Logged On With a Temporary Profile in Windows

Logged On With a Temporary Profile in Windows
Common Causes and Prevention Steps

More and more people are getting these errors. In fact, we just got an e-mail today from a client that had this exact problem and it’s not the first time so we thought we should post something about the issue. Let’s get into a few of the causes and what can be done to prevent it.

Dropbox has been known to cause this issue.

It’s a bit more complex than this but for simplicity sake Dropbox is a file sync software and, if installed, runs in your profile. Dropbox interacts with other Windows services and it might not be shutting down properly when you log off or shut down the computer.

Windows Update may have affected your profile

It’s also possible that Windows Update was updating some files that were still in use when updates were applied, causing some wires to get crossed.

Malware infections may have caused it

Viruses and malware could have altered your windows settings enough to causes profile issues, even if those viruses or malware were removed weeks or months before.

Your profile is locked by a system service or an application running under another user account

Generally, if this is the case, rebooting and waiting a few minutes before logging in (or rebooting into safe mode) can fix the problem temporarily.

The user profile has been damaged or deleted

User profiles can become damaged for a variety of reasons, such as a disk error or an application not cleanly unmounting the registry (because of an application crash, for instance).


The most direct way to work around the problem is to simply create a new user profile and move one’s files from the old user profile into it. It’s not a quick nor easy fix for the average person, but Microsoft has some documentation on how to fix a corrupted user profile.

Boost IT is confident that using our remote monitoring and management (RMM) service can prevent some of the issues that cause temporary profile errors.
The other benefit of RMM is that it’s part of a comprehensive security strategy.
Not having a comprehensive security strategy can be compared to locking your car at night and closing all the windows except one.