FIX: Deleted user account keeps reappearing [Windows 10/11]
Some users have posted on forums about deleted Windows 10 user accounts reappearing. Thus, users can’t erase the user accounts that keep re-emerging.
One user stated:
Every time I delete the account, there is about a 12 hour period in which it appears to be gone for good… Then, the next day, I will turn my computer back on and the account I once deleted is back.
Learn how to delete your account, but this time for good.
Why is deleted user account still showing in Windows 10?
1. Remove ESET Anti-Theft Phantom Accounts
- It is often the case that deleted accounts keep reappearing for users who utilize ESET Smart Security, and those users need to delete their ESET phantom accounts first via ESET settings. To do that, open a browser; and log in to ESET Anti-Theft.
- Then select the I recovered my device option.
- Select the required device listed under devices protected by ESET Anti-Theft, and click the View details.
- Select Settings on the left.
- Then press the Phantom account state Delete button. Select the Delete option to confirm.
- In addition, some users might need to turn off an ESET Anti-Theft setting with the ESET software. To do that, open ESET Smart Security in Windows.
- Click Setup and Security Tools to open further options.
- Then turn off the Anti-Theft option.
2. Delete the Account Via Command Prompt
- Users can try deleting accounts via an elevated Command Prompt when the user account options in
- Settings don’t remove them. To do so, open the search box with the Windows key + S keyboard hotkey.
- Input ‘cmd’ in the Type here to search box.
- Right-click the Command Prompt and select Run as administrator, which will open an elevated CP window.
- Next, enter ‘net user username /delete’ in the Command Prompt; and press the Return key. Replace ‘username’ with the actual user account name.
- Then restart Windows.
If you run into a major system issue, Reset this PC feature allows you to keep your files. Learn more about it here.
3. Delete the Account Via the Registry
- Alternatively, users can try erasing registry keys for user accounts that keep on reappearing. Users can do that by pressing the Windows key + R, entering ‘regedit’ in Run, and clicking OK.
- Then go to this registry path in the Registry Editor:
- Then select the S-1 subkey for the user account that keeps reappearing after you seemingly delete it. The subkey will include a ProfileImagePath string that references the user account.
- Right-click the subkey that includes the ProfileImagePath string for the account that keeps reappearing and select Delete.
4. Disable the Account
- Instead of deleting the user account, try disabling it instead, which will remove the account from Windows 10’s sign-in screen. To do that, open the Type here to search box.
- Input the keyword ‘cmd’ in the text box, right-click Command Prompt, and select Run as administrator.
- Then input ‘net user username /active:no’ in the Command Prompt window, and press the Return key. Remember to replace ‘username’ in that command with the actual user account name.
- Thereafter, restart Windows. The login page will no longer include the user account, but users can still reactivate it by entering ‘net user username /active:yes’ in the Command Prompt.
So, users who utilize the ESET Anti-Theft utility will probably need to delete its phantom account as outlined above to fix an account that keeps reappearing after deletion. And, hopefully, the Windows 10 deleted user account reappearing won’t bother you anymore.
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- What to do if the user account has expired on Windows 10
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