Deleting a user account leaves traces of that user behind in C:\users

  1. Posts : 2,297
    Windows 10 Pro (64 bit)

    Deleting a user account leaves traces of that user behind in C:\users

    I noticed an annoying problem when deleting a user account from your PC.

    Basically Windows Store app got into a pickle on my main user account. I fixed it with a restore point. But it wasn't working on my wife and son's user accounts. As they barely use them and have little to lose I decided to delete their accounts and then re-create them. The intention being to see if Windows Store worked correctly after doing so (It did!!!).

    I deleted the accounts, restarted machine for clean slate and set them up again. All good but something that I noticed and really annoyed me was when I went into network I could see the WMP sharing media projecting my wife's name twice and the same for my son. Looks a bit rubbish. I went on my TV into media sharing and could see the duplicate WMP clients listed on here. So as a test I deleted my son's account again and re-created and sure enough now three WMP shares from his name.

    So I looked under C:\users and can see (using my son as an example) three folders ... son's name, son's name-pc name, son's name.000-pc name. So this is why I see the duplications because good old Windows 10 doesn't fully delete the user from C:\users. I tried deleting those old folders but got met with either 'in use' or 'denied - you need admin access'. Of course my account is an administrator so that doesn't compute!!!! I tried taking ownership of those folders and got met with all kinds of resistance but I deleted enough of them to stop the duplicate WMP shares. Basically there is nothing in the folders and sub folders but just having a Roaming/Microsoft/Windows/Libraries folder is enough to create a WMP share even for deleted users.

    I don't know if not running the WMP share service would make a difference in that you can delete the old user. But this seems a bit lame and is another one to add to my poor experiences using Windows 10. Of course I want to keep the WMP share feature. I could of turned it off to stop this duplication but it would of been completely switched off which wasn't the answer. Anyway I just wanted to share this in case this causes other users wasted hours of headaches like it did me yesterday.
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 26
    Windows 10

    Having the same issue here. A user account started misbehaving so I used Settings>Accounts to remove it. But the user *folder* is still in c:\users and won't let me delete - even though I have administrator rights. How can you delete these folders?
      My Computer

  3. Posts : 2,297
    Windows 10 Pro (64 bit)
    Thread Starter

    I couldn't do it. I tried to take ownership of the folders but got met with resistance. I think through luck I managed to get the libraries folder deleted which stopped the duplicate WMP shares. I just set the users folders as hidden after that to tidy things up. I cannot see any other negative impact to their existence so will just leave them (they only take up a few kb each)
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 2,799
    Linux Mint 20.1 Win10Prox64

    1. Enable the built in Administrator account (Win+R->lusrmgr.msc)
      Deleting a user account leaves traces of that user behind in C:\users-.jpg
    2. Reboot and log in as Administrator
    3. Delete the folder under C:\users
      My Computer

  5. Posts : 2,297
    Windows 10 Pro (64 bit)
    Thread Starter

    Thanks I might try that at some stage. When one logs in as administrator will it ask for a password? Should the password match my own user account which was the first one created when setting up the machine for the first time?
      My Computer

  6. Posts : 2,799
    Linux Mint 20.1 Win10Prox64

    No, when you enable the built in Administrator account, just uncheck "Account is disabled", the password should be empty so when you log in, just click Sign In.

    FYI, I tried it in my PC:
    1. Create a Local account and log in so Windows will set it up with an SID (64 bit unique ID) associated with the account, set up the environment for the account etc...
    2. Switch to any user with Admin right then delete the account. At this point, the user account folder still exists.
    3. Enable the built in Administrator
    4. Reboot and log in as Administrator then delete the user account folder, answer Yes if prompted.
      My Computer


  Related Discussions
Our Sites
Site Links
About Us
Windows 10 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 10" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:29.
Find Us

Windows 10 Forums