Some settings in Windows 2016/10 giving an error

Good afternoon.  I ran into an interesting issue I figured I would share.  I had a customer that would receive the error below when clicking on some settings in Windows, for instance the change adapter options in the network section of settings.

user profile error

I did quite a bit of searching for a possible solution and I found quite a few forum posts and self-help guides, but none had the solution.  I broke out a tool I use from time to time to see I could figure out why Windows cannot access the device, path, or file; Process Monitor.  I ran a capture while duplicating the issue.  In pouring over the results I found a possible culprit in some registry paths in the HKCU registry hive.  It turns out that these setting options look at paths stored in the registry when clicked.  Unfortunately for my customer he was missing some paths and so Windows could not find the file.

To confirm this was the issue I created a copy of the administrator account and we logged on with that account.  Sure enough, no errors.

To fix the issue we simply deleted the user profile for the problem account.  This can be accessed by running sysdm.cpl, going to the Advanced tab and clicking user profiles Settings button.  After deleting the profile, we then logged the test account off and logged on with the administrator account and presto, no more errors.

I hope you found this article informative.  If you have anything to add or just want to comment, please do so below.


2 thoughts on “Some settings in Windows 2016/10 giving an error

  1. This doesn’t work on Windows Server 2019 (at least not on mine). I logged in to our new W2019 DC with another domain admin account and that admin account didn’t have the issue. Deleted the profile of the problematic domain admin account through sysdm.cpl. Rebooted. Logged in with the problematic account, problem still there.


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