How to Delete User Profile of an Account in Windows 10

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.

  1. Open System Properties


    Press “Windows + R” to open the Run dialog, type “systempropertiesadvanced.exe”, and click “OK”.

    Windows 10 - Run - SystemPropertiesAdvanced.exe

  2. Open the Windows 10 user profile settings


    In the “Advanced” tab, look for the “User Profiles” heading and click “Settings…”.

    Windows 10 - System Properties - Advanced

  3. Delete the Windows 10 user profile


    Windows 10 will now return a list of user profiles linked to certain accounts. You’ll be able to see the name of the account after the PC identifier. Click the account, then press “Delete”.

    Windows 10 - System Properties - Advanced - User Profiles - Delete

  4. Confirm the Windows 10 delete user profile action


    Microsoft will then make sure you really want to remove the user profile. You should make sure there are no files or settings you need on that account before you continue. When ready, click “Yes”.

    Windows 10 - System Properties - Advanced - User Profiles - Confirm Delete

  5. Check the profile is removed from the User Profiles window


    After pressing yes, you should note that the user profile is gone from the “Profiles stored on this computer:” list. Press “OK” to close it.

    Windows 10 - System Properties - Advanced - User Profiles - Close

  6. Log back in to the user account to create a new user profile


    You can create a new user profile for that account at any time by simply logging into it again. When you do so, Windows 10 will show a “This might take several minutes” prompt.

    Windows 10 - User Profile setup procedure after lgin

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.

  1. Delete the Windows 10 user profile via File Explorer


    Head to the C:\Users folder and look for the user profile you want to remove. Click it, then press “Delete”.

    Windows 10 - File Explorer - User Profiles - Delete

  2. Press “Continue” on UAC prompt


    Windows 10 - File Explorer - User Profiles - Confirm Delete

  3. Open the Registry editor


    Press the “Start” button and type “regedit”, then click “Run as administrator”.

    Windows 10 - Search - Regedit

  4. Navigate to the profile list in registry editor


    In the search bar or side menu, navigate to the profile list in registry editor, which is found at:

    Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\ProfileList

    Windows 10 - Regedit - User Profiles List

  5. Find the account in the profile list registry key


    The profile list registry key will have several SID keys for each user. To find the one you’re looking for, click on each and check the “Data” field next to the “ProfileImagePath” entry.

    Windows 10 - Regedit - User Profile - ProfileImagePath

  6. Delete the user profile registry key


    In the left-hand side menu, right-click the correct user SID and press “Delete”.

    Windows 10 - Regedit - User Profile - Delete

  7. Confirm the user profile registry key deletion


    Make sure you’re deleting the key for the correct user before clicking “Yes”.

    Windows 10 - Regedit - User Profile - Confirm Delete