Moving user profile location in Windows Vista

by Mitch Tulloch [Published on 8 July 2008 / Last Updated on 3 July 2008]

How to move the location where user profiles are stored in Windows Vista.

A common question is how you can move the default location where user profiles are stored in Windows Visty from the C:\Users directory to some other location, for example a second hard drive named D: or perhaps elsewhere.

Unfortunately, if you want to do this after you’ve installed Vista on the system, the answer is you can’t. Or more specifically, there’s no supported way of doing this, so don’t even try hacking around in this regard.

However, you can do this during the installation process by configuring a setting named ProfilesDirectory in your unattend.xml answer file, and this is the only supported method for moving the profile directory in Vista.

The Author — Mitch Tulloch

Mitch Tulloch is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, networking, and security. He has been repeatedly awarded Most Valuable Professional (MVP) status by Microsoft for his outstanding contributions in supporting users who deploy and use Microsoft platforms, products and solutions. Mitch has published over two hundred articles on different IT websites and magazines, and he has written or contributed to almost two dozen books and is lead author for the Windows 7 Resource Kit from Microsoft Press. For more information, see www.mtit.com .

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