How to Delete a User Profile in Windows 10
Sometimes deleting your user profile in Windows 10 can solve several issues. For example, if your user profile becomes corrupted, if certain apps don’t work anymore, or if you want to reset your profile’s settings back to default, this might help resolve it. What’s important to know is how to delete a user profile without deleting your user account.
In this guide, we will show you how to delete a user profile in Windows 10. We will also explain the difference between user profiles and user accounts and how you can delete both of them.
What is the Difference Between User Accounts and User Profiles
Many people tend to think that a user account and a user profile in Windows are one and the same. However, they are two completely different sets of data.
The first step of setting up your computer requires creating an administrator user account to allow you to sign in to your PC or laptop. If you share your computer with other family members or with a coworker, you can create separate user accounts. Each user account can be protected with a password, so you don’t have to worry about other people accessing your account.
Every time you turn your device on, you are able to choose which user account you want to log into. If you want to create a new user account on your Windows 10, you can choose between an administrator account, a standard account, and a standard account with family safety. Administrator accounts are the only types of user accounts that you can use to make changes to system settings and other accounts on your device.
Switching between different user accounts in Windows 10 is very simple. Here’s how it’s done:
- Click on the Start Menu in the bottom-left corner of your screen.
- Go to your user account’s icon on the left sidebar.
- Choose Sign out.
- Select a different user account.
- Enter the password and press the Enter key on your keyboard.
A user profile in Windows 10, on the other hand, refers to all your personal preferences, app and desktop settings, and other forms of information within your user account.
- If you’re interested in how you would locate your user profile, go to My Computer or This PC and then to Local Disk (C:).
- Proceed to Users and then to your account’s username. In this folder, you’ll be able to see various subfolders, such as Contacts, Desktop, Music, Downloads, Favorites, Pictures, Links, Saved Games, Videos, and many more.
Your user profile is comprised of all the settings and personalization you applied to the device. Even the slightest changes made to your device, such as backgrounds and screen savers, all fall into the category of a user profile.
Deleting a User Profile in Windows 10
As mentioned before, user profiles are a set of folders that help personalize your user account. If you want to delete your user profile, make sure you are doing it from another user account and not from the profile that will soon be deleted.
In addition, the account you will be using to delete the user profile is required to have administrative privileges. Once a user profile is deleted, all the photos, videos, documents, and other types of files will be deleted as well. That’s why it’s important to back all of these files up or create copies of them that can be stored in a safe place.
There are two ways you can delete a user profile in Windows 10, with System Properties or manually. For starters, let’s cover the first method:
- Press the Windows + R keys on your keyboard simultaneously; this will launch the Run dialog on your screen.
- In the Open box, type in
- Click on OK. This will open the System Properties window.
- Choose Advanced from the top menu.
- Under User Profiles, click on the Settings… button.
- The User Profiles window will appear. Under Profiles stored on this computer, choose the profile that you want to delete.
- Select Delete.
- Confirm that you want to delete the user profile by clicking on Yes in the pop-up window.
That’s it! The next time you sign in to your user account, Windows 10 will automatically create a new profile with default settings and preferences. There is another way you can delete a user profile in Windows 10. This is how it’s done:
- Type This PC into the Search bar on your desktop and open it.
- Now, double-click on Local Disk (C:).
- Proceed to the Users folder.
- Find the user profile that you want to delete and right-click on it.
- Select Delete from the drop-down menu.
- Then, press the Windows + R key on your keyboard simultaneously.
- Type in
regeditin the box and hit Enter to open the Registry Editor.
- Copy this Registry Key:
- Paste it into the Registry Editor.
- Go to the ProfileList folder, and then find ProfileImagePath. It should be listed as C:\Users\[username], except replace [username] with the exact name of your user profile.
- Delete this file and any identical files you will find in other folders.
- Confirm that you want to delete these files from the Registry Editor.
- Close the Registry Editor and restart your computer to finish the process.
You will notice that there will be a new, default user profile in Local Disc (C:), and you won’t see the deleted user profile anymore.
Deleting a User Account in Windows 10
Deleting a user account in Windows 10 is fairly simple, and it only takes a few quick steps. If you have multiple accounts on your computer, then you should know how to delete them in case you don’t need them anymore.
To delete a user account in Windows 10, follow the steps below:
- Click on the Start button in the bottom-left corner of your screen.
- Click on the Settings icon on the left sidebar.
- From here, click on Accounts.
- Proceed to Family & other users.
- Under Other users, find the user account that you want to delete.
- Click on their username and select Remove.
- Confirm that you want to remove this account and choose Delete account and data.
Doing this will delete the user account and all the offline files it contains. However, it will not delete any files that are stored in the cloud.
How do I restore a deleted user profile?
In case you accidentally deleted a user profile, or if there are some files you’d like to restore, there is a way to restore that user profile. That’s why it’s always important to have all your files backed up before you delete a user profile.
Here’s how you can restore a deleted user profile in Windows 10:
1. Click on the magnifying glass in the bottom-left corner of your screen.
2. Type in
Command Prompt and click Open.
whoami /user and paste it into Command Prompt.
4. Press Enter.
5. Under User Name SID, you’ll be able to see the Security Identifier for your user profile.
6. Press the Windows + R key.
7. Type in regedit and hit Enter to open the Registry.
8. Copy HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE>SOFTWARE>Microsoft>Windows NT>CurrentVersion>ProfileList and paste it into the Registry.
9. Under ProfileList, find the same SID from the Command Prompt.
10. Click on the right SID folder.
11. Find ProfileImagePath on the right side of the Registry and double-click on it.
12. Under Value data, type in C:\Users\ and the correct username of your user profile.
13. Click on OK.
14. Double-click on State; it’s under ProfileImagePath on the right pane.
15. Under Value data, write 0.
16. Select OK.
You’ve successfully managed to restore your user profile. The next time you go to Local Disc (C:), you’ll see your restored user profile there.
Delete All Unwanted User Profiles
Now you know how to delete a user profile in Windows 10. You also know the difference between user profiles and user accounts in Windows 10, as well as how to delete a user account. Deleting and restoring user profiles can be a bit tricky, but as long as you follow our guide, you’ll get it done effortlessly.
Have you ever deleted a user profile in Windows 10 before? Did you use any of the methods explained in this guide? Let us know in the comments section below.