Deleting a [domain] user profile in Server 2016

In past versions of Windows Server, if I needed to delete a user profile I could simply go to C:\users and delete the folder. The next time I logged in it would re-create the folder and profile from scratch.

In 2016, if you do this and try to log back in you will get this error:

login error

If you sign out and back it it keeps coming back. If you dismiss, you get logged in as TEMP.


To fix this, you have to log in as an administrator and open regedit.

navigate here: profileregistry

and find the SID that matches your broken user profile (click on each one and look at “ProfileImagePath” and you will see the profile name)

DELETE this registry item!


For future profile deletions you must do it this way to not break the user profile. This is honestly the way I should have been doing it in the past too:

run > sysdm.cpl > advanced > User Profiles > Settings > then select your profile and delete it


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