The case: I accidentally deleted my user profile
How to recover deleted user profile in Windows 10?
In some cases, we may delete user profile by mistake, which can lead to the loss of personal files and settings in Windows PC. At this point you might be wondering how to restore a deleted user profile in Windows 10, and other OS like Windows 11/8/7. Here are some effective solutions.
*The methods below are mainly based on Windows 10. If you are a Windows 7 user, please refer to this article.
Method 1: Manually recover deleted user profile
This method mainly restores deleted user profile via registry, and the operation is divided into three parts. Please follow the instruction below step by step.
Part 1. Find out your security identifier
1. Open Command Prompt in administrator authority.
2. Type: “whoami /user” and hit Enter, then, you can see the SID of the current account.
Part 2. Edit the Registry
1. Type: “regedit” in the Search box and hit Enter to load Registry Editor.
2. Click HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE>SOFTWARE>Microsoft>Windows NT>CurrentVersion>ProfileList one by one on the left-hand pane. Then you will see a list of SIDs within the ProfileList folder.
Part 3. Recover deleted user profile in Windows 10
You can choose one of the below-offered options to finish the recovery process in Windows 10.
▶ Option 1: Delete Duplicate Folder
If the SID is listed twice, you can delete the folder without the .BAK extension.
1. Right-click the folder from the left-hand pane and click Delete.
2. Click Yes to confirm.
▶ Option 2. Rename.BAK folder
1. Right-click the folder matching your SID with the .BAK extension.
2. Click Rename, and remove .BAK from the end of it. Press Enter to save the changes.
▶ Option 3. Adjust the Folder path and state
1. Click the folder on the left-hand pane that matches your SID.
2. Double-click ProfileImagePath on the right pane, input the correct path for your user profile in Value Data.
Note: If you’re not sure what the correct path is, press Windows key + R to open Run, type C:\Users, and press Enter. You will see your user profiles like the following picture.
3. Double-click State on the right-hand registry pane, change the Value data to 0 and click OK.
Close the Registry Editor and restart your computer. Sign back into your user account and you should find that everything back to normal.
Method 2: Recover user profile with a backup
If you have made a backup with File History, you can follow the guidance below to recover deleted files.
1. Type “file history” in the search box on taskbar.
2. Select Restore your files with File History from the search results.
3. In the pop-up window, choose the folder (C:\Users\ folder) that user profile usually located in.
4. There may be different versions of this item. Find the version you’d like to restore.
5. Click the Restore button to restore your desired version.
Note: If Windows notices a naming conflict with the item you’re trying to restore, you should choose how to handle the conflict - Replace the File in the Destination Folder, Skip This File, or Compare Info for Both Files.
6. Close the File History.
Do regular backup with a professional backup software
Obviously, if we made a backup in advance, we can restore the file directly. However, File History has some disadvantages. For example, it can’t back up the entire system, and it does not support backup long path files. A professional third-party software like AOMEI Backupper Standard is a better choice.
AOMEI Backupper Standard is a free backup software that supports Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP/Vista. It can not only back up files, but also back up the entire operating system. In addition, you can backup files & folders as needed, even for long-path files.
It also has the functions of incremental and differential backup that can save time and storage space for you. And there are more advanced features like Backup scheme, Universal restore and so on if you upgrade to Professional version.
In addition, this software recently released a new feature called Create Portable Version (available on the technician or techplus edition). It allows you to backup, restore, clone, sync on different computers without installing first.
You can refer to the following steps to do regular file backup.
1. Download AOMEI Backupper Standard, install, and launch it.
2. Click File Backup under the Backup tab. Optionally, you can choose System Backup to back up the entire system partition, thus the user profile and other system files, and settings will all be backed up.
3. Click Add File or Add Folder according to your needs. Generally, the path of the user profile is C:\Users\[Username]\
4. Select a destination path. You can choose to back up to NAS, internal hard drive, external storage device, or cloud storage device.
Tip: The best practice is to use the Cloud Backup feature in this software if you want to backup files to cloud drive. It comes along with a cloud drive - AOMEI Cloud, so you don't need to download the desktop application, and it still offers you 1TB of free cloud storage from the time you sign up until 15 days.
5. Click Start Backup to execute the task.
Obviously, if we had made a backup in advance, it is very simple to recover the deleted user profile. AOMEI Backupper Standard is a good choice for you to do regular backup. With it, you don't need to worry about suchlike errors for Windows 11/10/8/7.
Also, if you are a Windows Server user, AOMEI Backupper Server can meet your needs.