Sometimes, Windows 10 locks you out of your PC without any reason. You won’t be able to login to your Desktop and using anything on your PC will become impossible. The error shows up during the login in when you try to open your account. It will say show a dialogue box saying “We can’t sign into your account.”

Some people have also said that they were able to fix the sign in error just by restarting their PCs a few times in a row. That is, of course, a hit and miss method. You can’t really rely on something like that when you need your PC urgently. Editing the registry and making that small change in the key values will fix this problem.

can't sign in windows 10

This happens when some parts of your user profile saved in Windows get messed up. You can fix this up by rebuilding your profile. There are two steps for fixing this. First use the safe mode to enter the normal desktop and then edit the registry to set the RefCount value to 0. Continue reading below for the steps.


Make a Temporary profile

Restart your PC once and see if it works normally. If it does, then you won’t need to go through all this hassle. However, if the sign in error still shows up, you will need to make a temporary account on your PC to ‘restore’ your old account.

  • windows 10 startup settings
  • When you reach the advanced options, select Startup settings which will look like the image above.
  • Press F4 to open the Safe Mode. The safe mode will allow you to login to your PC without the hassle of user accounts. You can use this mode to reverse the problems that happen to your PC while using it normally.
  • Once Windows 10 has booted into the safe mode, tap the Windows key + R and type “regedit“. Press enter to open the Registry editor.
  • Navigate to the following key.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList

win 10 profilelist

  • Here, you will see a few keys starting with the name S-1-5-XX (XX could be any number). Depending on your PC, there can be quite a few of them. Go through each of them, one by one and select the one which has the ProfileImagePath key set to thesystemprofile path. You can see how this looks in the image above.
  • Once selected, double click on the RefCount key and change its value to 0 from 1 and click OK.
  • After that is done, make sure that the State key is set to 0. It may or may not have that value.
  • Close everything and restart your PC.

Install Windows updates

On restarting, your PC will not boot to normal mode as opposed to the safe mode which we previously used. Once on the Desktop, go to the Settings app > Updates & security > Windows updates and click on Check for updates. Install all the available updates and restart your PC.

That is all you have to do. Following these steps will get rid of the sign in error in your PC.

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