How to fix “You’ve been signed in with a temporary profile”

When you sign in to your Windows computer, it might occur that your normal desktop and settings do not appear, and you see a default profile. In this quick tip we will cover the symptoms, possible causes and solutions for this issue.

Symptoms

When you login, you typically see a default/clean profile and you might also see a popup in the bottom right notification area as in the following screenshot.

youve-been-signed-in-with-a-temporary-profile_001

When you look in the Application event log, you might see Error 1511 as in the following screenshot.

youve-been-signed-in-with-a-temporary-profile_002

When you go in the registry to HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList, you can see a list of all the profiles existing on the computer. The profile you are having issues with will probably be appended with .bak.

youve-been-signed-in-with-a-temporary-profile_003

Cause

Most of the time, this issue occurs when Windows for some reason cannot access the profile directory (Usually this is C:\Users\username). This could be because the directory has been removed, or there is an issue with the permissions.

Solution

If the user directory still exists, you need to rename it. Next you need to go in the registry to HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList, and then highlight the entry for the user which is appended with .bak and delete it. You can either do this by logging on to the computer with another administrative account or use regedit from another computer and then use the feature “Connect Network Registry”.

Once you have deleted the registry entry, you can logon again to the computer with your account and it should create a new profile for the user in C:\Users\username. If you previously renamed your profile, you can take ownership of this directory and then copy the data from the old profile to the new profile.

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