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Fix “You are logged into a Temporary Profile” in Windows 7

When using Windows 7, if you receive a message in the bottom right of the desktop stating that “You are logged into a Temporary Profile.” this indicates that your user profile is corrupt. It also means that the system will not retain any profile changes / files created by this user until the problem is fixed. But never fear! There is a, relatively, simple solution;

1. Logout & login as a different / your “backup” user.
(If you don’t have a backup account please make one! You should always have one! It should be an “administrator” level account with a strong password)

2. Navigate to the “C:\Users” and backup / copy the folder with your problematic user profile’s name.
(If it does not exist then skip this step)

3. Delete the TEMP folder in this same directory.

4. Open “Control Panel” -> User Accounts ->User Accounts -> Manage User Accounts” & delete the problematic account.

5. Open “regedit” (via the “Search / Run” box of the start menu). & navigate to “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList”, check each sub folder to find which one belongs to the problematic user profile (via inspection fo the “ProfileImagePath” key) and delete the relevant folder.

6. Restart your system.

7. Login as your backup user again & re-create the problematic user from scratch.

8. Restart your system and login as your new version of your, now fully functioning, user!

(NOTE: You can now look through the “backed-up” copy of your old user profile folder, if you were able to make one in step 2, and copy anything you want to keep from it onto your new “clean” user profile. Remember to look through it with hidden files & folders visible; Organise -> Folder & search options -> View -> Show hidden files, folders & drives ).

7 thoughts on “Fix “You are logged into a Temporary Profile” in Windows 7

  1. In addition to this, Windows 7 disables the local administrator account by default, so you should enable it, just case this happens or worse, you’re dropped off the AD. Otherwise its start from scratch!

  2. Agreed, that’s why, as per the original post, everyone should have a “backup” admin account they have created with a very strong password which is only used in case of such an emergency.
    Of course we should all be using limited / “Standard” accounts for everyday use in Windows 7, only using our “Admin” accounts for providing authorisation to Windows’ elevation requests, but I don’t realistically think that many people, in IT or otherwise, are actually doing this now, or are likely to anytime soon…

  3. but i dont have an additional acount …. i just have a single account…… whcih has encountered this problem

  4. If you’re not using the default Administrator account then that still exists on your system even if it’s unused.
    A good way to check this out is to use something like http://pogostick.net/~pnh/ntpasswd/ which allows you to get a complete listing of Windows accounts and manage their passwords without having to boot windows (it simply reads the disk directly pre-boot). (NOTE: If you use this tool to reset a password always set the password to NULL for best results, and then add a password back onto the account when you first login successfully to that account).

  5. Pradeep; it simply means create the user again. (As if they had never been added to the system in the first place) 🙂

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