12 Fixes For The Referenced Account Is Currently Locked Out

You might input the wrong password numerous times. Windows may block you from signing into your account for a while. On the login screen, you’ll get a notification. “The referenced account is currently locked out,” indicating that you’re not allowed to log in.

It can happen when a threshold is set to limit the amount of a wrong passwords attempted by the user. It can help prevent users from gaining unwanted access. It might be inconvenient if you are locked out of your Windows 10 local account.

Methods To Fix The Referenced Account Is Currently Locked Out

Note: most of the methods explained below apply to specific versions of windows only. 

The Referenced Account is Currently Locked Out
  • Simply Wait For 30 Minutes
  • Update Local Group Policy Editor
  • Set the account password never to expire
  • Editing Local Security Setting
  • Change Time And Date Settings From BIOS
  • Check your DNS settings
  • Change the Account Lockout Policy
  • Use the Local Administrator Account to Unlock
  • Remove Cached Credentials From Your PC
  • Activate Hidden Administrator Account
  • Use Password Reset Disk
  • Format your PC 

1. Simply Wait For 30 Minutes

Waiting 30 minutes for Windows to unlock your account automatically is the most convenient way to log in. In the majority of cases, the initial wait time is 30 minutes. The waiting period can be up to 24 hours if you have attempted the wrong password many times.

If you don’t need your computer immediately, you can wait for Windows to unlock your account. Otherwise, frequent wrong attempts will lead to a 24-hour nap. After 30 minutes, try logging in with the correct password.

2. Update Local Group Policy Editor

Local group policy editors in Windows 10 Professional and Enterprise can be updated. Remove the error message “The Referenced Account Is Currently Locked Out” from their login screen. Although the Windows 10 Home edition lacks a local group policy editor, there are several ways to access it.

  • Type “gpedit.msc” in the search box by pressing Windows key + R. To open Group Policy Editor, press OK or Enter.
  • Navigate to Computer Configuration, then Windows Settings Security Settings. Then Account Policies Account Lockout Policy in Local Group Policy Editor.
  • Double-click the Account lockout threshold policy in the properties window and put 0 in the Value field. Applying and OK are the next steps.
  • You can now restart your computer and attempt to log in to your regular account.

3. Set the account password never to expire

If the account password expires, the referenced account is currently locked out. You can fix the mentioned account and eliminate the error warning on the login screen by setting the password never to expire.

  • Open Run and put “lusrmgr.msc” into the box.
  • When the window appears, click Users Now, right-click on the locked user account, and pick Properties from the context menu.
  • Toggle the checkbox next to Password never expires on the General tab.
  • Applying and OK are the next steps.
  • You can now log out of the administrator account and attempt to log in to the blocked account.

4. Editing Local Security Settings

If you’ve successfully accessed your desktop, you should turn off the Account lockout threshold policy. It will eliminate the problem “The Referenced Account Is Currently Locked Out.” Only the Windows Pro and Enterprise editions are affected by these measures.

  • Press the Windows key + R, type “secpol.msc” and press Enter.
  • Select Security Settings when the Local Security Policy window appears.
  • Select Account Lockout Policy from the Account Policy menu.
  • To enter the Settings settings window, double-click on the Account lockout threshold policy (on the right).
  • Replace the existing value with 0 to disable account lockout, then click Apply to save the changes.
  • Then hit OK to close the window for the Local Security Policy.
  • After that, you’ll be able to get into your account without encountering the problem. 
  • “The referenced account is currently locked out”

5. Change Time And Date Settings From BIOS

I frequently require the use of our computer. Suppose you’re in a hurry, like me, to get your system up and running. You can adjust the date and time if you don’t have time to wait for Windows to unblock the account automatically.

Because you can’t modify the date or time outside of the operating system, you’ll have to use BIOS. Each computer’s method for accessing BIOS varies depending on the manufacturer and model number. To learn to enter the BIOS, consult the handbook or the manufacturer’s website.

  • Go to the Main tab in the BIOS and update the Date and Time. The mouse will not work once you enter BIOS. Therefore you’ll have to utilize BIOS control.
  • To enable login, you can choose a day and time in the future. Make sure the BIOS is saved and exited without making any additional changes.
  • It will also modify the operating system‘s date and time.
  • You may be able to log back into your machine without receiving any problem warnings.

6. Check your DNS settings

“The referenced account is currently locked out” occurs. The Account lockout threshold policy was previously defined. It can be by your system administrator or your domain controller. Check DNS settings to unlock a locked account. Wrong DNS settings are also responsible for this error.

  • To access Windows Settings, press Windows key + I and select Network & Internet.
  • Under Advanced network settings, select Change adapter options.
  • Right-click on the presently active network connection and select Properties. Select Ethernet or Wi-Fi and then Properties.
Ethernet or Wi-Fi Properties
  • Pick Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and double-click.
  • To save it, select ‘Obtain DNS server address automatically and click OK.
  • If this doesn’t work, you can utilize Google DNS servers by selecting “Use the following DNS server addresses.”
    • Preferred DNS server:
    • Alternative DNS server:
DNS server addresses
  • After that, restart the computer and see if you can log in using your local account.

7. Change the Account Lockout Threshold Policy

“The Referenced Account Is Currently Locked Out” problem can occur if you have mistyped your password multiple times. It causes the system to restrict your account from logging in. In this scenario, I recommend utilizing the Local Security Policy Editor in Windows 7 to check the following settings:

  • Restart the computer and select the built-in administrator account in Windows.
  • Open the Control Panel, then go to System and Security, then Administrative Tools.
  • Continue with the procedures. Select “Local Security Policy” from the Administrative Tools menu.
Administrative Tools
  • Open Security Settings then Account Policies and Password Policy under the Local Security Policy.
  • After that, double-click “Maximum password age” and set its properties. Put the value to 0 and hit the OK button.
  • Select Security Settings, then Account Policies. Then Account Lockout Policy from the Local Security setting tab menu.
  • To view its properties, double-click “Account lockout threshold.” Then write “0” to ensure that “Account will not lockout” 0 successful login attempts.
  • Now restart the machine and log in to your account as usual, and you should no longer notice the issue.

8. Use the Local Administrator Account to Unlock

Proceed as follows if the computer is not connected to a domain.

  • Enable the local Administrator account offline.
  • Utilize the local Administrator account to log in to the workstation.
  • Open the editor for the Local Security Policy. (secpol.msc)
  • Account Lockout Policy may be under Security Settings > Account Settings > Account Lockout Policy.
  • Click OK after opening the Account lockout threshold policy and setting it to 0 (zero).
  • Log in to the locked account after restarting the machine.

9. Remove Cached Credentials From Your PC

To fix the ‘The referenced account is presently locked out’ error, erase the cached credentials saved on your PC.

  • In the Start menu, type Credential Manager and select it from the results list. Then choose Windows Credentials.
Windows Credentials
  • Now, search for cached credentials under Generic Credentials and click the arrow next. Then, to remove it from your computer, click the Remove link.
  • After that, restart your computer and try to log into the restricted account. If cached credentials were causing problems, this would most likely solve the problem.

10. Activate Hidden Administrator Account

This solution is the most successful for people who have been locked out of their single account on the computer. They can’t access the Control Panel or Settings. Fortunately, without has concealed a backup admin account for these scenarios.

  • Click the Power icon on the screen while holding down the Shift key while pressing restart.
  • Instead of rebooting, a blue screen with multiple alternatives will appear. Select Troubleshoot, then Advanced Options and Command Prompt from the Troubleshoot menu.
  • In Command Prompt, copy the given command and press Enter.
    • net user administrator /active:yes
  • In no time, you should notice the message “The command performed successfully.”
  • Wait a few minutes after logging into this admin account for everything to be ready.
  • If your single account is shut out, this will allow you to access your computer.

11. Use Password Reset Disk

You’re using a home computer with a single administrator account. It doesn’t have any Account lockout threshold policies set up. The message “The linked account is now locked out” appeared on the screen.

Then the only choice is to reset your password using a Password Reset Disk. You’ll need to have one prepared password reset disk. It is usually done when you create a password. If you don’t have a password reset CD, we’re sorry to inform you that the only method to unlock your computer is to reformat it.

12. Format your PC 

During the installation of Windows 10, format your hard drive. You’ll need to use the Windows 10 installation disc or USB flash drive to start or boot your computer.

  • Turn on your computer, insert the Windows 10 installation disc or USB flash drive, and then shut down your computer.
  • When prompted, press any button and then follow the on-screen instructions.
  • Enter your language and other settings on the “Install Windows” tab, then click Next.
  • If you accept the terms and provisions, click I accept the terms and then Next on the “Please read the license terms” screen.
  • Select Custom on the “Which kind of installation do you want?” page.
  • Click Drive selections on the “Where do you wish to install Windows?” screen (advanced).
  • To format a partition, right-click it and select Format.
  • Select the desired formatting option.
  • Finish installing Windows 10, and follow the on-screen prompts. It includes identifying your computer and creating an initial user account.


You will be able to remove the locked-out error message quickly and effortlessly. Even after 30 minutes, the error remains ‘the Referenced account is currently locked out’. In these situations, follow the above procedures to get into the system.

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Abdul Rahim has been working in Information Technology for over two decades. Learn how Abdul got his start as a Tech Blogger , and why he decided to start this Software blog. If you want to send Abdul a quick message, then visit his contact page here.