Despite being the world’s most popular operating system, Windows is way too complex and feature-rich to be perfect.
When it comes to errors, the most frustrating types to encounter are the ones preventing you from logging into your user profile.
This type of problem could arise from a myriad of reasons, but the following guide has in-depth explanations on how to successfully troubleshoot and fix Windows login problems.
If you can’t sign into Windows 10 or 11, keep on reading to learn more.
Without further ado, let’s crack straight into it.
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What Exactly Are Windows Login Problems?
Starting up your PC and logging into your user profile to work or have fun shouldn’t be complicated at all. However, if something prevents you from doing that, it’s a Windows login problem.
Windows login problems can come in any shape. Examples like endless loading screens, computer crashes after typing the password, or various error screens with messages such as “user profile couldn’t be loaded” are not unknown to users.
Other common Windows login issues may include:
- Cannot sign in to Windows
- Unable to sign in to Windows after an update
- Can’t log into Windows using a Microsoft account
Regardless of what your specific problem is, we’ll give our best to help you understand the cause and fix it by applying proven solutions.
Fix 1: Reboot Your PC
One of the simplest fixes for this problem is to reboot your PC. Sometimes, the Windows login screen is just “stuck” and by rebooting your computer you’ll restore its functionality and then be able to sign in with your user account.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t always work, but since it takes the least time out of all other methods, we recommend trying it anyway. It could fix your problem.
If rebooting your PC doesn’t help, move on to the other methods listed below.
Fix 2: Run The Automatic Repair Tool
Windows has many repair and recovery tools, aimed to help users solve problems on their own, without having to contact an expert from Microsoft.
These processes are automated, so most of the time you don’t need to do anything else besides initiating them when you have a problem, and that’s exactly what we’ll do now.
To run the Windows Startup Repair Tool, follow the steps below:
- Power off your device as usual. Then, power it back on. Once you notice that your operating system starts loading, press and hold the power button until your computer shuts down. Repeat these steps two more times, as three consecutive failed boots in a row will automatically make Windows load the Recovery Mode screen.
- Within the Windows Recovery panel, click Choose an option and then Troubleshoot.
- Choose Advanced options and then Automatic repair.
Now, simply allow Windows to scan and detect any issues, and follow the rest of the setup as it’s quite straightforward.
This should fix the problem, as it did to many other users. It doesn’t always work, though, so if that’s your case, move on to other fixes below.
Important note: You can also access the Windows recovery panel by holding the SHIFT button on your keyboard while clicking Restart anywhere on your PC, including the login screen. So, if you cannot log in to Windows even in Safe Mode, you can do what’s shown in the video below on the login screen.
Fix 3: Boot In Safe Mode And Create A New User
The Windows Safe Mode feature is used often for diagnosing and troubleshooting any operating system-related issues.
Running your PC in Safe Mode means it will only load the bare necessities required for system functionality, so if any third-party software or a failing driver is causing the error you want to solve, it won’t crash your PC now.
After booting your PC in Safe Mode, we recommend creating a new user account. If the previous one you had was bugged, the new one should work, and you should be able to log into Windows using it.
Here’s what you need to do, step by step:
- Press Windows + I simultaneously on your keyboard to open the Settings panel. Click on Update & Security.
- Click Recovery, then under Advanced Startup, choose Restart Now.
- Your PC will restart and display a screen with options. Choose Troubleshoot, Advanced Options, Startup Settings, and finally, click on Restart.
- Your PC will restart again, and you’ll see a non-numbered list of options. “Enable Safe Mode” will be listed as the fourth option, so press the 4 number on your keyboard to choose it. Your PC will now reboot into Safe Mode.
Now that your PC is in Safe Mode, you should create a new user account.
Follow this concise and helpful video to see how to create a new user account on Windows.
When done, reboot your PC and try logging in as the new user. The new user should work, and then you can just delete the old one and continue using the one you created recently. This isn’t the most optimal fix, as you’ll need to transfer files, for example, from the other user, but at least you can now access your computer.
Fix 4: Run The “SFC” and “DISM” Commands In CMD
If you manage to access your computer, in Safe Mode, for example, we recommend running these two useful commands in Command Prompt as they could help solve the problem.
So, when logged into Windows, follow these steps:
- Simultaneously press Windows + S buttons on your keyboard to bring the search bar.
- Type Command Prompt in the search bar, right-click the first result, and choose Run as Administrator to launch an “elevated” version.
- Once the panel shows on your screen, type in the “sfc /scannow” command and press Enter on your keyboard to initiate it, as shown in the image below.
- Wait until the process ends, which may last for a while based on your computer’s performance.
Once the process is complete, you’ll see a confirmation message, as shown in the image below.
Now, in the same Command Prompt window, enter both of the following commands, pressing Enter after each one to execute it:
Dism /Online/Cleanup-Image /Start Component Cleanup
Dism /Online/Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
Wait for the first command to fully execute before launching the second one.
When both commands are done, completing their functions, restart your PC and try signing into your Windows account. The problem should now be solved.
Fix 5: Install The Latest Windows Update
Installing the latest Windows update should help with problems of this type. However, sometimes users reported experiencing this issue after updating Windows, in which case there’s not much to do besides using a Windows recovery point to do a rollback on a previous Windows version (if that feature is enabled on your PC).
If you don’t have the latest Windows update installed, however, yet you’re already dealing with Windows login problems, you can only benefit from installing the latest one, as that could fix the problem.
Fix 6: Reinstall Windows
Sometimes, even after applying all these methods, you are unable to fix the Windows login issues, and it can be a frustrating experience. You can still gain access to your computer, but if all else failed, now the solution is to reinstall Windows, or at least use the repair feature.
For this, however, you would need a bootable USB.
We have a helpful guide explaining how to create a Windows bootable USB that you can follow to get things done quickly and without much hassle.
Reinstalling Windows is the most lengthy and complex process of all others listed in this guide, and you should only resort to it if all other methods fail.
That’s all you should know about fixing various Windows login problems. Please note that this isn’t an uncommon issue, and happens quite often, as reported by users on various support forums.
Hopefully, after applying the methods listed in this guide, you will be able to access your PC and continue using it as usual.