Disable caching of roaming profiles

by Wayne Maples [Published on 20 April 2004 / Last Updated on 20 April 2004]

Roaming profiles are cached locally to machines. This can be disabled with the following registry hack. The hack needs to be applied to all computers from which you wish to delete cached profiles. This can be done in Windows NT via a system policy and for Windows 2000 via a group policy.

Hive: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
Key: SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
Name: DeleteRoamingCache
Type: REG_DWORD
Value: 1

To prevent logging to EventLog

Hive: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
Key: SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
Name: EventLog
Type: REG_DWORD
Value: 0

You will have to stop and restart the spooler from services in the Control Panel but you may wish to reboot.

If you want roaming profiles to not include certain folders, you can exclude them. Excluding internet temporary files, cookies, and outlook files can keep the roaming profile small. To exclude folders

Hive: HKEY_CURRENT_USER
Key: SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
Name: ExcludeProfileDirs
Type: REG_SZ
Value: Temporary Internet Files;Cookies;Recent;History;Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

List as many folders in the profile you want to exclude. Separate them with the ;

Because the roaming profile includes the user's documents and other files, the profile size can grow to be 100s of megabytes. Those files are copied to the user's logon computer when the user logs on. To view the size of a user's profile, log on as that user and open the Control Panel.

  • Right-click My Computer
  • Select Properties
  • Click the User Profiles tab to view the user's profiles and their sizes.
There are a handful of things you can do to decrease the user's profile size and speed up logon time. First, look at the user's desktop and the folders under their desktop to make sure there aren't large files being saved there that could go elsewhere. Also, check to see if the My Documents folder is pointing to a network share that's available from all logon locations. This will prevent documents from following a user around the network.

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