Fix a corrupted user profile in Windows

My computer is on a domain

  1. Open Microsoft Management Console by selecting Start , typing mmc into the search box, and then pressing Enter. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  2. In the left pane of Microsoft Management Console, select Local Users and Groups.

    If you don't see Local Users and Groups, it's probably because that snap-in hasn't been added to Microsoft Management Console. Follow these steps to install it:

    1. In Microsoft Management Console, select the File menu, and then click Add/Remove Snap-in.

    2. Select Local Users and Groups, and then select Add.

    3. Select Local computer, click Finish, and then select OK.

  3. Select the Users folder.

  4. Select the Action menu, and then select New User.

  5. Type the appropriate information in the dialog box, and then select Create.

  6. When you are finished creating user accounts, select Close.

  7. Restart the PC.

My computer is in a workgroup

Create a new Local Administrator user account

  1. Select the Start  button, select Settings  > Accounts  > Family & other users. (In some editions of Windows you'll see Other users.)

  2. Select Add someone else to this PC.

  3. Select I don't have this person's sign-in information, and on the next page select Add a user without a Microsoft account.

  4. Enter a username, password, and password hint (or choose security questions), and then select Next.

Change the newly created account to an administrator account

  1. Under Settings  > Accounts  > Family & other users, select the account owner name, then select Change account type.

  2. Under Account type, select Administrator, then select OK.

  3. Restart the PC, then sign in with the new administrator account.

Copy files to the new user profile

After you create the profile and have signed in, you can copy the files from the previous profile:

  1. Open your User folder by selecting Start , typing file explorer into the Search box, and selecting File Explorer in the list of results.

  2. Select This PC, then select the hard drive that Windows is installed on (it's usually your C: drive), then the Users folder, then the folder with the name of your account.

    Warning: Do not change File Explorer view options to show hidden files and folders or show hidden protected operating system files.

  3. Locate the C:\Users\<Old_Username> folder, where C is the drive that Windows is installed on, and Old_Username is the name of the profile you want to copy files from.

  4. Select all of the files and folders in this folder, then select the Edit menu and select Copy.

  5. Locate the C:\Users\<New_Username> folder, where C is the drive that Windows is installed on, and New_Username is the name of the new user profile you created.

  6. Select the Edit menu and select Paste.

  7. Restart the PC, then log back in as the new user.

If you have email messages in an email program, you must import your email messages and addresses to the new user profile separately.

Some applications previously installed may need to be reconfigured or reinstalled.

If you were logged into Microsoft Store apps like the Store or Movies & TV you may need to log back into those apps to see your previous purchases or restore settings.

My computer is on a domain

  1. Open Microsoft Management Console by selecting Start , typing mmc into the search box, and then pressing Enter. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  2. In the left pane of Microsoft Management Console, select Local Users and Groups.

    If you don't see Local Users and Groups, it's probably because that snap-in hasn't been added to Microsoft Management Console. Follow these steps to install it:

    1. In Microsoft Management Console, select the File menu, and then click Add/Remove Snap-in.

    2. Select Local Users and Groups, and then select Add.

    3. Select Local computer, click Finish, and then select OK.

  3. Select the Users folder.

  4. Select the Action menu, and then select New User.

  5. Type the appropriate information in the dialog box, and then select Create.

  6. When you are finished creating user accounts, select Close.

  7. Restart the PC.

My computer is in a workgroup

Create a new Local Administrator user account

  1. Select the Start  button, select Settings  > Accounts  > Family & other users. (In some editions of Windows you'll see Other users.)

  2. Select Add someone else to this PC.

  3. Select I don't have this person's sign-in information, and on the next page select Add a user without a Microsoft account.

  4. Enter a username, password, and password hint (or choose security questions), and then select Next.

Change the newly created account to an administrator account

  1. Under Settings  > Accounts  > Family & other users, select the account owner name, then select Change account type.

  2. Under Account type, select Administrator, then select OK.

  3. Restart the PC, then sign in with the new administrator account.

Copy files to the new user profile

After you create the profile and have signed in, you can copy the files from the previous profile:

  1. Open your User folder by selecting Start , typing file explorer into the Search box, and selecting File Explorer in the list of results.

  2. Select This PC, then select the hard drive that Windows is installed on (it's usually your C: drive), then the Users folder, then the folder with the name of your account.

    Warning: Do not change File Explorer view options to show hidden files and folders or show hidden protected operating system files.

  3. Locate the C:\Users\<Old_Username> folder, where C is the drive that Windows is installed on, and Old_Username is the name of the profile you want to copy files from.

  4. Select all of the files and folders in this folder, then select the Edit menu and select Copy.

  5. Locate the C:\Users\<New_Username> folder, where C is the drive that Windows is installed on, and New_Username is the name of the new user profile you created.

  6. Select the Edit menu and select Paste.

  7. Restart the PC, then log back in as the new user.

If you have email messages in an email program, you must import your email messages and addresses to the new user profile separately.

Some applications previously installed may need to be reconfigured or reinstalled.

If you were logged into Microsoft Store apps like the Store or Movies & TV you may need to log back into those apps to see your previous purchases or restore settings.

My computer is on a domain

  1. Open Microsoft Management Console by clicking the Start button , typing mmc into the search box, and then pressing Enter. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  2. In the left pane of Microsoft Management Console, click Local Users and Groups.

    If you don't see Local Users and Groups, it's probably because that snap-in hasn't been added to Microsoft Management Console. Follow these steps to install it:

    1. In Microsoft Management Console, click the File menu, and then click Add/Remove Snap-in.

    2. Click Local Users and Groups, and then click Add.

    3. Click Local computer, click Finish, and then click OK.

  3. Click the Users folder.

  4. Click the Action menu, and then click New User.

  5. Type the appropriate information in the dialog box, and then click Create.

  6. When you are finished creating user accounts, click Close.

  7. Restart the PC.

My computer is in a workgroup

  1. Open User Accounts by clicking the Start button , clicking Control Panel, clicking User Accounts and Family Safety, and then clicking User Accounts.

  2. Click Manage another account. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  3. Click Create a new account.

  4. Type the name you want to give the user account, click an account type, and then click Create Account.

  5. Restart the PC.

Copy files to the new user profile

After you create the profile, you can copy the files from the existing profile. You must have at least three user accounts on the computer to complete these steps, including the new account you just created.

  1. Log on as a user other than the new user you just created or the user that you want to copy files from.

  2. Open the My Documents folder by clicking the Start button , and then clicking Computer. Double-click the hard disk drive that Windows is installed on (it's usually your C: drive), double-click Users, double-click the folder with the name of your account, and then double-click My Documents.

  3. Click the Tools menu, and then click Folder Options.

    If you don't see the Tools menu, press Alt.

  4. Click the View tab, and then click Show hidden files, folders, and drives.

  5. Clear the Hide protected operating system files check box, click Yes to confirm, and then click OK.

  6. Locate the C:\Users\Old_Username folder, where C is the drive that Windows is installed on, and Old_Username is the name of the profile you want to copy files from.

  7. Select all of the files and folders in this folder, except the following files:

    1. Ntuser.dat

    2. Ntuser.dat.log

    3. Ntuser.ini

  8. Click the Edit menu, and then click Copy.
    If you don't see the Edit menu, press Alt.

  9. Locate the C:\Users\New_Username folder, where C is the drive that Windows is installed on, and New_Username is the name of the new user profile you created.

  10. Click the Edit menu, and then click Paste.

    If you don't see the Edit menu, press Alt.

  11. Log off, and then log back on as the new user.

    If you have e mail messages in an e mail program, you must import your e mail messages and addresses to the new user profile before you delete the old profile. If everything is working properly, you can delete the old profile.

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