1. Home
  2. Windows

Something Happened and Your PIN Isn’t Available (FIXED)

Windows 10 lets users secure their account, local or otherwise, with a password. A password has long been used to keep accounts safe on Windows systems but with Windows 10, alternative options for locking the desktop have been added.

These alternative methods include using a PIN, Windows Hello, or a fingerprint scanner. Of these methods, Windows 10 tends to favor a PIN. On the latest version of Windows 10, the option to sign in with your Microsoft Account password is hidden and must be enabled

Something happened and your PIN isn’t available

Windows 10 stores the PIN for an account locally and it doesn’t need an internet connection to be authenticated. It does require local services that run on your system to authenticate the PIN and problems with the service will prevent you from signing in.

If you see the Something happened and your PIN isn’t available message when you’re trying to sign in, try these fixes.

Getting to your desktop

First and foremost, you need to be able to get to the desktop so that you can fix problems with the PIN. Try these basic fixes first if you’re locked out of your desktop completely. 

  1. Restart the system: on the lock screen, click the power button and select the Restart option. Once the system restarts, check if it will accept the PIN.
  2. Check internet connectivity: On the lock screen, click the WiFi icon and make sure you are connected to a network and that it has network connectivity. 
  3. Boot to safe mode: Click the power button on the lock screen. Hold down Shift, and click Restart. Go to Troubleshoot>Advanced Options>>Startup settings>Restart. Select the Safe Mode option and sign in.
  4. If enabled, use the Password to your account to sign in.

Recover PIN

If the above options do not work, and you’re unable to get to your desktop using the password, reset the PIN.

  1. On the lock screen, click I forgot my PIN.
  2. Enter the password to your Microsoft account.
  3. Complete the verification process for your account and set a new PIN.
  4. Sign in either with the new PIN or with the password to your Microsoft account.

1. Reset PIN

Once you’re on your desktop, reset the PIN so that you do not run into the “Something happened and your PIN isn’t available” message again.

  1. Open the Settings app (Win+I keyboard shortcut).
  2. Go to the Accounts group of settings.
  3. Select the Sign-in options tab.
  4. Select Windows Hello PIN.
  5. Click I forgot my PIN.
  6. Enter the current PIN, and then enter a new PIN.
  7. Click OK.
  8. The new PIN will be accepted the next time you unlock your system.

2.  Manually delete and set PIN

If the new PIN isn’t accepted, you may have to manually delete the PIN that is stored on your system. You need admin rights to manually delete the PIN.

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Go to this location. Manually navigate to it. Pasting it in the location bar in File Explorer will not work.

C:\Windows\ServiceProfiles\LocalService\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Ngc

  1. Delete all files in the NGC folder.
  2. Open the Settings app (Win+I keyboard shortcut).
  3. Go to Accounts>Sign-in Options.
  4. Click Windows Hello PIN.
  5. Set up a PIN.

3. Reset password for account

If resetting the PIN doesn’t work, you can reset the password for your account. This will work for both a local account and a Microsoft account.

  1. Open the Settings app (Win+I keyboard shortcut).
  2. Go to Accounts>Your Info.
  3. Click Manage My Account.
  4. In the window that opens (for Microsoft live account), sign in.
  5. Click Change Password at the top right.
  6. Enter your current password, and then set up a new one.

4. Run Startup repair

If all else fails and your PIN isn’t accepted run Startup repair. You can run it from the lock screen.

  1. Click the Power button on the lock screen.
  2. Hold down the Shift key and click Restart.
  3. Go to Troubleshoot>Advanced Options>Startup Repair.
  4. Allow Windows 10 to repair itself and then log in with your PIN.

Conclusion

A problem with the PIN, if it recurs, has to do with local files on the system because the PIN is stored and retrieved locally. Normally, using the Password to sign in is a reasonable alternative but if the option isn’t available, startup repair is the way to go. Once you’re able to access the desktop, make sure you enable password sign in.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.