By Ivy / Last Updated May 26, 2020

User profile corrupted and its causes

When you type your password and press Enter at the Windows log-on screen, you may receive an error message like “The user profile service failed the logon. User profile cannot be loaded.” If you receive this error message, that's to say, the user profile is corrupted or damaged.

User Profile Cannot Be Loaded

Every error message has its own causes. I will list some common causes in the following.

  • malware infection.

  • hardware problem like bad memory or hard drive failure.

  • a force shutdown.

  • failed Windows Update or Automatic Updates, and the process always involves an upgrade of critical system files (especially service pack installation).

  • the file system of hard drive damaged because of disk write errors, power outages or virus attacks.

How to fix a corrupted user profile on Windows 7?

▶ Fix 1: Restart your computer or check malware

Windows 7 user profile cannot be loaded for a number of reasons, the simplest one is that you shut down the computer forcefully or your computer is infected with malware.

Thus, when you receive the error “The user profile service failed the logon. User profile cannot be loaded”, the first is to restart your computer and then check if your computer has malware.

If this is not the reason why you receive this error message, you can try to create a new user account for Windows 7 or fix corrupt default user profile in Windows 7 via Registry in safe mode.

▶ Fix 2: Recreate user profile for Windows 7

You cannot fix a corrupted user profile (Windows 7) if you just create a new account. It's just the first step. After that, you need to copy files from the old user account to new user account. Below are the detailed steps.

Part 1: Create a new account

Step 1. Boot your computer with administrator account. If you don’t have another user account with admin priority, you need to enable it with command prompt first. To do that, you need to restart your computer while press F8 repeatedly, select Safe Mode with Command Prompt and type net user administrator /active:yes to enable the hidden Administrator account.

Step 2. Navigate to Control Panel > User Accounts and Family Safety > User Accounts > Add or remove user accounts, then click Create a new account at the left bottom.

Create New Account

Step 3. In this window, type a name for your new account and select an account type. Then, click Create Account.

Part 2: Copy user profile in Windows 7 to new user account

Step 1. Access Computer and click Tools > Folder Options > View tab, then check the Show hidden files and folders option > uncheck the Hide protected operating system files option. At last, click Apply and OK to run the pending operation.

Step 2. Go to C: \User\OLD_USERNAME, then right-click all files except for,, Ntuser.ini and select Copy.

Note: C: refers to the system drive. OLD_USERNAME refers to the username that has corrupted user profile.

Step 3. Go to C: \User\New_USERNAME and paste all files in this folder.

Note: New_USERNAME refers to the username you created just now.

Step 4. Restart your computer with the new username.

▶ Fix 3: Fix corrupted user profile in safe mode

Part 1: Find the corrupted user profile in Registry

First, you should find the corrupted Profile Subkey in Windows registry. Then, you can fix a corrupted user profile in Windows 7 via Registry. Follow the step-by-step guide below.

Step 1. Start your computer in safe mode.

Step 2. Enter into the Registry window. You can press Win + R to summon the Run window, then type regedit.exe and click OK.

Step 3. Navigate to the following key from the left panel.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList


Step 4. Check the subkeys named S-1-5 followed by a long number and see if there are subkeys with the same name. The only difference is that one of them has the .bak extension at the end.

If that's your case, you can fix it using .bak subkey. If that's not your case, you can delete the corrupted user profile from the registry.

Part 2: Fix the corrupted profiles using .bak subkey

Step 1. Check subkeys without .bak extension and find the profile key that corresponds to the corrupted user profile. You can click each subkey and check ProfileImagePath at the right panel. If User 1 has corrupted profile, the ProfieImagePath will be “C: \Users\User1”.

Step 2. Rename the subkey with corrupted profile to .ba extension. You can go to the left panel, right-click the subkey and select Rename, then add .ba at the end and press Enter.

Step 3. Remove the subkey with the same name and with .bak extension.

Step 4. Change the RefCount key and State key on the subkey with .ba extension. You can select it at the left panel and dounle-click RefCount key and State key subsequently, then change Value Data to “0”.

Step 5. Close the registry and restart your computer.

Part 3: Delete the corrupted user profile from registry

Step 1. Click each subkey named S-1-5 followed by a long number and check ProfleImagePath to find the profile subkey that has corrupted user profile.

Step 2. Delete the subkey. You can go to the left panel and right-click it, then select Delete option.

Step 3. Close registry editor, restart your computer and login to the account with corrupted user profile. (now, the profile should be clean)

Step 4. Log off and log on with Admin account.

Step 5. Navigate to the subkey below again and see the ProfileImagePath key. It should be named as “CorruptedProfileName. YourComputerName”.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList

Step 6. Double-click the ProfileImagePath key and remove “.ComputerName” in the Value data.

Step 7. Close registry editor and go to Computer > C: \Users folder.

Step 8. Enable hidden files and folders. You can click Tools > Folder Options > View tab, then tick Show hidden files, folders, and drives and uncheck Hide protected operating system files.

Step 9. Copy the following files from the folder with “CorruptedProfileName.YourComputerName” to a folder with corrupted user profile.



  • Ntuser.ini

Step 10. Restart your computer and log on to the user account with corrupted files.

Prevention measure on how to protect your computer

No one can promise that your computer will work forever. Your computer will be affected by all kind of errors. The user profile service failed the logon Windows 7 is just one of the errors.

To prevent unexpected errors, you need to take a measure in advance. Backup is one of the best ways to protect your computer. And you need a proper backup and restore software. I strongly recommend you free AOMEI Backupper.

AOMEI Backupper can satisfy all your basic needs. It contains all the basic features, including system backup, disk backup, file backup. And it can compress your backup with Normal or High level. At the same time, it supports differential backup and incremental backup not just full backup. More so, schedule backup is supported, such as, daily backup, weekly backup, Backup when USB plugged in.

Then, I will take system backup as an example and walk you through every detailed step.

Step 1. Download AOMEI Backupper Standard and open it.

Step 2. Click Backup and System Backup.

System Backup

Step 3. Opt a path to save your computer. I recommend you backup to external hard drive. If you save system image backup on the computer, the backup will be damaged if your computer runs into problems.

Select Destination

Step 4. Click Start Backup to run the pending operation.


You can fix a corrupted user profile (windows 7) with above methods. But it's not a permanent solution. Every time your computer runs into problems, you will spend much time in finding solutions. If you fix it, you are a lucky guy. But if you cannot find a solution, you need to reinstall your operating system and all the programs. What's more, you will lose all your important files on the computer.

If you want the sure-fire way to protect your computer or data, you need to create a backup for it. With one or more backups, you can restore system image from external hard drive at any time. If you want to protect unlimited computers within your company, you can pick AOMEI Backupper Technician or Technician Plus. With the inbuilt AOMEI Image Deploy tool, you are also allowed to deploy/restore system image file on server-side computer to multiple client-side computers over network.