Windows can prevent you from logging in to an account for a certain period of time if you repeatedly enter the wrong password. The login screen will then display the message “The referenced account is currently locked”, indicating that you cannot log in. This can be frustrating, especially if you have an urgent task to complete.
Sometimes a threshold is set that limits the number of incorrect password attempts by the user. This can help prevent unauthorized user access, but it can be annoying if you have locked your local Windows 10 account. The problem may seem serious, but it’s not hard to fix.
What causes the “Reference account is currently blocked” problem
Unlike many other errors, there is only one main reason for the “Referred account is currently locked” error. When users set a password to protect their profiles on a Windows 10 computer, the operating system tries to ensure that others can’t access the laptop without the permission of the user managing that profile.
Therefore, there is a limit to the number of times a person can enter a password. The exact limit is usually determined by the profile administrator. If someone continues to enter the wrong password and forgets it, the computer will lock the profile. In this case, the error message “The link account is currently locked” appears. After this error message appears, users can no longer attempt to enter the password, even if they remember it.
How to solve the “Link account is currently blocked” problem.
Remove the account lock threshold
This method does not help users get around the error immediately after it occurs. However, after users figure out how to log in, they can use this method to ensure that this problem never occurs again. To do this, users must change the policy configuration for the account lockout threshold. To implement this method, do the following:
- Open the Windows Startup dialog box in Windows 10 operating system by pressing the Windows + R keys simultaneously.
- Type “secpol.msc” in the dialog box, then press Enter.
- This procedure will take you to the local security policy window on your device.
- In the local security policy, select the “Security” option. There is an account policy option in the security settings.
- Under “Account Policy”, click on “Account Lockout Policy”.
- Then open the “Account lockout threshold policy” tab. The Configuration Settings window opens.
- In the Settings Configuration window, replace the value for invalid login attempts with “0”. Click the Ok button.
If you have followed all the steps, you can be sure that the error will not occur again, regardless of the number of failed login attempts.
Make sure that the password never expires
Sometimes an error can also occur when a user enters the correct password. Although this is a rare case, it can happen. Therefore, there is another way to resolve the “Referral account is currently blocked” message. The following are the steps to take to resolve the problem when the error occurs after the user has entered the correct password:
- Press the Windows + R key combination to open the Run dialog box.
- Type the words “lusrmgr.msc”. Click the Ok button. The Local Users and Groups window opens.
- In this window, find “Users” and double-click it.
- Right-click on the user account that caused the problem.
- Click the Properties button
- On the General tab of the Properties window, select the Password Never Expires check box. Click the OK button.
Use the local administrator account to unlock
- Activate the local administrator account offline.
- Use the local administrator account to log in to the workstation.
- Open the local security policy editor. (secpol.msc).
- The account lockout policy can be found in Security Settings > Account Settings > Account Lockout Policy.
- Click OK after opening the account lockout threshold policy and setting it to 0 (zero).
- After your computer restarts, log in to the locked account.
Remove cached credentials from your computer
- From the Start menu, type the term Credential Manager and select it from the list of results.
- Then select Windows Credentials.
- Under General Credentials, find the cached credentials and click the arrow next to it.
- To remove it from your computer, click the Delete link.
- Then restart your computer and try logging into a restricted account.
Perform a system restore
System Restore is a valuable tool that can be used to roll back changes to your computer, including installed programs and drivers, as well as Windows system files. If you’re having problems with your PC, a System Restore can often fix the issue without affecting your personal files. Here’s how to perform a System Restore on Windows 10:
- To perform a System Restore, open the Start menu and type “Restore.”
- Click the first result to open the Restoration Wizard window.
- Select the restore point you created and click “Next.”
- Click “Finish” to confirm and begin the restore process.
- Once the restoration is complete, restart your computer if prompted.
Follow these steps and you’ll be able to use System Restore to fix any problems you may be having with your Windows 10 PC.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Update your local group policy editor.
- Set the account password so that it never expires.
- Change the local security settings.
- Change the time and date settings in the BIOS.
- Check DNS settings.
- Change your account lockout policy.
The Account lockout duration parameter defines the number of minutes that a locked account remains locked before it is automatically unlocked. The available range is from 1 to 99,999 minutes. A value of 0 means that the account remains locked until the administrator explicitly unlocks it.
- Reset your Microsoft account password.
- Click on the Reset Password option below the password field.
- Ask your Windows administrator to reset your password.
- Reinstall Windows 10.