How to Fix “The referenced account is currently locked out and may not be logged on to” Error on Windows 10?

by Ugnius Kiguolis - -
12

Question

Issue: How to Fix “The referenced account is currently locked out and may not be logged on to” Error on Windows 10?

As I understand now, I have been entering a wrong password into the login screen for more than five times, which is why I’m currently locked out of my account and desperately need to log in. That’s my work PC, so I’m really frustrated. Could you please help?

Solved Answer

“The referenced account is currently locked out and may not be logged on to” is an official notification generated by Microsoft.[1] This message indicates the fact that a PC user has been typing a wrong password[2] for a particular number of times, which is why Windows locked the account and prevented the user from signing in for a particular period of time, which is not specified.“The referenced account is currently locked out and may not be logged on to” error fix

According to experts, “The referenced account is currently locked out and may not be logged on to” error typically emerges on Windows 10 systems, which belong to the domain with the configured Account lockout threshold policy.

Additionally, the account may be temporarily locked out after typing the wrong password for several in the log-in screen when a a computer has multiple accounts with the Account lockout threshold policy configured.

Nevertheless, the emergence of “The referenced account is currently locked out and may not be logged on to” is not an inextricable issue. The only problem (if it might be called a problem) is that the error fix requires the intervention of the domain controller.[3]  

Fixing “The referenced account is currently locked out and may not be logged on to” error on Windows 

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Once you encounter “The referenced account is currently locked out and may not be logged on to” error, we would strongly recommend you to leave the PC for 30 minutes. That's a waiting time that is often set by the system administrator if the user enters the wrong password. After 30 minutes of waiting, the log-in screen may be unlocked and you may get a second chance of accessing the desktop. 

If you have managed to successfully access your desktop, you should disable the Account lockout threshold policy to prevent “The referenced account is currently locked out and may not be logged on to” error from showing up:

NOTE: these steps apply for Windows Pro and Enterprise editions only.

  • Click Windowa key + R, type secpol.msc, and hit Enter.
  • When the Local Security Policy window opens, select Security Settings.
  • Open Account Policy and select Account Lockout Policy.

Change Account Lockout Threshold Policy

  • Double-click on the Account lockout threshold policy (on the right) to open Settings configuration window.
  • To disable account lockout, replace the existing value with 0 and click Apply to save the changes.

Set out lockout to 0

  • Then press OK and close the Local Security Policy window.
  • After that, you will be able to log on to your account without seeing “The referenced account is currently locked out and may not be logged on to” error.

NOTE: What if your computer does not belong to the domain? In other words, if you are using a home computer with a single admin account, which has no Account lockout threshold policies' settings configured, but the “The referenced account is currently locked out and may not be logged on to” emerged?

Then the only solution would be to reset your password using a Password reset disk, but for this purpose, you have to have such a disk created some time ago.

In case you do not have a password reset disk, then we have sad news for you because the only way to unlock your PC is to format Windows.

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About the author

Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The problem solver

Ugnius Kiguolis is the founder and editor-in-chief of UGetFix. He is a professional security specialist and malware analyst who has been working in IT industry for over 20 years.

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