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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Windows loaded Temporary Profile - Icons files and Wallpaper missing

Very common issue on all versions of windows, especially windows 7. Everything looks normal and and one day you log back on to find all your icons missing and windows telling you that you have been logged on using a temporary profile.

There is no real cause for this issue, just windows being windows. For some reason windows starts creates a temporary profile for you and renames your original profile to .BAK. 

How to Fix - Run Regedit

open the registry editor by typing regedit in command prompt, from the start menu or run menu. If you have trouble finding it the file is located in C:\Windows\regedit.exe

Once the window open navigate using the left pane to

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> Software -> Microsoft -> Windows NT - > Profile List

Here you will be presented with a list of profiles currently on your local machine, note that there will be a two profile with the same ID (letters and number) the only difference being that one will have a .BAK on the end of it.

If you highlight .BAK file you will notice that this is your original profile that has been renamed with a .bak which makes it unusable by windows and it will jump to the other profile without .BAK , which in this case will be a temporary profile.

The fix is simple - Remove .BAK from the correct profile and rename the temporary one to .BAK or .OLD. note: you may have to rename the temp profile to .old before you remove the .bak otherwise it will say that you have duplicate profile id's

log off and back on , and your all done



  1. I'm trying to look for that - but I don't see one that has a .bak on it. Any other ideas... Thanks

  2. not quite sure , you could check C:/users/yourusername and check the desktop folder just to make sure its in the registry

    what version of windows are you using

  3. I did this and it said there was an error logging on and wouldn't let me use that particular profile

  4. Hey anon , what was the exact error you got?

    and you removed the .bak? from the end of the correct profile and renamed the other one to something else?