Question Locked out of Windows after deleting a local user account - - - help!


Sep 20, 2021
I bought a used Microsoft Surface Laptop with came with Windows 10. This was one of those machines that instead of being restored/wiped to the setup screen, instead comes with an unlocked (no password) local user account ("MyPC" in this case) but with the UI and apps restored to the initial install state. I really dislike this sort of setup because I didn't want my user directory to be "MyPC" instead of my name and I also didn't want an unlocked local user account.

What I decided to do was to install the Windows 11 upgrade and switch to my online Microsoft Live (outlook) account, which worked. I set up facial recognition and PIN as well. I then proceeded to spend many hours setting up the Surface Laptop to my needs. Everything was working fine.

But it still bothered me that my user directory was "MyPC" and that there was an unlocked local user account (MyPC). I read that changing the user directory name, while possible, could cause many problems so I decided to leave that alone. But I deleted the local user account thinking that since I was using my online account to login, it wouldn't be a problem.

This turned out to be a disaster. I checked to make sure that the "MyPC" user directory was still there and wasn't deleted when I erased the local account, and it was. But my Windows started acting funny, and so I decided to reboot. On the next login, I got the message saying that Windows was "getting things ready for me." After the setup period, I was asked to login. There was a picture of my face, underneath was my first and last name. Windows tried to detect my face, which I think it did successfully, but then said that "In order to use Windows Hello, you must first create a PIN." I thought I already did, but no matter, I would just enter my password. However, after many tries, I could not get past the password login. I tried my online account password, several passwords I used in the past, just leaving the field blank (the original local account had a blank password), nothing worked. I tried holding the shift key to reboot to see if I could bring up the troubleshooting menu on startup and perhaps try safe mode, but this didn't work either (it would not bring up the advanced reboot menu/safe mode menu).

All I keep getting is the login screen with two sign-in options. One is for password, but I cannot seem to enter the correct password, and the other is for facial recognition. Pressing the facial recognition button does nothing. On the bottom right of the screen are three more icons for Internet (network), accessibility options, and power. The power option is basically sleep/restart/power off. I cannot find anywhere to sign into a different account or switch users.

Can anyone help? What happened here? How did deleting a local user account that wasn't being used cause this to happen, and is there any way I can fix it? Preferably I would like to somehow log into my online Microsoft account and have everything work as normal. But honestly, I am even concerned that I might have bricked my device, so if the only way is to somehow reinstall Windows, I'd take that (not the best option, but better than a brick). The problem is I don't even know reinstallation is possible right now, not to mention because I bought this computer used, I do not have the Windows license information.

Anyway, can anyone please help? Thank you!


Sep 20, 2021
Ah okay, I understand. I was hoping to avoid this, but anyway, since I have to wipe and reinstall, perhaps you can provide assistance with at least that? Given that I cannot enter windows at all, but I am able to enter BIOS, how would I do a reinstall?
if your surface is validated by a microsoft account i think you should be able to attempt log on
and select "I forgot my pin" and it go to the microsoft site and gives you options to send a code to your email or text on phone.
then you can get the code using your phone and do the log in.

have not done it in a long while.

windows will not let you delete the last local admin account on your windows machine.
you can and should check the accounts on any machine you have by starting cmd.exe as an admin then
net.exe /user

to see the list of local accounts on the machine. Just to make sure there are no strange/unexpected accounts

here is what my machine shows:

C:\Users\Cloud>net user

User accounts for \\BIGDOG

Administrator Cloud DefaultAccount
Guest WDAGUtilityAccount
The command completed successfully.

Cloud is a shortened version of my default username.
generally, I rename the admin account but did not on the last reinstall. I am running fast track insider preview builds
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I bought a used Microsoft Surface Laptop
A full wipe and reinstall should have been your first action.
For any used device, you are trusting the previous owner, and everyone else who ever touched it.

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