How to prevent folders from roaming with a profile in Windows Server 2003

Support for Windows Server 2003 ended on July 14, 2015

Microsoft ended support for Windows Server 2003 on July 14, 2015. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

For a Microsoft Windows 2000 version of this article, see the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:
315415 HOW TO: Prevent Folders from Roaming with a Profile in Windows 2000

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SUMMARY
This step-by-step article describes how to use a group policy to prevent specific folders that are contained in a roaming-user profile from being copied to the server.

A roaming-user profile is stored on a Windows Server 2003-based computer and is loaded on to the client workstation when the user logs on. This profile defines the Windows 2003 environment, and includes all user-specific settings such as program items, screen colors, and network and printer connections. When the user logs off the computer, the profile is copied to the server computer.

You can use a policy to prevent certain folders from being copied to the server when the user logs off the client computer.

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Create a Group Policy Object

You can modify an existing Group Policy object (GPO) or create a new one. To create a new GPO:
  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Active Directory Users and Computers.
  2. In the console tree, right-click your domain, and then click Properties.
  3. Click the Group Policy tab, and then click New.
  4. Type the name for this new policy such as Modify Roaming Profile, and then press ENTER.
  5. Click the policy you just created, click Properties, and then click the Security tab.
  6. Click to clear the Apply Group Policy check box for the security groups that you want to prevent from having this policy applied.
  7. Add the security principal (user or group) that you want the policy to apply to, click Read, and then click Apply Group Policy.
  8. When you are finished, click OK.
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Exclude Folders from Roaming Profiles

Edit the GPO to exclude specific folders in roaming profiles:
  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Active Directory Users and Computers.
  2. In the console tree, right-click your domain, and then click Properties.
  3. Click the Group Policy tab, click the GPO that you want to work with, and then click Edit.
  4. Under User Configuration, expand Administrative Templates, expand System, and then click User Profiles.
  5. In the Setting list, double-click Exclude directories in roaming profile, and then click Enabled.
  6. In the Prevent the following directories from roaming with the profile box, type the appropriate folder names, separated by semicolons (;).

    Note By default, profiles are stored in the "Documents and Settings\user name" folder on the local computer, where user name is the name of the user to whom the profile belongs. This is considered as the "root" folder of the profile, and is not included when you specify folders to exclude. For example, to prevent the desktop from roaming with the profile, type desktop in the Prevent the following directories from roaming with the profile box. Make sure that a semicolon separates each entry in the list.
  7. When you are finished not including folders from roaming profiles, click OK.
  8. Quit the Group Policy snap-in, click Close, and then quit the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in.
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REFERENCES
For additional information about Group Policies, click Start, click Help, click the Index tab, type group policy in the Type in the keyword to find box, and then press ENTER. For additional information about a related topic, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
315415 How to prevent folders from roaming with a profile in Windows 2000


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Article ID: 814592 - Last Review: 12/03/2007 05:07:27 - Revision: 5.5

Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition (32-bit x86), Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86), Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86), Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 Standard Edition, Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 Premium Edition

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