• Windows Vista temporary user profile

    by  • 2008/10/09 • How-to, Vista • 2 Comments

    Sometimes when a user logs into their vista machine they are greeted with a temporary user profile. This is caused from a few different things but the main causes are
    1. The computer cannot authenticate the user on the domain (usually because it did not get a respond from the domain controller). Or the computer is no longer a part of the domain.
    2. The user is part of the Guest user group.
    3. The user profile folder/user name was not available or the user already existed in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionProfileList
    4. The login service failed to start on the machine prior to logging into the machine.

    The main indication that the user is using a temporary user profile is all of their documents appear to be missing (desktop, documents, favorites, etc.). Any settings the user may have are also set to default (default background, screen saver), and the user will have this popup in the lower right hand corner.

    The popup warns the user saying “User profile was not loaded correctly. You have been logged on with a temporary profile. Changes you make to this profile will be lost when you log off. Please see the event log for details or contact your administrator”

    If this problem happens for a user the first thing that will probably fix the problem is restarting the computer (so the computer can connect to the domain controller). If that does not fix the problem please put in a work order so we can look at the problem and narrow down why this is happening.

    One important thing to note when the user is logged into a temporary user is that their documents in their profile are not lost. Nothing has been erased they are just logged in as a different user. It is also important that the user does not save anything to the temporary profile. If they need to save a document they should email it to themselves using apumail.apu.edu, save the document to one of their network drives, or save files to a usb drive. If anything is saved to the desktop, documents, or favorites of the temporary profile it will be lost once the user is logged off.

    Please see these links for more information.


    Avid learner with a passion for technology and people. He is always trying new things or taking something apart to make it better.

    2 Responses to Windows Vista temporary user profile

    1. 2009/01/08 at 17:44

      I had same problem.
      It logoffs once.
      It solved it by logging it in again.

    2. Gennadii
      2009/07/13 at 03:10

      Perfect explanation!
      The third item was my case.
      I renamed user’s account to fix totally disordered user’s environment (he lost ability to switch to English keyboard input). Then Vista created only Temp account for him.
      After cleaning the Profile list everithing is fixed.

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