Can't Log In To Windows 10 - how to fix?

What To Do If You Can't Log In To Your Windows Account 10?

In newer versions of Windows, you can sign in using the Local Account or Microsoft Account. When you are installing or starting up a new installation of Windows, you must to choose which of these accounts you want Windows to use.

A Local Account is the same as any regular account you might have used to log in to the Windows XP or Windows 7 operating systems. It is an account used to access a single computer on which the account was created. People often choose the Local Account option if they want to keep things unchanged and simply use local resources of a single computer.

A Microsoft Account, however, is quite different and has an ID comprising of an e-mail address and password, which is used to log in to Microsoft websites, services, operating systems and properties. Having this account gives you the access to services such as Windows 10 or Windows 8.1, Xbox, Skype, Office 365, OneDrive, Windows Store, Bing, MSN, and Outlook.com. A Microsoft Account (previously called “Windows Live ID”) enables you to access your data and settings not only on the local computer (as with the Local Account) but also stored on the cloud.

Both accounts are very useful, but what if you are confronted with the problem of being unable log in your account? In this case, you will not able to use the computer or access your data. In this guide, we describe several methods to address this relatively common problem.

cant log in to windows 10

Table of Contents:

Check Your Internet Connection

This is a simple solution that might help you to log in to your account. If you are using a Microsoft Account and you have recently changed your password for the account on the web, it is possible that your computer has not yet 'recorded' the password. For the password to be 'recorded' on your computer, there must be a working Internet connection. Check if your computer is connected to the Internet and attempt to log in to Windows. If it is connected, unplug/turn off your router and enable it again. If this does not fix the problem, the Internet connection is not the cause, so read the other possible solutions below.

[Back to Table of Contents]

Restart Your Computer

Restart your computer by clicking the "Power" icon in the bottom-right corner. We recommend that you restart it at least twice, and then proceed to log in to the Windows operating system using a Local or Microsoft account.

restart your computer

[Back to Table of Contents]

Use On-Screen Keyboard

The Windows the On-Screen Keyboard application provides a visual keyboard on the screen that can be used in place of the physical keyboard. The On-Screen Keyboard can be manipulated by the mouse or other pointing device. To use this alternative keyboard, click the "Ease of access" icon (bottom-right corner, near the Power icon) and select "On-Screen Keyboard". The On-Screen will appear. 'Type' your password using the mouse, or other pointing device such as touchpad/trackpad, and see if this helps to log in to Windows.

use on screen keyboard

The On-Screen keyboard is worth trying, since localized keyboards might have different key placement, thus leading to entering an incorrect password (localized keyboards can have special characters or numbers assigned to different/non-standard keys).

Alternatively, try a different keyboard if you have one. Connect it to your computer and see if it helps you to log in to Windows. If not, then move on to the more complex solutions described below.

[Back to Table of Contents]

Boot Into Safe Mode

You need to start Windows in Safe Mode to perform the actions described below. Safe Mode is a diagnostic start-up mode in Windows operating systems used to obtain limited access to Windows when the operating system does not start or function normally. It is the opposite of Normal Mode, which starts Windows in the usual manner. Safe Mode is available on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, and most older versions of Windows.

One of the most common steps when troubleshooting a computer is to boot into Safe Mode. Safe mode starts Windows in a basic state, using a limited set of files and drivers. It can help to troubleshoot problems on your computer. For example, if the problem does not occur in Safe Mode, you know that default settings and basic device drivers are not the cause.

To start Windows in Safe Mode, click the "Power" icon on the login screen and click "Restart" while holding the Shift key on your keyboard. This will restart the computer and launch the Automatic Repair menu.

boot into safe mode step 1

In the Automatic Repair blue screen, click "Troubleshoot".

boot into safe mode step 2

In Troubleshoot, click "Advanced options".

boot into safe mode step 3

In Advanced options, click "Startup settings".

boot into safe mode step 5

In Startup settings, click "Restart" and it will restart your computer so that you can change Windows options.

boot into safe mode step 6

Now that your computer is restarted, select "Enable Sade Mode with Networking" by pressing the 5 or F5 keys on your keyboard. Wait for Windows to start again and move to the next solution.

boot into safe mode step 7

[Back to Table of Contents]

Run SFC Scan

Running the SFC scanner might help to fix the problem with logging in to Windows. System File Checker is a Windows utility that allows users to scan for corruptions in system files and restore them. This guide describes how to run the System File Checker tool (SFC.exe) to scan system files and repair any missing or corrupted ones. If a Windows Resource Protection (WRP) file is missing or corrupted, Windows may not behave as expected. For example, some Windows functions might fail or Windows will crash. The "sfc scannow" option is one of several specific switches available for the sfc command, the Command Prompt command used to run System File Checker. To run Command Prompt, type "command prompt" in Search, right-click on "Command Prompt", and select "Run as administrator" from the drop-down menu to run it with administrator privileges. You must run an elevated Command Prompt to perform a SFC scan.

run sfc can step 1

In the Command Prompt window, type "sfc /scannow" and press Enter to execute this command. System File Checker will start and should take some time to complete the scan (around 15 minutes). Wait for the scanning process to complete. If there any problems were detected and fixed, restart the computer to see if you can log in to Windows. If not, start Windows in Safe Mode again and proceed to the next solution.

run sfc can step 2

[Back to Table of Contents]

Use Local Account

If you cannot log in to your Microsoft Account, try to use the Local Account until you find the exact reason for the Microsoft Account problem. To switch from the Microsoft Account to Local Account, go to Settings and select "Accounts".

use local account step 1

In Accounts settings. ensure that you are on the "Your info" section on the left pane and then click "Sign in with a Local account instead". In our example, it is "Sign in with a Microsoft account instead", since we are using the Local account. Enter your password and click "Next". Then enter a username for your new Local Account and click "Next". Click "Sign out" and "Finish", and then log in to Windows with your newly-created Local Account.

use local account step 2

[Back to Table of Contents]

Restore Your System Using Restore Point

System Restore tool creates restore points. A restore point is a collection of important system files stored by System Restore on a given date and time. System Restore reverts everything to a previously-saved restore point. Therefore, you must first have a restore point recorded. If a restore point does not exist on your computer, System Restore has nothing to revert to. With a restore point/s created, this feature will bring your system back to a previous working state, without affecting your files and data. To use the System Restore tool, start Windows in Safe Mode (by clicking Restart while holding the Shift key pressed). Once you are at the Automatic Repair blue screen, select "Troubleshoot".

restore your system using restore point step 1

In the Troubleshoot menu, select "Advanced options".

restore your system using restore point step 2

In the Advanced options menu, click "System Restore".

restore your system using restore point step 3

Windows will restart and open the System Restore tool. Select the restore point you wish to return to and follow the instructions to finish the set-up.

restore your system using restore point step 4

[Back to Table of Contents]

Reset Windows

If none of the solutions mentioned above help you to solve the problem with logging in to Windows, resetting Windows should be effective. This is a more extreme way of dealing with the problem, but can resolve many Windows problems. To reset windows, start it in Safe Mode, go to Settings, and select "Update & Security". In Update & Security settings, click "Recovery" on the left pane and then click "Get started" under Reset this PC.

reset your windows step 1

Select how you wish to proceed with the reset process and follow the instructions carefully.

reset your windows step 2

As mentioned, resetting your PC is a little extreme, so we hope that one of the other methods provided in this article solves the issue without resorting to "Reset Your Windows".

[Back to Table of Contents]

Video Showing What To Do If You Can't Log In To Your Windows:

[Back to Top]

 

1 Comment. Click to view

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter to stay informed about the latest tech news or online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

Our guides are free. However, if you want to support us you can send us a donation.