User Profile Service failed the sign-in - Fix in Windows 8

How to Fix "User Profile Service service failed the sign-in. User Profile cannot be loaded." Error in Windows 8 and 8.1


This is for when you try to sign in to a user account using a temporary profile, you get the error message below instead of your user account starting. When you click/tap on OK, you are taken back to the sign in screen.

User Profile Service service failed the sign-in.

User Profile cannot be loaded.

OK

A user profile is a collection of settings that make the computer look and work the way you want it to for a user account. It contains the account's settings for desktop backgrounds, screen savers, pointer preferences, sound settings, and other features. User profiles ensure that your personal preferences are used whenever you sign in to Windows.

A user profile is different from a user account, which you use to sign in to Windows. Each user account has at least one user profile associated with it.


This tutorial will show you how to fix the "User Profile Service service failed the sign-in. User Profile cannot be loaded." error when trying to sign in to a user account in Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows 8.1, and Windows RT 8.1.

Known causes of "User Profile Service failed the sign-in" error:

  • The C:\Users\(user-name) user profile folder was manually deleted instead of using the proper method in this tutorial. A user profile that is improperly deleted manually does not remove the security identifier (SID) from the profile list in the registry. Since the SID is still present, Windows will still try to load the profile of the user account by using the ProfileImagePath that points to a nonexistent user profile folder path. Therefore, the profile cannot be loaded.
  • The C:\Users\(user-name) user profile folder itself was improperly renamed manually, instead of using the proper method in this tutorial.
  • An unknown issue with the user profile entering into a backup state occurred.
  • A corrupted user profile.
  • Occasionally, Windows might not read your user profile correctly, for example, if your antivirus software is scanning your computer while you try to sign in. Try restarting your computer and signing in with your user account again to resolve the issue before following the options below.
Tip   Tip
If you are unable to fix this user profile error using either option in the tutorial below, then you could try doing a system restore using a restore point dated before you got this error to fix it.


EXAMPLE: "User Profile Service service failed the sign-in. User Profile cannot be loaded." Error

User_Profile_Service_failed_the_sign-in.jpg





OPTION ONE
To Try and Fix the User Profile of the User Account


Note   Note
This option is to attempt to repair the user profile of the user account that is getting the error by replacing the current bad user profile with a good backup copy to use instead to fix this error without losing anything.



1. If you have another administrator account that is not affected by this user profile error, then sign out of the affected account (ex: Brink), and sign in to the other administrator account.

Note   Note
If you do not have another administrator account to sign in to, then you could do one of the following options below to enable the built-in Administrator account to sign in to, and continue on to step 2 below.

A) Boot into safe mode, enable the built-in Administrator, sign out, and sign in to Administrator.

OR

B) Open a command prompt at boot, enable the built-in Administrator, restart the PC, and sign in to Administrator.




2. Press the :winkey: + R keys to open the Run dialog, type regedit, and click/tap on OK.

3. If prompted by UAC, then click/tap on Yes.

4. In Registry Editor, navigate to the location below. (see screenshot below)

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList


User_Profile_Service_Registry-1.jpg


5. In the left pane under ProfileList, click on a SID key (S-1-5-21....long number). (see screenshot above)

A) In the right pane of the SID key, look at the ProfileImagePath value to see if it is for the same user account name (ex: Brink) that has the user profile error.

B) If not, then repeat step 5 until your find it, then go to step 6 below.


6. If you improperly renamed the user profile folder (C:\Users\Brink) of the affected user account by right clicking on it and click/tap on Rename, then manually rename the user profile folder in File Explorer back to what it shows as the correct name (ex: Brink) in the ProfileImagePath value in the registry. (see screenshots below step 4 and below)

File_Explorer.jpg


7. Do step 8 or 9 below depending on if you have either one or two SID keys with the same S-1-5-21....long number with one without .bak (ex: ...-1014), and one with .bak (ex: ...-1014.bak) at the end. (see screenshot below step 4)

NOTE: The SID key without .bak is the current bad user profile, and the SID key with .bak is the hopefully good backup of the user profile.

8. If you have Only One S-1-5 (SID) key with .bak at the end

A) In the left pane, right click on the SID key (ex: ...-1014.bak) with .bak at the end of the numbers, and click/tap Rename. (see screenshot below)

User_Profile_Service_Registry-3A.jpg

B) Remove only .bak at the end of the numbers, press Enter, and go to step 10 below. (see screenshot below)

User_Profile_Service_Registry-3B.jpg


9. If you have Two S-1-5 (SID) keys with the Same Long Number

A) In the left pane, right click on the top SID key (ex: ...-1014) without .bak at the end of the numbers, click/tap Rename, add .bk to the end of the numbers, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)

User_Profile_Service_Registry-2A.jpg

B) In the left pane, right click on the bottom SID key (ex: ...-1014.bak) with .bak at the end of the numbers, click/tap Rename, remove only .bak at the end of the numbers, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)

User_Profile_Service_Registry-2B.jpg

C) Now go back and Rename the first SID key with .bk to .bak now at the end of the numbers, press Enter, and go to step 10 below. (see screenshot below)

User_Profile_Service_Registry-2C.jpg


10. In the right pane of the SID key (ex: ...-1014) without .bak now, double click/tap on the RefCount DWORD to modify it. (see screenshot below step 4)

Note   Note
If you do not have RefCount, then right click or press and hold on an empty space in the right pane, click/tap on New and DWORD (32 bit) Value, type RefCount, and press Enter.

The value for this entry will reset and return back to the original value after you have restarted the computer and logged on to the account.



11. Type 0 (number), and click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)

RefCount.jpg


12. In the right pane of the SID key (ex: ...-1014) without .bak now, double click/tap on the State DWORD to modify it. (see screenshot below step 4)

Note   Note
If you do not have State, then right click or press and hold on an empty space in the right pane, click/tap on New and DWORD (32 bit) Value, type State, and press Enter.

The value for this entry will reset and return back to the original value after you have restarted the computer and logged on to the account.



13. Type 0 (number), and click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)

State.jpg


14. When finished, close Registry Editor, and restart the computer.

15. See if you are able to sign in to the user account now without getting the "User Profile Service service failed the sign-in. User Profile cannot be loaded." error.





OPTION TWO
To Delete and Create a new User Profile for the User Account


Note   Note
This option will basically delete the user profile of the user account that is getting the error in order to reset and rebuild the user profile to default to fix this error. You will lose all of your account settings and personalization.



1. If you have another administrator account that is not affected by this user profile error, then sign out of the affected account (ex: Brink), and sign in to the other administrator account.

Note   Note
If you do not have another administrator account to sign in to, then you could do one of the following options below to enable the built-in Administrator account to sign in to, and continue on to step 2 below.

A) Boot into safe mode, enable the built-in Administrator, sign out, and sign in to Administrator.

OR

B) Open a command prompt at boot, enable the built-in Administrator, restart the PC, and sign in to Administrator.


2. Back up anything that you do not want to lose in the C:\Users\(user-name) profile folder (ex: Brink) of the affected user account to another location. When finished, delete the C:\Users\(user-name) folder.

3. Press the :winkey: + R keys to open the Run dialog, type regedit, and click/tap on OK.

4. If prompted by UAC, then click/tap on Yes.

5. In Registry Editor, navigate to the location below. (see screenshot below)

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList


User_Profile_Service_Registry-1.jpg


6. In the left pane under ProfileList, click on a SID key (S-1-5-21....long number). (see screenshot above)
NOTE: Usually, it will be for the SID key that has .bak at the end of the long number.

A) In the right pane of the SID key, look at the ProfileImagePath value to see if it is for the same user account name (ex: Brink) that has the user profile error.

B) If not, then repeat step 6 until your find it, then go to step 7 below.


7. Right click or press and hold on the SID key (ex: ...-1014.bak) found in step 6, and click/tap on Delete. (see screenshot below step 5)

8. Click/tap on Yes to confirm. (see screenshot below)

ProfileList_Registry-2.jpg


9. If there is another SID key (ex: ...-1014 at end) with the exact same long number from step 6 for the same user account (ex: Brink) without .bak at the end of it, then repeat step 7 and 8 above for it as well

Two_SIDs.jpg


10. When finished, close Registry Editor.

11. See if you are now able to sign in to the user account (ex: Brink) from step 1 without getting the "User Profile Service service failed the sign-in. User Profile cannot be loaded." error.

12. If successful, the affected account's (ex: Brink) user profile will be recreated and no longer receives the error. You can then copy any files you want back from the back up created at step 2.




That's it,
Shawn


[/note]
 

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Brink

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mvp
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The reset tutorial I posted above can help walk you through that. Afterwards, it's just a matter of reinstalling any apps you want.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Name
    Shawn Brink
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
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    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
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    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
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    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone
    State/Region Flag
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Agam

New Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2015
Messages
1
My safe mode startup takes me to the login screen and when I login I get the same User Profile service failed logon error. I just cannot access windows so have been trying to do everything through the command prompt from boot. I have done all the steps you mentioned to run as administrator, but unfortunately my usual log in user profile appears even in safe mode. Windows 8.1 here...

Also, in RES_SAM, instead of 10, I have 15. I changed to 11 as you mentioned. Should I change to 16 instead?

I have an HP. F8 and shift F8 don't work either. Also there is no option for Advanced Startup from where I can go to safemode. I just see Command Prompt, then UEFI Firmware.

There is an option to "refresh PC" from the main menu (the blue menu that takes me to command prompt), which says that no files will be lost but everything else will return to defaults. Do you have any idea if this will help with the user profile access failure?

Do you think system restore will fix the issue?
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 8.1

Brink

Administrator
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mvp
Joined
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Messages
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My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Name
    Shawn Brink
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone
    State/Region Flag
    us oklahoma

ashems

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Joined
Aug 27, 2015
Messages
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I have the same issue but in my case its for new users(domain) I am unable to delete their profiles because they dont have a profile created in the PC. Those who have already logged into the machine still able to login without any issues. But if a new user tries to login they are getting this message.
Platform Windows 8.1

Please help
 

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System One

  • OS
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eastown

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Joined
Dec 18, 2015
Messages
4
Hello,

I'm making a new user account, but it does not appear in "profilelist". The login option is there, but all I get is the "login failed" error.

Seems to be a problem when making a new account, it wont be added to the registry..
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win8
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop

Brink

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mvp
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Hello eastown, :)

Unfortunately, an account's profile is not created until you sign in to it for the first time.

If this just started happening recently, then you might see if doing a system restore using a restore point dated before it started may help.

Otherwise, you could try doing a repair install or refresh Windows.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Name
    Shawn Brink
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone
    State/Region Flag
    us oklahoma

sxlayer

New Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2017
Messages
1
I was able to fix this on Win 10 surface pro by replacing the ntuser.dat file with one from another pc in the hidden c:\users\default profile.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10

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