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

Windows 10 allows users to make their account secure, local or otherwise, with a password. Passwords have long been used to keep accounts secure on Windows systems, but with Windows 10, other options have been introduced to lock your desktop.

Other 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 a Microsoft Account password is hidden and needs to be enabled.

Something happened and your PIN is unavailable

Windows 10 stores the PIN for an account locally and does not require an internet connection to be verified. It requires local services running on your system to verify the PIN and problems with the service will prevent you from logging in.

If you see the Something happened and your PIN is not available message when you try to sign in, try these solutions.

Getting to your desktop

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

  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.

Get PIN back

If the above settings do not work, and you cannot access your desktop using the password, reset the PIN.

  1. on the lock screen, click I forgot my PIN.
  2. Enter the password for 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. PIN reset

Once on your desktop, reset the PIN so that you do not run into the message “Something happened and your PIN is not available” 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. Delete and Set PIN Mannually

If the new PIN is not accepted, you may need to manually delete the PIN stored on your system. You will need administrative 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 an account

If resetting the PIN does not work, you can reset the password for your account. This works for both local and Microsoft accounts.

  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 a startup repair

If all else fails and your PIN is not accepted run startup repair. You can run it from the lock screen.

  1. Click on 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

Problem with the PIN, if recovered, must be related to local files on the system as the PIN is stored and retrieved locally. Using the Password to log in is usually a reasonable alternative but if the option is not available, the startup repair is the way to go. As soon as you can get to the desktop, make sure you enter a password.

2 thoughts on “Something Happened and Your PIN Isn’t Available (FIXED)”

  1. I have tried all of the above. When I click on the “Set up my PIN” link, I get a popup window that says, “Search for app in the Store? You need to install an app for this task. Would you like to search for one in the Store?” Of course, I can’t get to the Store, because I cannot get into my computer without the PIN. Please help.

    Reply
    • Hello, the pop-up you are getting should come up. Please kindly go through the post once more and make sure you follow the steps as explained.

      Reply

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