Technologies that help to manage profiles

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Folder Redirection

Folder redirection allows certain User Profile folders to be automatically 'redirected' to a network location. The following components of the user profile can be redirected by 'user windows setttings' in group policy.

My Documents

  • The 'My Documents' folder is a prime candidate for redirection as it makes no sense for users in a networked environment to store files on individual PCs

Application Data

  • The 'Application Data' folder is another good candidate for redirection as it can grow quite large.


  • It's worth redirecting the desktop in case your users are in the habit of leaving large files there.

Start Menu

Group Policy Settings

There are a number of Group Policy settings which help with the management of the various types of user profile

Machine Settings

Do not check for user ownership of Roaming Profile Folders

  • By default, Windows XP will prevent the use of a roaming profile folder that is not 'owned' by the user who is logging on and attempting to use it. This setting will override the bahaviour. Useful where profiles have been pre-created or migrated.

Delete cached copies of roaming profiles

  • When a user with a roaming profile logs off, the 'local copy' remains on the PC. This setting will cause the local copy of the profile to be deleted.

Add the Administrators security group to roaming user profiles

  • The first time a user with a roaming profile logs on, their roaming profile will not exist. Windows will create the profile and assign the user full control and exclusive use of the roaming profile folder. This locks out administrators. Enabling this setting will force Windows to add the Administrators group to the profile folder.

Do not detect slow network connections

Slow network connection timeout for user profiles

Wait for remote user profile

Prompt user when slow link is detected

Timeout for dialog boxes

Log users off when roaming profile fails

Maximum retries to unload and update user profile

Prevent Roaming Profile changes from propagating to the server

Only allow local user profiles

Leave Windows Installer and Group Policy Software Installation Data

User Settings

Connect home directory to root of the share

Limit profile size

  • It is useful to be able to set a limit on user profile sizes, especially when roaming. This can help stop users saving huge files on their desktops!

Exclude directories in roaming profile

  • Useful if you want to exclude certain directories from roaming, e.g. Cookies or Recent.

User Profile Hive Cleanup Service (UPHClean)

  • A service which makes sure the User Profile Hive is unloaded when a user logs off. Useful where 'cached copies of roaming profiles' are not being deleted, despite the group policy setting having been set to say that they should be! Download UPHClean from MS