1.    2 Weeks Ago #1
    Join Date : Oct 2015
    Posts : 99
    Windows 10

    can no longer access my Windows 10 account...


    A couple of days ago I posted regarding eliminating a user profile if the files it contained were shared by another profile (Are shared documents and files removed from PC if one account deleted? - Windows 10 Forums)

    Yesterday I deleted the account C:\Users\Person A. Towards the end of the deletion process I was told that a couple of the files I wanted to eliminate were system files and it was better not to touch them. So I didn't. This meant that the account was not completely removed from my computer or from File Explorer. To keep things tidy, I 'hid' the name of that account.

    Everything seemed to be running perfectly until I had the brilliant idea of changing the name of the remaining user profile (Person B). I followed Brink's tutorials on changing the name and of enabling an elevated Administrator account (all very simple and straight forward), but when I got to the part of renaming the profile in File Explorer, I ran into problems: the new name I'd chosen was the same as that of the account I'd (incompletely) deleted and then hidden (C:\Users\Person A). I hadn't taken into account the fact that there was an account with that name, albeit hidden, on my computer.

    I was asked if I wanted to substitute the old account with the new one, and I clicked on yes. I noticed that files like AppData were being trasferred. So I stopped the substitution. I 'unhid' the old Person A account and saw that my documents had already been moved across to it. I moved them back to Person B. I then went back and restored the original user profle name for Person B.

    Anyway, the upshot of all of this is that now I cannot access my account (Person B). I get a message saying:
    We can’t sign into your account.This problem can often be fixed by signing out of your account and then signing back in. If you don’t sign out now, any files you create or changes you make will be lost.”

    (I should perhaps add that I never created the account for Person A, but merely created a folder under C:\Users and copied and moved various files into it.)

    I've seen a couple of webpages that offer solutions to this problem, but I wanted to ask for advice here on the forums. Hope someone can help me.

    Cheers,

    Florio
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    2 Weeks Ago #2
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,633
    Windows 10 Pro

    Using Option 5 here, enable the built-in administrator account:
    Enable or Disable Elevated Administrator account in Windows 10 User Accounts Tutorials

    Once in the built-in administrator account, create a new local account, do NOT use a user name that previously existing on that computer:
    Add Local Account or Microsoft Account in Windows 10 User Accounts Tutorials

    Make sure to change the account type to administrator:
    Change Account Type in Windows 10 User Accounts Tutorials

    Log into the new account, and disable the built-in administrator account. Move any data files you want to keep from the old accounts, to the new account. Data files ONLY! Not system files! Delete the other user accounts after you have the data files saved in the new account.

    Once the old user accounts are deleted, with the option to remove all files in those user accounts, and after you completely restarted the computer (and I would recommend checking that the folders under "users" for those accounts have been deleted), then you can recreate a user account with a previous name, if desired using the create new user account method. I would not recommend attempting to rename any user account in Windows 10, it's just too risky.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    2 Weeks Ago #3
    Join Date : Oct 2015
    Posts : 99
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for your input, NavyLCDR.

    When you say
    Log into the new account, and disable the built-in administrator account. Move any data files you want to keep from the old accounts, to the new account. Data files ONLY! Not system files! Delete the other user accounts after you have the data files saved in the new account.
    do you mean disconnect or remove the administrator account? Which are system files? Only NTUSER.DAT? I have to be very careful here, as I've already made a mess of my user profiles!!

    Florio
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    2 Weeks Ago #4
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,633
    Windows 10 Pro

    I mean disable the built-in Administrator account as in: "net user Administrator /active:no"

    I would NOT copy ntuser.dat or anything in the Appdata folder unless you know exactly what you are doing.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    2 Weeks Ago #5
    Join Date : Oct 2015
    Posts : 99
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Once the old user accounts are deleted, with the option to remove all files in those user accounts, and after you completely restarted the computer (and I would recommend checking that the folders under "users" for those accounts have been deleted), then you can recreate a user account with a previous name, if desired using the create new user account method.
    Thanks again for your help, NavyLCDR. It's taken me a while to tweak my programs, browser and email server etc, but everything is now more or less as it was before I messed things up by changing that profile name.

    I'm now ready to delete the old user accounts (I notice one is actually named Administrator, from when I had enabled the built-in elevated Administrator account). Will I actually be given the option to remove all the files in those accounts? You can understand my reluctance to land myself in the same situation as before! I don't think I'll be renaming the current user account!
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    2 Weeks Ago #6
    Join Date : Oct 2016
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts : 624
    Win10 Home x64 - 1709

    Hey Florio,
    Don't mess with the built-in administrator account, just disable it ... Post #4

    Open Command Prompt as Admin
    net user Administrator /active:no
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  7.    2 Weeks Ago #7
    Join Date : Oct 2015
    Posts : 99
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    I have disabled the elevated built-in Administrator account, but it is nonetheless visible in C:\Users. Most of its folders appear to be empty.

    I can see 6 more accounts in File Explorer, one of which is my new (working!) account. The others include a default account (once again, most if not all of the folders are empty), a TEMP account, a public account, and two old accounts that I would like to delete. The public, TEMP and one of the old accounts have no NTUSER.DAT files.

    Is it possible to get rid of the unnecessary accounts? Could I remove all of the empty folders in the Administrator account and then just hide whatever cannot be deleted? If I am given the option of removing all files, can I go ahead, or should I leave anything that triggers the appearance of such a message?

    Florio
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    2 Weeks Ago #8
    Join Date : Oct 2014
    Arnold, MD
    Posts : 30,455
    Triple boot - Win 10 Pro, Win 10 Pro Insider (2) - (and a sprinkling of VMs)

    Quote Originally Posted by Florio View Post
    I have disabled the elevated built-in Administrator account, but it is nonetheless visible in C:\Users. Most of its folders appear to be empty.

    I can see 6 more accounts in File Explorer, one of which is my new (working!) account. The others include a default account (once again, most if not all of the folders are empty), a TEMP account, a public account, and two old accounts that I would like to delete. The public, TEMP and one of the old accounts have no NTUSER.DAT files.

    Is it possible to get rid of the unnecessary accounts? Could I remove all of the empty folders in the Administrator account and then just hide whatever cannot be deleted? If I am given the option of removing all files, can I go ahead, or should I leave anything that triggers the appearance of such a message?

    Florio
    @Florio
    I believe once the Administrator account is triggered, and therefore set up, it is not possible to actually delete it, like you would with another user account. So, the folders would still be visible, but not active (not able to log on). Best to just leave it alone, unless you are willing to do a clean install. There may be another way, but I'm not aware of it. Windows ships with the Admin account not set up, and once you have activated it, Windows will go thru the setup for a new account as usual. That's why you see those folders. Like I said, there may be a way to undo all that without clean install, but I'm not aware of it. Perhaps someone else is.

    As far as not having NTUSER.DAT files for some, they are created as data for the active profile once logged on. If that account is never actually used to log in, by you or the system, they won't be there. This may need a little more clarification, been a while since I messed with multiple accounts, but that's what I recall.

    Not a complete answer to your question, I know, but maybe helps a little.

    TC
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  9.    2 Weeks Ago #9
    Join Date : Oct 2015
    Posts : 99
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Many thanks, TC. I've just been looking at Brink's tutorial on deleting profiles via File explorer and the Registry Editor. I'm going to have to get rid of most of the extra profiles on my PC this way, as only one of the old accounts actually appears in Settings-->Accounts.

    Another of the old accounts still has a folder containing my documents, but these are also in my new account and in the usual Documents location, so deleting this account shouldn't create any problems (in any case I do have a back up of all my documents on a portable hard-drive.

    I reckon I can probably remove the empty folders from the elevated built-in Administrator account (what do you think?), leave folders that contain data, and then hide the main Administrator folder. Having just spent several days creating a new account/profile and then reinstalling programs, tweaking net browsers and email accounts etc, I need to be sure of what I'm doing as regards removing unnecessary profiles!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 


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