I recently ran into a problem at work with Windows 7. One of the users logged into his new workstation PC and I helped him set-up his profile. After he was happy, I left him to continue working. The next day he phoned me and asked me to have a look, all the settings etc had disappeared. I found this strange and started investigating just to find that he was logged onto the workstation as a TEMP Profile for no apparent reason.

I Google’d again just to find stacks of forums where very similar problems are discussed, but with no clear-cut solutions. After searching for a couple of days between my other work, I stumbled upon something that made some sense.

One of the people posted in a forum, almost as an after-thought, all tucked away where, if you didn’t take the time to read thoroughly, you’d miss it;

“I solved my problem by going into the registry and delete the effected profile’s subfolder under:

HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList”

Note: HKLM refers to “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE” in the registry.

Help using the Windows Registry Editor.

So I decided to follow his advice and ran the Registry Editor by clicking on the Start button and typing Regedit to open it.

Run "Regedit"

Looking at the registry editor, I browsed my way to the key as mentioned and found the profile that had the problem.

Regedit - Step 1

By looking at the path in ProfileImagePath as circled in red, you can find the correct profile by knowing the Username and comparing the path in C:\Users.

Regedit - Step 2

The one having the problem had a .bak extention added at the end where I indicated with red.

Regedit - Step 3

I deleted that problematic profile, had the user log in again, and set-up the profile for the second time. This time rebooting the workstation PC and logging in again was a pleasure. The profile worked fine.

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One thought on “User Account Logs in with Default Settings in Windows 7”

  1. Icolville says:

    I LOVE YOU!!!!! After several months of smooth sailing my computer completely reset itself to a default profile that would even allow me to run programs due to ‘Internet security settings’. Your solution above solved the problem immediately.

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