The introduction of Windows 11 by Microsoft brought a fresh look and enhanced features. However, like any software, it’s not without occasional hitches. If you’re getting the ‘Your Pin Isn’t Available’ error on Windows 11 here are some tips that can help you roll back the OS to hopefully resolve the issue. A lot of times this error will pop up after a Windows Update (especially one that failed). Other times it might happen after a failed forced shutdown. You’ll see something along the lines of:
“Something happened and your PIN isn’t available. Click to set up your PIN again.“
And when you click the option to “Set up my PIN” you’ll get an error that says “option pops a System error which says “The system detected an overrun of a stack-based buffer in this application. This overrun could potentially allow a malicious user to gain control of this application.“
This is a particularly pesky issue and one that doesn’t always have an obvious solution. Let’s take a look to see if we can resolve it for you.
Possible Causes for the Error
To address the problem effectively, it’s essential to understand the root causes:
Corrupted System Files Damaged or missing system files can interfere with the PIN functionality.
Faulty Updates Sometimes, a recent Windows update might not install correctly, causing unexpected glitches.
Profile Syncing Issues If there’s a problem syncing your user profile with Microsoft’s servers, you might encounter this error.
Software Conflicts Third-party software or recent installations might conflict with the system, causing PIN-related issues.
Troubleshooting and Solutions
Here are several strategies to tackle the “Something happened and your PIN isn’t available” error:
Use an Alternative Login Method Initially, use another authentication method, like a password or facial recognition, to access your account.
Reboot Your System Many minor glitches can be rectified by simply restarting your computer.
Recreate Your PIN
- Navigate to Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options.
- Choose the PIN option and click on “Remove”.
- After removal, you’ll have the option to “Add” a new PIN. Set up a fresh PIN and then try logging in with it.
Run the System File Checker (SFC)
- Right-click on the Start button and select Windows Terminal (Admin) or Command Prompt (Admin).
sfc /scannowand press Enter.
- The SFC tool will scan and fix any corrupted system files.
Check for Windows Updates Ensure your system is updated. Navigate to Settings > Windows Update and check for any available updates.
Create a New User Profile Sometimes, the user profile itself might be the issue:
- Go to Settings > Accounts > Family & other users.
- Click on “Add someone else to this PC” and follow the instructions to create a new user profile.
- Switch to this new profile and see if the error persists.
Consult Microsoft Support If all the above steps don’t resolve the issue, reaching out to Microsoft Support or visiting their forums can provide more specific guidance.
Step By Step Guide
How to Resolve the “Something happened and your PIN isn’t available” Error on Windows 11
Basic Solutions to the PIN Error
Before diving into advanced solutions, let’s revisit the steps you took:
- Press Ctrl+Alt+Del or force a shutdown and restart (it may be sluggish).
- While clicking on “Restart Computer”, hold down the shift key.
- Click on “Troubleshoot”.
- Choose “Advanced Options”.
- Select “Startup Setting”.
- Opt for “Restart”.
- Upon restarting, press “5” for safe mode with networking.
- Check if the issue persists in safe mode.
msconfig.exeby pressing the Windows key + R and typing
- Navigate to the “Services” tab, click “Disable All”, and then “OK.
- Reboot your computer.
- If the issue’s resolved, continue with
msconfig.exeand reactivate services gradually to identify the culprit.
Advanced Solutions to the PIN Error
If the above steps led to the PIN error, here’s how to address it:
Solution 1: Delete NGC Folder and Reset PIN
- Navigate to
- Delete all files in the NGC folder (Administrator rights required).
- Now, go to Settings > Accounts > Sign-in Options.
- Choose “Add a PIN” and set a new PIN for your account.
Solution 2: 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”.
Additional Option: 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.
Alternative Solutions: Recovery Options If the aforementioned solutions don’t rectify the issue:
- Force shut down your PC twice.
- 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.
The “Something happened and your PIN isn’t available” error on Windows 11, while frustrating, is typically fixable with a systematic approach. By understanding its possible causes and implementing the solutions mentioned above, most users can regain smooth access to their systems. If problems persist, seeking expert help ensures you’re on the right track.
Facing the “Something happened and your PIN isn’t available” error on Windows 11 can be daunting. However, with the comprehensive steps outlined above, most users can navigate the issue and restore their systems to optimal functionality.
A Note of Caution: Always ensure you have a backup of essential data before undertaking significant system changes.
- Is it safe to remove and reset my PIN? Yes, it’s a standard troubleshooting step, but ensure you remember your password or have another authentication method as backup.
- How often should I update Windows 11? Regularly checking for updates ensures you have the latest security patches and feature enhancements.
- Can third-party software affect my PIN? Yes, some software might conflict with Windows functionalities, so always be cautious about what you install.
- Is using a PIN safer than a password? Both have their advantages. A PIN is unique to that device, whereas a password can be used on any device accessing that account.
- What should I do if I face repeated issues with Windows 11? Persistent problems might require a clean installation or reverting to a previous version until issues are resolved in newer updates.
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