Categories Windows Vista

Permanently delete a user profile on Windows Vista

As an administrator of your computer, you can easily create or delete user accounts. But did you know that even deleted, the user folder still exists and that it contains all of its preferences? A little trick will allow us to shave these recalcitrant account files.


We will permanently remove user preferences from an already deleted user account. A very good way to do a good cleaning in your PC.


Open the start Menu then right click Properties on Computer.

Capture décran - Accès aux propriétés système
Screenshot of screen — Access to system properties

In the new window that has just appeared, click on Advanced System Parameters. In the section User profile, click on Parameters... This is where the various user accounts are listed. You will notice that on the example of the screenshot, the profile is unknown. This means that I have deleted the user account but that the files concerning it — including application preferences, are beautiful and well-present.

Capture décran - Suppression du compte inconnu
Screenshot of screen — Remove Unknown Account

All we have to do is click on the button Remove then to validate the whole by clicking on OK.

Depending on the case, several GB can be recovered following the final disappearance of the remains of a user account. A good way to save disk space especially if your PC is multi-user.


Leave a Reply to Clément Cancel reply

  • Bonsoir,
    I just followed the procedure (I don't get to the right window in the same way, but I still do it!) and only one account is there.
    So I wonder why I always see the following (following this path):
    Explorer — Computer — Local Disk C — Users
    There I see 4 users. I think there is a problem because of the name “Michèle” and the accent because I see Michèle writing in several ways.
    But by clicking on each one, I see: AppData-Local-Temp-ckz_H0LV (there are 4) and these folders all contain “things”...
    I don‘t know if you can enlighten me, but so far I haven’t dared to delete it!

  • Thank you Maigret, but I only created one account since I am alone using this pc.
    So somewhere there must be a sham maneuver.. and I dare not touch anything, but if I have an answer one day, I will follow it to make “progress the schmilblick”!

  • Rolland

    Good morning,

    When I go into these settings it displays me:

    Unknown account
    Unknown account

    But when I select the “Unknown Accounts” impossible to click delete since the button is inactive.

    How do I do it?

    Thank you

  • Rolland

    @Maigret: I don't think this will be necessary because I just returned to the window in question to make a screen and it was then possible to delete the files.
    I suppose that given the very short time labs between deleting and creating new accounts it was not directly possible to delete these files or something like that.

    Thank you, however, for your answer and tip =)


  • @Daniel : programas instalados no dependen del perfil de usuario. De esta manera, es posible tener el mayor número de períodos de sesiones (perfiles) que desee y accessr a todas las aplicaciones available en el disco duro.

  • Tom

    Hello,I just started looking for a method to perform this remote handling by placing an order.Someone would already have this solution?Thank you

  • Clément

    Hi to all. Just a little question, how to make this manip under windows 7? I can follow the steps because the interface is quite similar but impossible to remove recalcitrant accounts: the “Delete” button remains inactive. Thank you in advance!

    • Good morning,
      first, only administrators can delete a user profile: is that your case?
      Second, you can't delete a profile that is being opened, used.

      Is your problem solved?

  • ulka22

    Good evening I have a problem I have several section on a friend’s pc she doesn't feel ser anymore I have tried to suck them but when I do the exemplary which and mark above I have nothing but her profile is what someone a little help me to know how to supress them thanks!

  • ulka22

    She doesn't feel like any more sesion in all there are three when one counts hers so she would like to supress two of them that no longer in service

  • Madilou

    On Windows 7, I had deleted my son’s account some time ago — but for caution, I had to click “keep files”.
    Today I have recreated a new account, but I see in ordnator/SystemC/Users that his old account is there, and it is locked. Although I‘m the admirer, I can’t unlock it to suppress it.
    I have tried the manip proposed for Vista above, but this account no longer appears in System Propiétés.
    Yet there are “remains” on C:

    Thank you for helping me. I'm pretty bad in computer science...

  • CLAUZEAU Jean Michel

    Good morning,

    I would like to retrieve the data from this unknown account. How do I do this?

    Thank you for your answer

  • Florent

    Good morning,
    following a bad manip' (in the registry database) I have a user account that no longer appears in c:/users on windows 7.
    Are the files in this account still recoverable?
    Thank you

    • Aurélien Denis Post author

      Strange that a change in the registry removes a user folder... if the data is invisible, you may have to display hidden folders or system. Instead, I will check on the user account options in the system settings.

      Yes recoverable if a backup has been made...

      • Florent

        In the register, I think errors were made in “ProfileImagePath” and “State”.
        By displaying hidden files I don‘t find my documents, tomorrow I’ll try with a live CD.

  • Andrés Bryant

    To get to the removal panel, on Vista, it is NOT as you indicate. You're wrong.
    1) Open File Explorer
    2) Right-click Computer and >>> Properties (at the bottom of the menu)
    3) In the window that opens, click Advanced System Settings
    and here yes, we get to the System Properties panel