You receive a "The User Profile Service failed the logon” error message

Applies to: Windows Vista Enterprise 64-bit EditionWindows Vista Home Basic 64-bit EditionWindows Vista Home Premium 64-bit Edition


When you log on to a Windows 7-based or a Windows Vista-based computer by using a temporary profile, you receive the following error message:
The User Profile Service failed the logon. User profile cannot be loaded.


Occasionally, Windows might not read your user profile correctly, such as if your antivirus software is scanning your computer while you try to log on. Before you follow the methods here, try restarting your computer and logging on with your user account again to resolve the issue. If you restart your computer and it does not resolve this issue, use the following methods to resolve this issue.

Note You must be able to log on to an administrator account to fix your user profile or copy your data to a new account. Before you resolve the issue, log on to Windows by using another account that has administrative permissions, or restart in safe mode to log on with the built-in administrator account. For more information about how to start in safe mode, visit the following Microsoft website: 

More information

This error may occur if the "Do not logon users with temporary profiles" Group Policy setting is configured.

This error may also occur if the user profile folder was deleted manually. A profile folder that is manually deleted does not remove the Security Identifier (SID) from the profile list in the registry.

Alert icon
We strongly recommend AGAINST making this the standard way to remove user profiles from computers. The documented and supported approach is by using the Advanced System Settings in the system properties, "User Profiles" settings. For programs, this is available by using the "DeleteProfile" API.

If the SID is present, Windows will try to load the profile by using the ProfileImagePath that points to a nonexistent path. Therefore, the profile cannot be loaded.

Event log information