Windows 10 error message: "We can't sign in to your account"

Applies to: Windows 10

If you try to sign in to Windows 10 and receive the error message, "We can't sign in to your account" or you see an action center notification saying “You’ve been signed in with a temporary profile,” Windows will create a temporary profile and sign you in to that one. (Note: Any settings or new files created within that temporary profile will be removed after you sign out, so it is important to try to resolve this issue, either by restarting your PC or with the following steps.) Here are some things to try to get signed back in to your Windows profile:

  • Important: Before doing anything, use an external storage device to save any work you’ve done since your last successful sign in. Any files you have created or changed while in the temporary profile will be lost when you sign out.
  • Restart your device in safe mode and sign in with your original profile. Check to see if your settings and files are restored.
  • Restart your device in normal mode and sign in again with your original profile. Check to see if your settings and files are restored. (You might need to restart your device more than once.) 
  • If multiple restarts don't help, try temporarily disabling your antivirus software or any other app that might scan your device during sign-in. (Note: Some antivirus products may have additional components which affect the system and may only be disabled after complete removal and a system reboot.) 
  • If you continue to experience issues signing in with your original profile, disable Windows Defender services: Open the Services app by typing services in the search box on the task bar and selecting it from the list of results. Then, find the Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection and Microsoft Defender Antivirus services, right-click each of them, select Properties, and change Startup Type to Disabled, selecting OK after each change. Restart your device in normal mode and try to sign in with your original profile. (Note: After troubleshooting and resolving the issue, remember to set the Windows Defender services back to Automatic.)
  • If you still can't sign in, try creating a new local administrator account, log in to that new account, then follow the steps in Fix a corrupted user profile to copy your personal data from the old profile into the newly created one.
  • If you still can't sign in to your profile after these steps, we'd like to know. Please provide feedback using the Feedback Hub app on Windows 10 so that we can investigate the issue. (Feedback Hub is a public forum. Don't include personal information in your comments.)