someone more experienced for help.

And finally, if none of the solutions from above proved to be useful with solving our login problem, we’ll have to raise the white flag, and reinstall your operating system.


Resetting your Windows can seem difficult, but follow our guide, and you’ll be done!


FAQ: Learn more about the Windows login screen

  • Why does Windows have the Login feature?

Windows 10 separates users via login screens in order to protect each individual’s personal data. If you have issues logging into your profile, check out this troubleshooting guide.

  • What do I need in order to pass the Windows 10 login screen?

You will need to select the user profile you want to log into, and then enter the password or the 6-digit PIN associated with each profile.

  • What happens when I enter the credentials wrong in the Windows login screen?

Entering the wrong credentials 3 times in a row will result in your Windows PC blocking login attempts. If your account gets hacked, follow the steps mentioned in this guide to recover it fast.


We hope that these solutions have helped you to log in to Windows 10, but if you still have this issue we have already covered what to do if you are unable to login with Microsoft account and what to do if Windows 10 freezes at login section.

If you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to reach for the comments section below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Was this page helpful?
Thanks for letting us know! You can also help us by leaving a review on MyWOT or Trustpillot.
Get the most from your tech with our daily tips
Tell us why!
  • Title of this help page: “Fix: Can’t log in to Windows 10”

    Solution 4 – Use the Local Account
    Step 1: Open the Settings app.

    *looks back up at title*

    *facepalm*

  • My computer was shutting down by itself every 5 mins, on web I found following solution on one of the windows assist sites – “Click Selective Startup, click to clear the Load Startup Group Items check box, click Apply, click OK, and then click Yes to restart your…”

    After shutting down, I am unable to login. System starts till wallpaper screen, but as soon as I press any button or try to swipe up to reach login box, screen just freezes, I don’t even reach login box screen,

    I am able to see internet sign with cross, ease of access and restart button, all these buttons, mouse and keyboard are working however same thing happens again and again

    Please help

    I am able to access Asus UEFI Bios utility, but can’t understand anything

  • I am going to be a guest. I want sell my New Windows computer. You a terrible company. I know you will never help me!

  • None of those worked and I’m kind of sick of it I have an Apple computer but I bought when does because my husband it want to pay for laptop that was Apple I hate windows because you never work you’re slow never give any options you worse and you have a van you’re not better you’re worse I can’t get the computer about nothing helps

  • my wife’s dell inspiron 15 laptop is having the same issue as zaxiez but I cannot get into safe mode. When the start up screen appears and you push the spacebar or other keys the screen flips and starts to go to the log-in but then goes back to the start up screen. There are only two icons that appear on the bottom right corner of the screen a wireless and battery power icon. Sometimes when I restart the computer there is a red flash prior to the start up screen. I have tried downloading media creation tool but cannot get the laptop to boot from the USB. I have changed the boot configuration many times but with no success,. Please help I am not sure how much a computer repair might cost or if they would even be able to fix it.

  • Omg. I just opened the box!!!! After go through all the setup step, my surface book couldn’t find the internet which I have already double check with my phone n PC. After restart, I could not log in…..cannot even do anything now. It costs me $2400 n got me on my nerves ????????????

  • I was doing the steps you recommended for ” Windows 10 apps error fix” (see your post). then while changing the Drive C security my laptop shut down.
    Now I cannot get past the Windows 10 start picture. I can NOT reach the Login Screen.
    It gets stuck between PREPARING circle screen.
    No blames.

    How can I revert it back to start normally.
    ALREADY done did a Refresh My PC+ Leave my Stuff.

    (I don’t want to settle here but yes I CAN get into Safe Mode–then with msconfig ‘Run’, make it look appealing with the ‘Boot’ configuration to always enter ‘Safe Mode’ + ‘Driver Recovery’. BUT I don’t have some privileges)
    How do I revert to normal startup, login and user privileges

    • If you are trying to get user privileges you have to make sure you have administrator privilege not standard privilege????