Performance poor when using custom default user profile in Windows 10, Windows Server 2016, or Windows Server 2019

Applies to: Windows 10, version 1809Windows Server 2019, all versionsWindows 10 More

Symptom


Consider the following scenario:

  • You create a new default user profile and enable it.
  • A new user logs on by using a profile that is created from the default profile on a Windows 10, Windows Server 2016, or Windows Server 2019-based computer.

In this scenario, you encounter one or more of the following issues:

  • Desktop icons take a long time to appear.
  • Performance is poor when you start or browse in Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge.
  • ESENT errors like the following are recorded in the Event Log:

    Note The full event log message may also indicate an association with a different user folder location, such as "C:\Users\Administrator".

Cause


This issue occurs because the default user profile includes a locked copy of another user's cache database.

When the new user logs on to the computer, the default user profile content is incorporated into their new profile. As the Windows shell and desktop begin to load, the database can't be fully initialized for use. Applications that use the database likely experience negative performance or report errors.

Resolution


To fix the issue, following these steps:

Step 1

Log on to each affected computer by using an account that has administrative credentials, and then delete the following hidden file and folder if they exist:

File: C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\WebCacheLock.datFolder: C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\WebCache


Step 2

For each user account on the computer, make sure that the user is logged off completely and the profile has unloaded fully, and then delete the following hidden file and folder if they exist:

File: C:\Users\<affectedUserFolder>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\WebCacheLock.datFolder: C:\Users\<affectedUserFolder>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\WebCache

Note <affectedUserFolder> is a placeholder for the user profile folder name. For example, for the Administrator user account, the folder is under C:\Users\Administrator. You must remove the above files and folders for each affected user account on the computer.

How to view hidden files

To view hidden files, follow these steps:

  1. In Windows Explorer, select File, and then select Options.
  2. On the View tab, select the Show hidden files, folders, and drives option.
  3. Unselect the Hide protected operating system files (Recommended) option, and then click OK.

Note We recommend that you re-select the two options after the issue is fixed.

More information


Because the cache database is designed to be generated per-user at the time of initial log on to an individual computer, Microsoft does not recommend or support the inclusion of the cache database in the default or any other user profile that is intended to be used as a template.