How to redirect user shell folders to a specified path by using Profile Maker

Important This article contains information about how to modify the registry. Make sure that you back up the registry before you modify it. Make sure that you know how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up, restore, and modify the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
256986 Description of the Microsoft Windows registry


Microsoft Windows operating systems have some user profile folders that are known as user shell folders. These user shell folders can be redirected to any path. You can use Profile Maker to redirect a user shell folder by creating a new registry item in a user configuration.

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Warning Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly by using Registry Editor or by using another method. These problems might require that you reinstall the operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that these problems can be solved. Modify the registry at your own risk.

The following procedure is an example of how to redirect the "My Documents" folder to a specified path. To redirect the "My Documents" folder, follow these steps:
  1. Open the Profile Maker console.
  2. In the console tree, right-click Configurations, point to New, and then click User Configuration.
  3. Type a name for the user configuration, and then press ENTER.
  4. Right-click the user configuration that you created, point to New, point to Property, and then click Registry Setting.
  5. In the Action list, select Replace.
  6. In the Hive list, select HKEY_CURRENT_USER.
  7. In the Key Path box, type the following path:

    Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders
    Note This value is only for Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, and Windows 2000 client computers.
  8. In the Value name box, type Personal.
  9. In the Value type list, select REG_SZ.
  10. In the Value data box, type u:\%logonuser%.
  11. Click OK.
The following table shows the user shell folders that you can redirect. This table also shows the corresponding registry entry names that you should use.
The user shell folders that you can redirectThe corresponding registry entry name that you should type in the Value name box
Application DataAppData
Local SettingsLocal Settings
My DocumentsPersonal
My PicturesMy Pictures
Network NeighborhoodNetHood
Print NeighborhoodPrintHood
Programs GroupPrograms
Send ToSendTo
Start MenuStart Menu
Startup GroupStartUp
  • The Cookies folder cannot be redirected to a Universal Naming Convention (UNC) path. The Cookies folder can be redirected only to a local path or to a mapped drive.
  • The Temporary Internet Files folder can be redirected only to a local path.