Failed to connect to a windows service - Windows could not connect to the User Profile Service service. This problem prevents limited users from logging onto the system.

Okay well i've got a weird problem. Let me start from the beginning. Okay, it all started (or i started noticing it) when my mom was messing with her pictures on my computer. She tried to rotate one in the windows photo gallery and save it but it wouldn't let her. It came up with an error message about her not having the rights (even though it's an admin account!) and it said access denied. I didn't think much about it so we shut it off. The next day I try to log on and when I do some pretty crazy things start happening. Two error message boxes come up on my desktop. One said my desktop file is not applicable (access denied AGAIN!) and the other says another program is using windows sidebar or something like that. But then wait it gets better! My theme is set back to windows classic and the only thing on my desktop is the recycling bin shortcut! The background was blue i believe. So then I look at my task bar in the bottom right and a bubble comes up.

It says: Failed to connect to a windows service - Windows could not connect to the User Profile Service service. This problem prevents limited users from logging onto the system. - As an administrative user, you can review the System Event Log for details about why the service didn't respond. 

So I of course was freaking out. I looked up the error messages on google and fixed the my desktop back to normal after a few reboots. But my theme still won't go back to vista and half the time my desktop is different than normal. I ran a Malware Bytes scan and removed a Trojan.Fraudpack and a Rogue.Antivirus. So then I try a reboot but the problem still persists. Sometimes when i log on the desktop has bigger icons and my settings are different and (sorry for bad grammer) it won't let me run some of my programs( it says access denied along with a little error message). And sometimes when I log on (like 1/5 of the time) it works just like normal and all my settings are correct. I can post pictures if you would like. I think it's just not recognizing my user id because that message still pops up. Please help!!!


I viewed the System Event Log and found quite a few errors...The user profile service error was in there. It says the problem was that "The service didn't respond to the start or control request in a timely fashion." Anyone know how to fix this?


Question Info

Last updated May 16, 2020 Views 12,091 Applies to:

Hi GrantDeathWish,

Do you remember making any software/hardware changes after which the issue started?

Try the steps below and check if it helps.

Step 1:

Check if the issue persists in Safe Mode. If the issue doesn’t persists in safe mode the try a clean boot troubleshooting.

Start your computer in safe mode

Step 2:

Place the computer in a clean boot state and troubleshoot the issue.

How to troubleshoot a problem by performing a clean boot in Windows Vista or in Windows 7
(Step 1: Perform a clean boot)

If your issue is resolved after performing Clean Boot, then follow the steps mentioned in the following KB article to narrow down the exact source:

Also, see the section on how return your computer to a Normal startup mode by following the steps under “Reset the computer to start as usual”, after performing the clean boot troubleshooting.

Step 3:

Create a new user account and check if it helps.

Create a user account

Fix a corrupted user profile

Hope this helps. Let us know if you need further assistance.

Thanks and Regards,
Santosh Y – Microsoft Support

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