How to Create and Copy Roaming User Profiles in Windows

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Article ID: 142682 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q142682
For a Microsoft Windows XP version of this article, see 314478.
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On occasion, it may be necessary for an administrator to copy a defined User Profile to a number of Users, which will present each of them with an identical initial profile for their first logon, which they will then be able to modify as required.

This article shows you how to copy such a profile. One difficulty of this procedure is that it is not obvious in the Copy To dialog box what the correct entry for Copy Profile To should be for Roaming User Profiles. This article addresses this issue.


To create a Roaming Profile:
  1. In the System tool in Control Panel, click User Profiles, and then select an existing user profile.
  2. Change the type of profile by clicking Change Type. Select either Local or Roaming.
An existing User Profile can be copied to another user's account by following these steps:
  1. In Control Panel, double-click the System, click the User Profiles tab.
  2. Select an existing local or roaming profile that you want to copy.
  3. Click the Copy To button.
  4. Under Copy Profile To, specify a UNC path to the user's profile folder, for example:
    • \\ServerName\ShareName\User'sProfileDirectory

    • In Network Neighborhood, select the user's profile folder
  5. Click Change in Permitted to Use to select the user that will be permitted to use this profile.

    Note that if you are using a Windows 2000-based computer, verify that you are not choosing users or groups from a Windows NT-based domain because Windows 2000 is designed to use Active Directory to select domains.
  6. Click OK to copy the profile.
  7. Click OK to close System properties.
  8. The user's account will then have to be updated to reflect the path of the roaming profile. This is done in User Manager. Double-click the appropriate user's name.
  9. Click Profile, and then type the UNC path from step four for the User Profile Path, and then click OK.
After the user has successfully logged on, the profile will be saved on the server as a Roaming Profile, and any profile changes will be saved to the server.


Article ID: 142682 - Last Review: February 21, 2007 - Revision: 2.2
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
kbhowto kbnetwork KB142682

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