After a blackout or system crash, users can sometimes be signed into a temporary profile and encounter the message “We can’t sign into your account”.
In the majority of the cases, you’re locked out of your original account as the system files pertaining to that account are corrupt.
We’ve detailed other possible causes, as well as how to resolve all of them in the article below.
What causes this Sign-In Error?
- Loss of power
- Forced shutdown
- System crashes
- Windows Update
- Antivirus (Avast / Malwarebytes)
Ways to Fix the We Can’t Sign Into Your Account Issue
If you made any changes or created any files while logged in to the temporary account, they will be lost upon signing out. So, please save the files to an external storage device if necessary. Then, move on to the solutions listed below.
Restart your Device
The error prompt advises that “signing out and signing back in” often resolves this issue. Honestly, it’s unlikely that this will help, but it doesn’t hurt to try this a couple of times anyway.
What is, instead, very likely to help, is restarting your device. We recommend that you first restart and boot into safe mode and check if you can sign in with your original profile. If that doesn’t work, you should boot normally and try to sign in to the original profile once again.
Note that it’s worth restarting multiple times as this has fixed this issue for many users.
Disable Security Services
If restarting didn’t help, you should ensure that a security service isn’t interfering with the sign-in process. Avast, for instance, has caused login/profile issues in the past.
If you’re using an older antivirus, you should first try updating it, as issues like this usually get patched in the newer versions. Next, try disabling it temporarily. If the antivirus turns out to be the culprit, you should consider switching to a different antivirus, or Windows Defender.
Speaking of Windows Defender, you should also disable some Windows Defender services temporarily to make sure they’re not causing this issue. Here are the steps to do so:
- Press Win + R, type
services.msc, and press Enter.
- Locate Microsoft Defender Antivirus Service and double-click it.
- Stop the service, change the startup type to Disabled, and press OK.
- Repeat Steps 2 – 3 for Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection.
- Restart the PC and check if you can sign in to the original profile.
- Once you’ve resolved the issue, you can change the Windows Defender configurations back to default by following the same steps as above but changing the startup type to Automatic.
Copy Files Using New Admin Account
Before attempting the solutions below, we recommend adding an admin account and copying your old account’s personal data into the new one. This way, even if you’re unable to recover the old account directly, your data will still be safe. Here are the quick steps to do so:
- Hold Shift and restart your PC to boot into winRE.
- Select Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Startup Settings.
- Press Restart, and then press 6 or F6 to boot into Safe Mode with Command Prompt.
- Execute the following command in CMD:
net user administrator /active:yes
- Restart once again and log in to the administrator account.
- Press Win + I and select Accounts > Family and other users.
- In the Other users section, click on Add someone else to this PC.
- Select I don’t have this person’s sign-in information > Add a user without a Microsoft account.
- Input the account details and select Next.
- Click on the new account and select Change account type.
- Select Administrator and press OK.
- Sign in with the newly created administrator account.
- Navigate to
- Copy everything you want to save and paste them into
C:\Users\<New Admin Account>.
- Go to Control Panel > User Accounts > Manage Accounts.
- Set a new password for the corrupted account.
- Restart your PC and test if you can sign in to the old account now.
Repair System Corruption
As system corruption is the main reason for this error, a lot of users have had success resolving it using the DISM and SFC utilities. We already have a detailed article on repairing corrupt system files using these utilities for your further reading, but here are the main steps:
- Press Win + R, type
cmd, and press CTRL + Shift + Enter to run it as administrator.
- Execute the following commands:
DISM /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
Change SID via Registry Editor
Due to this error, the security identifier (SID) for your account gets renamed with the
.bak (backup) or similar extension and the original SID is used by the temporary account. You can regain access to the original account by deleting the temp profile’s key and changing the values for the original account. Here are the steps to do so:
- Sign in to the admin account created earlier.
- Press Win + R, type
regedit, and press Enter.
- Navigate to:
- Under ProfileList, select a key and check the value of ProfileImagePath. Repeat this until you identify the original and temporary accounts.
- Delete the key associated with the temporary profile.
- Select the key associated with the original profile and rename it to remove the
- Situational: Sometimes, the ProfileImagePath can also be affected by the temp profile. If this is the case for you, double-click ProfileImagePath, change its value to the correct path and press OK.
- Restart your PC. You should be able to log in now.
How to Fix We Can’t Sign Into Your Account on Domain?
If on a domain, ask the network admin to reset your profile’s password. If that doesn’t help, please refer to how to fix a corrupted user profile on a domain for instructions on how to do the same.
How to Fix We Can’t Sign Into Your Account on Dev Channel Build?
Users in the Dev Channel on builds 19593 through 20226 should refer to the User Profile Logon Issue on the Microsoft forums. Please note that this is only for builds in the Dev channel, and this fix is not applicable to retail users.