Adding a new account in Windows 10 creates a user profile, a collection of settings and folders that ensure each person on the PC has a unique, customized experience. This also contains all of their documents, saved games, videos, and more. This can take up some space, but fortunately, Windows lets you delete a user profile if you no longer need it or it gets corrupted.
What’s the difference between a user profile and a user account?
It’s worth noting that a Windows 10 user profile and a user account are two separate, but somewhat linked concepts. Though a user profile is created when an account is added to a PC, it’s not always deleted when it’s removed. Likewise, you can remove a user profile without deleting the account from Windows 10 and the login screen. For that, you can check our guide here.
Deleting a user profile in Windows 10 can be a strong method to reset an account to defaults without the hassle of deleting and adding it again. It can be particularly useful if you suspect there are some settings awry but don’t know exactly where, or just want to have a full clean-out of all the documents and downloads.
There are two methods in Windows 10 to delete a user profile – the registry and advanced system properties. We’re going to show you how to do both today, starting with the most user-friendly option, system properties.
How to Delete a User Profile via Windows 10 System Properties
Before you start this process, make sure the user account you wish to delete is signed out.
- Open System Properties
- Open the Windows 10 user profile settings
- Delete the Windows 10 user profile
- Confirm the Windows 10 delete user profile action
- Check the profile is removed from the User Profiles window
- Log back in to the user account to create a new user profile
How to Delete a User Profile from the Registry in Windows 10
If the above method doesn’t work, you can delete a user profile from the registry and via Windows 10 File Explorer. First, though, sign out of the user and read up on how to safely edit the registry.
- Delete the Windows 10 user profile via File Explorer
- Press “Continue” on UAC prompt
- Open the Registry editor
- Navigate to the profile list in registry editor
- Find the account in the profile list registry key
- Delete the user profile registry key
- Confirm the user profile registry key deletion