Temporary profile issue

A temporary user profile is issued each time an error condition prevents the user's profile from loading. Temporary profiles are deleted at the end of each session, and changes made by the user to their desktop settings and files are lost when the user logs off.  On a Vista client computer, you may encounter profile issues if you log on with a user in the Guests group. This article will discuss this problem.


When you log on to a computer installed with Vista, you may encounter the following behavior:


      User profile being deleted on log off

      Desktop icons, files and other profile related items being not saved

      Getting a temporary profile each time you logon to either the standalone computer or domain


For instance, Right click on Computer and Select Properties, Select Advanced system settings under Control Panel > System, Under User Profiles select Settings, The Status for the profile will be Temporary


The prime reason of why this would happen is because the user is part of the local Guests or "Domain Guests" group. This affects administrators as well.


What we should do? Remove the user in question from the local Guests or "Domain guests" group and that should do it.


For local users:


1.    Click Start

2.    Right click Computer and Select Manage

3.    Select Local Users and Groups > Groups

4.    Double click Guests

5.    Check if the user that is having the issue is a member of the Guests group

6.    If so, remove the user from the Guests group

7.    Log off the workstation and log back on

8.    Verify the profile is now local


If the issue is happening on multiple machines for the same user in a domain, check the Domain Guests group:


1.    Open “Active Directory Users and Computers” (dsa.msc)

2.    Select the Users container

3.    Double click “Domain Guests”

4.    Select the Members tab

5.    Check if the user that is having the issue is a member of the Domain Guests group

6.    Repeated steps 2-5 with the "Guests" group


If the problem still exists and the user is not a member of the Guests or Domain Guests group, verify the user is not a member of a group which is a member of the Guests or Domain Guests groups. Furthermore, if the user is not member or not nested to be a member of Guests or Domain Guests, mostly, the original profile is corrupted, and please engage administrator to check.


Comments (12)

  1. Anonymous says:

    I am having this kind of issue on a Windows 2008 server : after 5 months with no problems, users get each morning a temporary profile when they logon. A server restart cures the problem, but it’s a pain !

    Any suggestions ?

    Config : W2008 srvr, 3 thin clients (RDP 6), one PC user, one occasionnal remote user (Internet). 5 users terminal server licence installed.

  2. Yuvraj says:

    i am facing the following error with my windows vista home premium edition.vista was unable to load user profile and loaded a temporary profile any changes made will be lost when computer is restarted or shutdown

  3. ArturoMD says:

    i only have one account it is my administrator on my lab top and it logged me onto a temporary profile and wont stop. it was eventually solved after i reset it to a point in time before updates.

  4. Unknown says:

    This is happening in Windows XP SP3 on PC’s that are not part of a domain and not using roaming profiles.  It started happening after MS patches were deployed 2 to 4 months ago and it’s happening on multiple PC’s using the same basic configurations.  New accounts can be created but it doesn’t stop the problem from happening again on the same PC.  Not all user accounts are corrupted at the same time.  It’s taking turns corrupting them.  The accounts being corrupted are user level rights accounts and so far it has not happened in any of the administrator accounts but I’m reading that they are also prone to this so I’m really not happy to be reading this can happen too.  This problem was first reported back in 2006 or 2007 and it continues today in August of 2008.  You’d figure MS would fix it by now wouldn’t you?  BTW, I’m using auto-updates so I have all the latest patches etc.  

  5. NO-bama says:

    Microsoft just stinks. They stink stink stink. Oh, and NO anti-USA yobama, hate hate hate Muslim liar hate racist YObama.

  6. Joe says:

    I am experiencing this issue intermittently on both XP Pro SP3 and W7 Enterprise PCs. Deleting the user profile and sid does not fix the problem. The profile is NOT corrupt.

  7. JB4392 says:

    That was it.  Somehow my users Global Group got added to the Local Guest group.  THANK YOU for pointing out what should have been an obvious item to check.

  8. Shawn Zernik says:


    This applies only to Active Directory and New Roaming Profiles:

    I just ran into this exact same problem: after setting up the profile path in Active Directory, the user recieves an error that they are using a temporary profile.  This ultimatly had to do with the "profile path" I had entered "\sbserverusershares%username%".

    The server will try to append and extension indicating the profile/windows version to the path, in my case it was ".V2" making the path "\sbserverusersharesjohn.V2".  Unfortunately, the user does not have permission to modify the "UserShares" folder so a temporary profile was used for that session.  This can be resolved by adding a trailing backslash making the profile path a folder named "\sbserverusersharesjohn.V2".  To make thing more windows like, I ultimately made the profile path "\sbserverusershares%username%PROFILE" and windows translated this to "\sbserverusersharesjohnPROFILE.V2".

    This applies to existing roaming profile that started acting up:

    For roaming profiles that started acting up, you will be heading for more of an up hill battle: the profile can exist on multiple machines, and the server, and will replicate from machine to server to machine.  You will want to rename the user profile folder on the server or current workstation as this is the current copy.  From there, go to each and every workstation that has the profile in question log in, and rename it.  Once the use logs in again, it will create a fresh new profile.  Copy his documents, favorites, PSTs, and so on back into his new profile.  Make sure to do this on all machines that have a copy of the profile, otherwise a login on the wrong machine could corrupt his profile again.

    Workgroup/standalone computers:

    This is usually due to a corrupt user profile, corrupt default profile, corrupt user account, file system, or windows problems.  Start by renaming the profile and letting windows create a new profile.  Copy back the users data.  The second step is to rename the users profile directory, delete the user, create a new user, and copy the users data back.

    A fatally corrupted file system can be causing user profile issues.  Run a check disk and retry the proceeding steps.  If that fails, windows could be to blame.  But always give web searches a good try before blowing away Windows.

    Shawn Zernik

    Internetwork Consulting

  9. anonymous says:

    What the heck is going on here men! This is a computer forum and even here we don't have peace from the Muslim haters. All you say is yourself. You worth no more words

  10. IT Tek says:

    Same issue with Windows 2008 server R2. I’m a workgroup. Over a year with no problems, but now user get each morning a temporary profile when they log on. Tried "server restart" suggested by another poster (jack37) but doesn’t resolve the issue. I created
    a new profile and after a month same thing.

  11. IT Tek says:

    Fixed it following these instructions "Fix Corrupt User Profile / Temp Profile in Windows Server 2008/ 2012". I couldn’t locate the "ProfileGUID" reg key but it worked.

  12. Ake says:

    Disallow users from storing their personal files inside the temporary profile folders, or prevent deletion. I know of three cases of data loss personally, where users have moved everything from their old profile in order to "fix" windows, only to lose
    it all at logoff.

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