How to Repair a Windows Profile in the Registry

When logging in to your Windows operating system, you may be creating a new temporary profile instead of logging in with your regular user profile. If so, Windows has a profile list error, caused by an error in your profile settings. The system attempts to fix the problem by loading a temporary profile. Fortunately, Windows typically backs up your profile settings so you can restore them by using the Registry Editor program, also known as Regedit.

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Regedit can repair many problems, including a corrupted profile.
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Step

Press the Windows and R simultaneously to open the Run dialog box. Type "Regedt32.exe" in the Run dialog box and press Enter. This launches the Registry Editor.

Step

Double-click to expand the "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE" key in the left pane.

Step

Double click "SOFTWARE," "Microsoft," "Windows NT," "CurrentVersion" and then "ProfileList."

Step

Locate the two SID (Security Identification) keys that correspond to your user profile. Both keys are named "S-1-5-21-X" (where "X" is your security profile identification number), but one key has ".bak" at the end of the name. If you have more than one user on your computer, you can identify your SID keys by clicking on each key in the left pane and checking the user name data column located to the right of the "ProfileImagePath" field in the right pane.

Step

Right-click on your SID key name that does not end in ".bak" and click "Rename." Type "_corrupt" at the end of the key name and press "Enter."

Step

Right-click on your SID key name that ends with ".bak" and click "Rename." Remove the ".bak" from the key name and press the "Enter" key.

Step

Close the "Registry Editor" window.

Step

Log out of Windows or restart the computer to log back in again with your regular profile.