Group Policy Application Data Folder Redirection

I am redirecting the Application Data folder using Group Policy, but the settings are ambiguous. If I select the following:

Setting: Basic - Redirect everyone's folder to the same location

Target Folder location - Create a folder for each user under the root path

Root Path - \\FileCluster\Appdata\Terminal

Then the example the properties box shows underneath says:

For a user Clair, this folder will be redirected to:

\\FileCluster\Appdata\Terminal\Cl...\Application data

This suggests to me that this is going to create the folder "Application Data" underneath Claire. However, when looking at the same setting in another GPO, it doesn't append the "Applcation Data" folder and the example is given as:


As if it will just create the Claire folder. I want to achieve the later example and realise I could do this by selecting one of the other options but I need to get to the bottom of this. I have a feeling that this issue may be linked to the domain being upgraded from 2000 to 2003 and the differing GPO templates.

Any help is appreciated, thanks.
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Mike ThomasConsultantCommented:
That is my understanding yes.
Your path should look like this:

Root Path - \\FileCluster\Appdata\Terminal\%username% this will automatically create a folder for each user with application data folder as a subdirectory
vision_onAuthor Commented:

So which of the options underneath Target Folder Location would you select?

1. Create a folder for each user under the root path

2. Redirect to the following location

3. Redirect to the local userprofile location
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Mike ThomasConsultantCommented:
Option 1 as this will create a folder for each user under "\\FileCluster\Appdata\Terminal\" using the %username% variable.

So all folders will be in the same place for all users. the structure would look like


and so on
vision_onAuthor Commented:
Yes I absolutely agree, however I just go back to the point that I mentioned when I originally asked the question:

"Then the example the properties box shows underneath says:

For a user Clair, this folder will be redirected to:

\\FileCluster\Appdata\Terminal\Cl...\Application data"

Why does it append the Application Data to the end of the path in the example, I am worried that tis folder is going to be created.
Mike ThomasConsultantCommented:
Because you could redirect other data to the same location and the creation of this folder differentiates between the types. (and organises them) so you could end up with.

-------My Documents
-------Application Data

and so on

This was the same with folder redirection in 2003 you would set the path with the %username% variable but files would not sit directly into the named folder but rather a "My Documents" folder inside.
vision_onAuthor Commented:
Hello MojoTech,
So if I want the files to sit directly in:
and not in:
User1\Application data
Is the best option to select the following:
Target Folder Location - Redirect to the following location
Root Path - \\Fileserver\Appdata\Terminal\%username%
Mike ThomasConsultantCommented:
That folder will still be created, or consider it moved. On the users local PC they have a folder under their profile called "Application Data" this folder gets moved to the location you specify, the contents don't get pulled out, the whole app data folder does.

This is the default location on the local machine

C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Application Data

The new location is simply

\\Fileserver\Appdata\Terminal\%username%\Application Data

So "%username%\Application Data" is always the same, redirected or not nothing really is being created just moved, the structure stays the same.

Make Sense?

vision_onAuthor Commented:
Yeah I understand what you are saying that the "Application Data" folder will be moved from the client to the file server. But I know this was possible previously, maybe in Windows 2000 (using 2003 now)?
The reason I know this is because there is an existng policy that does the same thing in the 2003 domain (maybe created when it was 2000) and in the location on the file server that it redirects to is:
....................................""..............................................\ICAClient  etc etc...
There is no Application Data folder that have been created. So is this not possible when creating a 2003 policy?
Mike ThomasConsultantCommented:
I have to admit I haven't seen a structure like that but it could quite possibly have been created on a 2000 DC.
vision_onAuthor Commented:
OK, just so that I am clear, as far as you are concerned if you use the Application Data redirection in a 2003 Group Policy regardless of the options you choose it will always move / create the Application Data folder in the Root Path location?
vision_onAuthor Commented:
Hi, I have since discovered that what I was asking to do is possible.

If you select the “Target folder location” drop down list pick “Redirect to the following location”

Then In “Root Path” enter \\Fileserver\AppData\Terminal\%username%
This will configure it so that the "Application Data" folder does not get created however, NOTE:If you go back into the Application Data settings the selections you chose will change, they will revert to Create a folder for each user under the root path and %username% will be removed from the Root Path. Before clicking OK you MUST select “Redirect to the following location” and retype %username% on the end of the Root Path. If you do not do this the Application Data redirection will be modified from \\fileserver\AppData\Terminal\%username% to \\fileserver\AppData\Terminal\%username%\Application Data.
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