How to Recover Deleted User Profile Windows 10? [3 Ways]
What Is User Profile
The user profile is an important collection that’s used to identify an individual. This folder contains personal settings and information, including user name, desktop wallpaper, taskbar preferences, documents, and app settings. So, it could be very frustrating to lose user profiles.
The user profile usually is located in the C drive with several dozen of GBs disk space. Sometimes, when the C drive is getting full, many users intend to delete those large files and folders in the C drive to free up the disk. However, some of them accidentally deleted user folder Windows 10 like a user in the answer.microsoft.com forum:
“We had 100 MB remaining on the C drive. Decided to clean up by removing profiles that aren’t used on the computer anymore. We’ve noticed a 34GB “Account Unknown” registered on the list and we have also our regular user profile (11GB). However, as soon as we deleted the Account Unknown, most of our files (applications and documents, etc) were also taken out (DELETED). Anyone knows how to recover files, apps, documents from a deleted User profile?”https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/
Once the user profile was deleted, you won’t be able to log into your system and access those files created in the profile. To fix the issues, you have to recreate a new user profile and transfer the lost files to it after recovering. How to recover deleted user profile Windows 10? Let’s keep reading the following part.
How to Undelete Profile in Windows 10
Before you start trying the following 3 methods, we recommend you boot Windows 10 into the Safe Mode. This can help you undelete user profile even when you can’t log in to your account after deleting the profile. If you don’t know how to start Windows 10 into Safe Mode, this post provides you with detailed steps.
Way 1. Undelete Profile Manually via Registry Editor
The first way is to undelete user profile manually via the Registry Editor. Since this process is relatively long, we divide it into 3 short parts. Let’s follow the guide below step by step.
Part 1. Write Down Your Security Identifier
The Security Identifier (SID) is a unique string that Windows uses to control permissions and group your interactions. So, you need to find out the SID of the temporary user account you’re being signed in to.
Step 1. Type cmd in the Search box, and then right-click the Command Prompt app and select Run as administrator. Then click on Yes to grant the admin right for the Command Prompt.
Step 2. In the elevated Command Prompt window, type the whoami /user command and hit Enter. Then this command will query the system to your SID of the current user account.
Step 3. Write down your SID. To do so, you can press Ctrl + M keys to enable highlight, and then left-click and drag over the SID and press Ctrl + C keys to copy it.
Part 2. Edit the Registry
To restore user profile Windows 10, you need to edit some registry keys beforehand. Let’s follow the steps below carefully.
Step 1. Press Win + R keys to open the Run dialog box, and then type regedit in it and hit Enter. Then click Yes in the UAC confirmation window.
Step 2. In the Registry Editor window, locate the following path from the left navigation bar. Also, you can select View > Address bar, and then copy and paste the following path in the address bar to find the User Profile list quickly.
Step 3. Now, you can view the SID keys under the ProfileList folder from the left-hand pane. The SID usually is listed twice, with and without a BAK extension.
- SID is listed with a BAK extension: such as S-1–5–21–1860394511–4174969893–3875442021–500.bak (in my computer).
- SID is listed without a BAK extension: such as S-1–5–21–1860394511–4174969893–3875442021–50
Part 3. Recover User Profile Windows 10
After you have found the SID in Registry Editor, you can follow one of the 3 options below to complete the profile recovery process.
Option 1: Delete the duplicate folder:
If the SID is listed twice and only in this case, you need to delete the folder without the BAK extension.
- Go to the ProfileList folder like Step 3 in Part 2.
- Right-click the SID folder that doesn’t have the BAK extension and select Delete.
- Click on Yes to confirm it.
Option 2: Rename the BAK folder:
- With the ProfileList folder selected, right-click the SID folder that has the BAK extension and select Rename.
- Remove the .bak from the end and hit Enter to save the change.
Option 3: Adjust the folder path and state
1. Select the folder that matches your SID under the ProfileList
2. Double click the ProfileImagePath string from the right-hand pane, and then input the correct path of your user profile (such as C:\Users\Ariel) and click on OK to save changes.
3. Double click the State string from the right-hand pane, and then change its Value data to 0 and click on OK.
After you have finished all the above steps, close the Registry Editor and restart your computer, and then sign back into your user profile. Now, you should restore user profile Windows 10. If the user profile is still not recovered, move down to the following methods.
Way 2. Undelete Profile with MiniTool Partition Wizard
The above method is relatively time-consuming and complex. Do you want to make the profile recovery easier? Here MiniTool Partition Wizard can help you achieve that. It is a power partition manager that can recover lost data, migrate OS, convert MBR to GPT, rebuild MBR, etc.
Step 1. Launch the MiniTool software to enter its main interface and click on Data Recovery from the top toolbar.
Step 2. Now, you can select a location to start restoring user profile. Since the user profile is usually located in C drive, here you can select the C: drive and click on Scan.
Step 3. Then wait for the scan to complete. If you have found the deleted user profiles during the scanning, you can click on Pause or Stop to get instant data recovery. Also, you can click on Find, and then type user profile in the search bar to find your desired files quickly.
Step 4. Once the scan completes, check all items that you need to recover and click on Save.
Step 5. In the pop-up window, select a directory to save the selected files and click on OK.
After restoring user profile in Windows, you can create a new user account and transfer all recovered user profile data to the new user account. By doing so, you can use the old user profile with the new account again.
Way 3. Undelete Profile by Performing a System Restore
This method is an ideal choice for those who have created system restore points before the user profile got deleted accidentally. Here’s how to perform a system restore.
Step 1. Start your computer from the Windows 10 installation media (it could be a USB drive or a DVD).
Step 2. Select your preferred language and move on.
Step 3. In the Install now screen, click on Repair your computer and select Troubleshoot.
Step 4. Select Advanced options > System Restore, and then select Windows 10 on the next screen.
Step 5. The system restores window will pop up immediately, select the Recommended option click Next to continue. If the recommended one is not the system restore point where you still have user profile, then select the Choose a different restore point option and select the proper one.
Step 6. Then confirm your restore point by clicking the Finish button.
Once done, reboot your computer and see if your computer has reverted to the state before you accidentally deleted user folder Windows 10.
I deleted the user profiles in Windows 10 mistakenly. Luckily, I used the second way in this post to undelete user profile successfully. Perhaps you are also looking for this post. Click to tweet
How to recover user profile Windows 10? The top 3 ways have been illustrated to you. To avoid accidental deletion, you can do a regular backup with a professional utility or schedule system restore points on your computer.
Have you any other ways to undelete profile? If you have, write them down in the following comment zone. You can also send us an email to [email protected] if you have difficulties in using MiniTool Partition Wizard.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ariel is an enthusiastic IT columnist focusing on partition management, data recovery, and Windows issues. She has helped users fix various problems like PS4 corrupted disk, unexpected store exception error, the green screen of death error, etc. If you are searching for methods to optimize your storage device and restore lost data from different storage devices, then Ariel can provide reliable solutions for these issues.
Originally published at https://www.partitionwizard.com on December 9, 2021.