How to Recover Deleted User Profile and Files in Windows 10

Tracy King updated on Sep 16, 2020 to File Recovery | How-to Articles


When you accidentally deleted User Profile in Windows 10, you cannot sign in with your User Account. If you are with this problem, relax. This page includes 3 methods to assist you in bringing the deleted User Profile back without losing any data.

Sometimes, when the C drive gets full, people tend to delete big files in C drive to free up the disk space. However, some people may mistakenly delete wrong files, such as the User Profile - saved folders and files under C:/User.

As a result, when you restart Windows 10, you won't be able to log into the system as the files associated with your old User Account have been removed.

To resolve this issue, you'll need to recreate a new user account, baring the loss of your files. Or, you can refer to provided solutions on this page to effectively bring the User Profile back. 

How Do I Restore Deleted User Profile in Windows 10
Part 1. Restore Deleted User Profile in Windows 10 (3 Methods)
Part 2. Tips to Protect Valuable User Profile and System

How Do I Restore Deleted User Profile in Windows 10

"Hi guys, do you know how to recover a deleted User Profile in Windows 10? My mom accidentally deleted my user profile and all the pictures, photos, documents folders disappeared on the computer.

No backups were created in Windows 10 previously. So how can I restore the deleted User Profile with all lost files in Windows 10? If you have a solution, please let me know. Thanks."

Losing User Profiles may easily cause file lost issue and some personal settings vanish error in Windows PC. And this problem is still bothering many Windows 10 users. If you are having a similar issue in Windows 10/8/7, don't worry.

Here below you'll find 3 methods in Part 1 to effectively restore deleted User Profiles, and 2 ways in Part 2 to back up and protect User Profile in Windows 10/8/7 with ease. 

Part 1. Restore Deleted User Profile in Windows 10

Note: The provided solutions in this part may also work for Windows 8 and Windows 7 users to bring the lost User Profiles back. Only some specific operations may be different.

In the following, in order to help you find a handy solution to bring lost User Profiles back, all provided methods will be listed from easy to difficult. Let's start the restoring process now.

Before You Start: Boot Windows 10 into the Safe Mode

If you are in the same issue that you can't log into Windows 10 after deleting the User Profile, follow steps below to boot Windows 10 into the Safe Mode first.

1. Reboot PC, on the sign-in screen, hold the Shift key and click "Power", select "Restart".
2. You'll be presented with an options screen, select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart.

Start Windows from Safe Mode.

3. Press F4 when the computer is booting up and then it will start in Safe Mode.

When the process finishes, continue with the following methods to see how to bring your lost User Profiles back.

Method 1. Restore Deleted User Profile files and Create a New Profile

The most direct way to fix this issue is to restore the deleted User Profile documents, files and create a new User Profile in Windows 10.  

Go through the steps below and bring your lost files back immediately:

# 1. Restore All Deleted Old User Profile Files with File Recovery Software

Professional file recovery software can effectively scan and restore the deleted User Profile files and documents.

Here, we'd like to recommend you try EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. It simplifies the whole file recovery process in only 3 steps:

Step 1. Run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, select location to scan lost folder.

Under the Specify a location section, click "Browse" on Select Folder to choose the location where you lost the folder and click "OK" to scan the lost folder.

Run folder recovery software.

Step 2. Find and preview found files in the lost folder.

You can find the lost folder in "Deleted Files", "Lost Files" or use the "Search" feature to quickly find the lost folder by searching the folder name. Then open the found folder and double-click to preview lost files.

Scan and find lost folder data.

Step 3. Recover and save the lost folder with files.

Last, select the folder and files and click "Recover", browse to choose a new & secure spot on your PC and click "OK" to save it.

Restore lost folder data.

Note: After restoring the files, save the User Profiles into an external storage device. And continue with the following guidelines.

# 2. Enable Administrator Account and Create a New User Account

Step 1. Right-click Start or Windows icon, select "Search" and type: command prompt. Select Command Prompt (Admin).

Step 2. Type: net user administrator /active: yes and hit Enter.

Restore Use Profiles on Windows 10.

Note: You can switch "yes" to "no" when you want to reverse this in the feature by running the same command.

By doing so, this will enable the hidden administrator account on your computer. After this, restart the computer, and you can create a new account.

# 3. Create a New Account - New User Account

Step 1. Go to Settings > Accounts > Family & other users.

Step 2. Click "Add someone else to this PC" and follow the on-screen guidelines to complete the process.

Create new user account.

Note: If you want to create a local account instead of a Microsoft one, click "I don't have this person's sign-in information" > Then select "Add a user without a Microsoft account".

# 4. Replace New Account User Profiles with Restored Old User Profile Data 

Now you can copy and paste the restored User Profile files and document to your new account.

Step 1. Restart your PC and log into the administrator account.

Step 2. Press Windows + R keys to open Run, type: C:/Users and hit Enter.

Step 3. Copy and paste all the restored user profiles into the new one. 

Note: We suggest you do this individually for each folder, in case you accidentally bring across some hidden and problematic system files.

After replacing the files in the new user account, you can restart your PC and keep all the changes. By doing so, you can use your old User Profile data with the new account again.  

Method 2. Manually Restore Deleted User Profile in Windows 10

The other way that works to bring lost User Profile back is to use Registry Editor for help. Here are the steps:

# 1. Find out Security Identifier

Step 1. Open Command Prompt by right-clicking on Start or Windows icon > Click Search > Type: command prompt and hit Enter.

Step 2. Type: whoami /user and hit Enter. 
This command queries the system to your SID of the current account.

Manually restore deleted User Profile.

# 2. Edit the Registry

Step 1. Type: regedit in the Search and hit Enter > Click "Yes" to open Registry Editor.

Step 2. Go and follow this page to find your User Profile list:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList

Usually, the SID will be listed twice - with or without a .BAK extension:

  • SID listed with a .BAK extension, such as: S-1-5-21-2795999757-2048908912-3492586281-1000.bak
  • SID listed without a .BAK extension, such as: S-1-5-21-2795999757-2048908912-3492586281-1000

Follow one of the options provided below to complete the deleted User Profile recovery process:

Option 1. Delete Duplicate Folder

If the SID is listed twice, choose to delete the folder without the .BAK extension:

1. Right-click the folder from the left-hand pane and click "Delete".
2. Click "Yes" to confirm.

restore User profile.

Option 2. Rename.BAK folder

  1. 1. Right-click the folder matching your SID with the.BAK extension, click "Rename".
  2. 2. Remove.BAK from the end of it and hit Enter to save all changes.

Rename .BAK files to restore deleted User Profile.

Option 3. Adjust the Folder path and state

1. Click the folder on the left-hand pane that matches your SID.
2. Locate and double-click ProfileImagePath, input the correct path for your user profile in Value Data.

Restore deleted User Profile by adjusting folder path and state.

Note: If you are not sure where is your user profile, press Win + R, input: C:\Users and hit Enter. Then you'll see the right path of your user profile.

3. Click "OK" once you've written the correct Value Data.

4. Double-click "State" on the right-hand registry pane and change the Value data to "0", and click "OK" to confirm.

Change Value Data to restore lost User Profile.

Finally, close Registry Editor and restart your PC, sign back into your user account. Now everything that you've deleted shall be all back and you can reuse them again.

Method 3. Perform System Restore and Bring Deleted User Profile Back

Important: This method only works when you have created a complete system restore point in advance. Otherwise, you won't be able to restore your Windows into a previous state.

A system restore point will record everything on your PC, including the system state, saved files including User Profile, installed programs, etc. 

By performing System Restore, it will bring your system to the previous state. Of course, it would bring your lost User Profile documents back.

Step 1. Right-click on the Windows icon and select "Search".

Step 2. Type: create a restore point, and click the top result to open "System Properties". 

Step 3. Click the System Restore button under the System Protection section to bring up all the restore points that you've created.

Open System Restore points.

Step 4. Click "Next" and select the restore point that you want to use and restore on your PC.

Choose restore points.

Step 5. Click "Finish" to confirm your restore point and click "Yes" to execute the System Restore on your PC.

Execute System Restore.

Wait for the process to finish, and restart your computer. Log in with your old User Account, you'll be able to use the User Profile documents again.

Part 2. Tips to Protect Valuable User Profile and System

Part 1 includes the complete solutions to help you bring all lost User Profile documents back. However, do you know that there is even an easier and better way that can prevent this diaster from happening?

Yes, we've covered several practical tips that can help you protect your User Profile and even Windows system. Follow up and learn how to protect your valuable files and Windows system right now:

  • 1. Copy User Profile with File History

File History in Windows 10 can help you copy individual files and save as a backup. You may use this feature to selectively backup your User Profile.

Copy user profile with File History.

This backup software enables you to selectively back up the User Profile folder or the whole Windows system in only 3 steps. All you need is to decide what do you want to protect.

EaseUS Todo Backp.

  • 3. Create a Windows Restore Point 

To do so, you need to first enable the System Protection first by going to System Properties > click System Protection > Select System C: drive and click "Configure" > Click "Enable".

enable system protection.

Then follow the on-screen guidelines to browse a big enough drive to create and save the Windows restore points.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get."techradar

"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files to better verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

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