Something Happened and Your PIN Isn’t Available Error: Fixes

Jonathan Kao

Windows 11 Login Screen

If you just turned on your computer and booted into Windows 11 or Windows 10 and get the following error:

Something Happened and your Pin Isn’t Available. Click To Set Up Your Pin Again

there is an issue with the PIN sign-in option and possible corruption in the OS. There are some troubleshooting steps you can take to recover from this error, which will be outlined on this page.

Something Happened And Your Pin Isn't Available Error

Why This Error Occurs

There are several reasons why this error message appears, including failed/issues with system updates, corrupted files, registry issues, and/or software conflicts. This error is particularly difficult to deal with because it shuts you out of Windows until you fix it. Without getting past the login screen, you won’t be able to access Windows through the standard methods you’re familiar with. Here’s what you should look out for:

  • Corrupted System Files: Essential system files related to your PIN might be damaged or missing.
  • Issues with the NGC Folder: The NGC folder stores PIN information, and problems within it can lead to errors.
  • Conflicting Updates: Windows updates can sometimes cause conflicts within the system.
  • Corrupted PIN data
  • Interrupted Windows update or installation
  • Third-party software conflict
  • Profile Syncing Issues

Basic Solutions to Try

Here are a few basic fixes you can try, starting with the easiest and working your way towards the more complex:

1. Restart Your PC

A simple restart sometimes resolves temporary errors. Do this a couple of times to see if it helps.

2. Use Your Password

If possible, click “Sign-in options” on the error screen and use your Microsoft account password to log in.

3. Boot into Safe Mode

Safe Mode allows you to troubleshoot problems within Windows. Here’s how to access it:

  • Force Restart: Press and hold the power button to shut down your PC. Do this 3 times in a row to trigger Automatic Repair.
  • Troubleshoot: Select “Troubleshoot” -> “Advanced options” -> “Startup Settings” -> “Restart”.
  • Select Safe Mode: Once restarted, press the corresponding number to enter Safe Mode.

4. Delete the NGC Folder

  1. In Safe Mode, open File Explorer.
  2. Navigate to: C:\Windows\ServiceProfiles\LocalService\AppData\Local\Microsoft
  3. Right-click on the “NGC” folder and choose “Delete”.
  4. Restart your computer and try setting up your PIN again.

Advanced Solutions To Try

Disabling Windows Hello

1. Access WinRE:

  • From the login screen, hold Shift and click Restart.
  • Go to Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Command Prompt.

2. Edit registry hives:

  • Run: regedit
  • Load the SOFTWARE hive:
    • Go to File > Load Hive….
    • Select the SOFTWARE hive file from C:\Windows\System32\config (or alternative location).
    • Enter a name for the loaded hive (e.g., ssoftware).
  • (Optional) Load the SYSTEM hive:
    • Repeat the above process, but select the SYSTEM hive and enter a different name (e.g., ssystem).

3. Disable “Require Windows Hello”:

  • Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ssoftware\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\PasswordLess\Device.
  • Change the value of DevicePasswordLessBuildVersion from 2 to 0.
  • Reboot.

4. Fix incorrect password issue:

  • If the password is still considered incorrect, follow these steps:
    • Open the ssoftware hive again.
    • Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ssoftware\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\PasswordLess\Device.
    • In the right pane, look for the key named after your device.
    • Delete the key.
    • Reboot.

5. Enable additional services (optional):

  • If the password is still not recognized, follow these steps:
    • Open the ssystem hive.
    • Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ssystem\ControlSet001\Services.
    • Change the Start value for the following services to 3 (Manual):
      • lmhosts (TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper)
      • Netman (Network Connections)
      • VaultSvc (Credential Manager)
      • Wecsvc (Windows Event Collector)
      • WbioSrvc (Windows Biometric Service)
      • wlidsvc (Microsoft Account Sign-in Assistant)
    • Change the Start value for the following services to 2 (Automatic):
      • Dhcp (DHCP Client)
      • EventLog (Windows Event Log)
      • EventSystem (COM+ Event System)
      • LanmanServer (Server)
      • LanmanWorkstation (Workstation)
      • NlaSvc (Network Location Awareness)
      • nsi (Network Store Interface Service)
      • SamSs (Security Accounts Manager)
    • Reboot.

6. Login:

After completing these steps, you should be able to log in using your password. Once logged in, address any underlying issues that may have caused the passwordless login problem.

Other Advanced Solutions:

Enable the built-in Administrator account:

  • Hold down the Shift key while clicking on the “Restart” button.
  • Go to “Troubleshoot” > “Advanced Options” > “Command Prompt”.
  • Type net user administrator /active:yes and press Enter.
  • Restart your computer and log in using the Administrator account.
  • Create a new user account and transfer your files.
  • You can then disable the Administrator account.

Switch to Local Account, Then Add a PIN

  • Go to Settings > Accounts.
  • Click “Sign in with a Local Account instead” and set up a local account.
  • Sign out and use your new local account to sign in.
  • Add a PIN in Settings > Accounts > Sign-in Options.
  • Switch back to your Microsoft account via “Sign in with a Microsoft Account instead”.

Resetting Permissions

  • Open the Start menu, type in CMD, right-click, and choose “Run as administrator”.
  • Enter the command: icacls C:\Windows\ServiceProfiles\LocalService\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Ngc /T /Q /C /RESET
  • Close the Command Prompt.
  • Set up your PIN again.

Recovery Options

  • Force shut down your PC twice in a row
  • On the third start, Windows will launch the Recovery Environment.
  • Explore options such as System Repair, Safe Mode, Command Prompt, etc.
  • If the issue persists, consider using the “Reset this PC” option in Troubleshoot > Advanced Options. You can choose to keep your files, apps, or neither.

Perform a system restore:

  • Go to “Troubleshoot” > “Advanced Options” > “System Restore”.
  • Choose a restore point when your PIN was working and follow the on-screen instructions.

Reset your Windows 11 installation:

  • This should be considered a last resort as it will erase all your data and settings.
  • Go to “Troubleshoot” > “Reset this PC”.
  • Choose “Keep my files” or “Remove everything” depending on your preference.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the reset process.

Table for Advanced Troubleshooting

System RestoreRestore your computer to an earlier point where your PIN worked (if you have a restore point).
SFC ScanUse the System File Checker (SFC) tool to scan and repair corrupt system files. Open a command prompt as administrator and type “sfc /scannow”
Reset WindowsAs a last resort, completely reset your Windows installation. This may delete your files, so back up important data first.

Key Takeaways

  • A message about PIN unavailability indicates issues with Windows sign-in options.
  • A variety of solutions include resetting the PIN or using alternative login methods.
  • Systematic troubleshooting can resolve the PIN problem without risking data security.

Troubleshooting PIN Issues on Windows

Encountering a PIN error can halt access to a Windows device. This section helps users regain access through a series of logical steps.

Understanding the PIN Error

The message “Something happened and your PIN isn’t available” shows up when Windows encounters a problem with the sign-in PIN. This could stem from system updates, file corruption, or a glitch in Windows Hello service.

Initial Steps for Recovery

It’s important to restart the computer. This can clear temporary glitches causing the error. If the problem persists, users can use their password to log in at the sign-in screen and then navigate to the Settings app to reset the PIN.

  1. Restart the device.
  2. At the login screen, choose Password and enter your account password.
  3. Navigate to Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options.
  4. Reset the PIN.

Advanced Troubleshooting Techniques

If the above does not work, advanced steps can be taken. Users can access Windows Recovery Environment or Safe Mode to undo recent changes. Removing recent updates or restoring to a previous point might resolve the issue.

  • Boot into Safe Mode.
  • Use System Restore.
  • Uninstall updates through Control Panel.

Recovering Your Account

When all else fails, a user might have to reset their PC or revert to a local account. Data backup is a critical step before attempting a factory reset.

  • Back up your files.
  • Try Windows Recovery Environment for a reset.
  • Switch to a local account if using a Microsoft account.

Frequently Asked Questions

Encountering a ‘Something happened and your PIN isn’t available’ error can be frustrating. This section provides clear solutions to common problems related to PIN errors on Windows.

How can I resolve the ‘Something happened and your PIN isn’t available’ error on Windows 11?

If you see this error, ensuring your PC has internet access. Then, navigate to Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options. Remove the old PIN and set a new one. If prompted, you might need to enter your Microsoft account password to confirm the changes. If this doesn’t work use the advanced methods above.

Why is my PIN not working after a Windows update and how can I access my account?

Updates can disrupt PIN settings. To access your account, use the password option at the sign-in screen. Once logged in, reset your PIN by going to the Accounts section in the Windows Settings.

What steps should I take if I encounter error 0xc00005e with the PIN login on Windows?

When faced with error code 0xc00005e, remove the current PIN from Sign-in options. Next, add a new PIN. If the error persists, you may need to create a new user profile and transfer your data.

How do I bypass the PIN error to log into my Windows 11 computer when no internet is available?

In the absence of an internet connection, choose the password login option. Enter your Microsoft account password to access your system. Once logged in, resolve the PIN issue with the steps discussed previously.

What are the troubleshooting methods for the PIN error when the system is in Safe Mode?

Safe Mode may restrict the use of a PIN. In that case, sign in with a password instead. Afterward, leave Safe Mode and reset your PIN through the Sign-in options in your account settings.

How can I reset or change my Microsoft account PIN when the system prompts are unavailable?

Visit the Microsoft account website from another device to reset your PIN. Alternatively, you can select the ‘I forgot my PIN’ link at the sign-in screen, if available, and follow online instructions to reset it directly on your PC.