Full Fix: You’ve been signed in with a temporary profile in Windows 10, 8.1, 7

6 minute read

Ever since Windows 10 was launched, users have been complaining their computers sometimes sign them in with a temporary profile. Due to this bug, users can’t access a series of files on their computers, although they are the rightful administrators of their systems.

Not even the Anniversary Update could fix this issue. It appears this annoying bug is here to stay, forcing users to look for workarounds in order to regain full access on their computers.

Fix: You’ve been signed in with a temporary profile

You’ve been signed in with a temporary profile message can appear for various reasons and prevent you from accessing your user account. Speaking of this message, here are some similar problems that users reported:

  • Windows 8 stuck in temporary profile – According to users, this problem can appear on Windows 8, and since Windows 10 and 8 are so similar, you can apply most solutions from this article to Windows 8 as well.
  • User keeps logging in with temporary profile Windows 7 – Many Windows 7 users reported this problem. This issue can occur due to your antivirus, so be sure to disable it temporarily and check if that helps.
  • A temporary profile is loaded – If there’s a problem with your profile, you might encounter this message on your PC. However, you can fix the problem simply by logging in to Safe Mode.
  • You’ve been logged into a temporary profile – This is another variation of this error, and to fix it, you just need to disable PIN sign-in and check if that solves the issue.

Solution 1 – Perform SFC and DISM scans

Sometimes to fix this problem you need to perform a couple of scans. You can do that easily by following these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + X to open Win + X menu. Choose Command Prompt (Admin) or PowerShell (Admin) from the menu.
    A temporary profile is loaded
  2. When Command Prompt starts, enter sfc /scannow and press Enter to run it.
  3. SFC scan will now start. The scan can take about 15 minutes, so don’t interrupt it.

Once the scan is finished, restart your PC and check if the problem is resolved. If you’re unable to run SFC scan, or if SFC scan doesn’t fix the problem, you’ll need to run DISM scan as well.

You can do that by starting Command Prompt as administrator and running the DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth command. The scan can take about 20 minutes, so be patient. If you want, it might be a good idea to perform an SFC scan once again, just in case.

After running both scans, restart your PC and check if the issue is resolved.


Solution 2 – Sign in with your password instead of your PIN

If you keep getting You’ve been signed in with a temporary profile message, the problem might be your sign-in method. Many users use a PIN to sign-in to Windows, but that can lead to certain issues. However, you can fix the problem by disabling the PIN sign-in. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app and go to Accounts section.
    Windows 8 stuck in temporary profile
  2. Select Sign-in options. In the right pane, go to PIN section and click the Remove button.
    User keeps logging in with temporary profile Windows 7
  3. Enter your account password and click OK.
    A temporary profile is loaded

After doing that, your PIN sign-in will be disabled and problems with temporary profile should be resolved.


Solution 3 – Delete the profile from the Registry

Sometimes this problem can occur due to issues with your registry. There might be a broken profile and to fix that problem, you need to do the following:

  1. Log in to the computer as a different administrator
  2. Move the broken user profile folder form C:\users\ to c:\Backup\
  3. Open the Registry Editor and go to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList
    You've been logged into a temporary profile
  4. Locate the folder that has the ProfileImagePath that points to c:\users\. It usually ends in “.back”. Delete the entire folder.
  5. Restart your computer and log in with the affected user profile.

Alternatively, you can fix this problem by making a few small changes in registry. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Start Command Prompt as administrator and run whoami /user command. Memorize the SID because you’ll need it for future steps.
    Windows 8 stuck in temporary profile
  2. Start Registry Editor and go to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList.
  3. Locate the key that has the same name as your SID from Step 1. If there are two keys with the same name, but one of them has .bak at the end, delete the one without .bak extension. If there’s just one key with the .bak extension, rename it and remove .bak from its name. If your key doesn’t have the .bak extension, just proceed to the next step.
  4. Select the correct key and in the right pane locate ProfileImagePath value. Double-click it to check its properties, and make sure that its value is correct. If the value isn’t C:\Users\your_username, be sure to change it accordingly.
    User keeps logging in with temporary profile Windows 7
  5. Now double-click State entry, and set its Value to 0.
    A temporary profile is loaded

After making these changes, check if the problem is still there.


Solution 4 – Refresh the location

Windows 8 stuck in temporary profile

  1. Go to This PC > right click on Documents
  2. Click on Properties > select the Location tab
  3. Click on Find Target
  4. Locate the directory where you have your files and click once on it
  5. On the top of the File Explorer, click to the right of the directory list. A text with the directory location will appear C:\Users(YourUser)\documents
  6. Copy this location text C:\User\(YourUser)\documents > close File Explorer
  7. Paste the location text on the field right above the buttons > click on Apply
  8. Restart your computer.

Solution 5 – Update your system

If you keep getting You’ve been signed in with a temporary profile message, you might be able to fix the problem simply by installing the latest updates. To check for the latest updates, just do the following:

  1. Press Windows Key + I to open the Settings app.
  2. Go to the Update & Security section.
    You've been logged into a temporary profile
  3. Now click Check for updates button.
    Windows 8 stuck in temporary profile

Windows will now check for available updates and download them in the background. After downloading the updates, restart your PC to install them and check if the problem is resolved.


Solution 6 – Check your antivirus

User keeps logging in with temporary profile Windows 7

According to users, your antivirus can sometimes interfere with your system and cause You’ve been signed in with a temporary profile message to appear. However, several users reported that they fixed the problem simply by uninstalling their antivirus software.

According to them, the issue was caused by Avast, but after removing the application, the problem was completely resolved. Keep in mind that sometimes other antivirus tools can cause this problem to appear, so you might have to remove them in order to solve this issue.

If you fixed the problem by removing your antivirus, this might be a good time to consider switching to a different antivirus solution. There are many great antivirus tools on the market, but BullGuard is one of the best. This tool offers great protection, and it won’t interfere with your system, so be sure to try it out.


Solution 7 – Go to Safe Mode

Several users reported that they fixed the You’ve been signed in with a temporary profile error simply by entering Safe Mode. To do that, you just need to follow these simple steps:

  1. Open the Settings app and go to Update & Security section.
  2. Go to the Recovery section in the left pane. In the right pane click Restart now button in Advanced startup section.
    You've been logged into a temporary profile
  3. You’ll be presented with three options. Choose Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings. Click the Restart button.
  4. Once your PC restarts, you’ll see a list of options. Select any version of Safe Mode by pressing the appropriate key on your keyboard.

Once you enter Safe Mode, use it for a couple of minutes. Now restart your PC and the problem with Safe Mode will be resolved completely. As you can see, this is a simple solution, so be sure to try it out.

We hope one of these four solutions work for you. If you’ve come across a workaround we didn’t list in this article, tell us more about your experience in the comment section below.


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


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