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Change default profile location for user profile

jhieb asked
Last Modified: 2012-03-18

I am helping a friend with his windows 7 computer. He has a solid state drive for his boot drive, drive 0,, and that drive is 120 GB. He also has a 1TB SATA drive as drive 1. By default, his user profile, my documents, etc is on the boot drive aka C: drive. How can we change his system so that his profile (my documents, pictures, videos, favorites, desktop, etc) is on drive 1, which is his E: drive. We want the defaults for his profile to always take him to the E: drive.

Is there an easy way to do this?

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Victor TarasovHead of system administration department

I got this to work, but it's no where near as elegant as with XP and Vista via the User Profile "copy to" method above:

Customize a user profile as needed
Go to Control Panel and create a new dummy admininstrator
Reboot, log in as the dummy admin
Browse to C: and go into the Folder settings and Show all hidden/system files
Browse to C:\Users and CTRL-drag the Default folder to make a second (backup) copy of it
Browse to C:\Users and CTRL-drag the customized user profile to make a second copy of it
SHIFT-DEL the original Default folder
Rename the customized folder copy to Default
Create a new dummy admin and reboot/log in to test it

I've not tested this extensively yet but this seemed to work with the exception that the desktop background pic was gone leaving a black background.  I fixed this easily by re-selecting the correct background pic.

I really hope that MS restores the previous method as this seems very sketchy to me and I'd hate to have to use this in a production environment.
Victor TarasovHead of system administration department

or read post

Open the Start Menu, then type regedit in the search box and press enter.

    B) If prompted by UAC, then click on Yes (Windows 7) or Continue (Vista).

    C) In regedit, navigate to the location below. (see screenshot below)


    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList

        User Profile - Change Default Location-new-1.jpg

    D) In the right pane of ProfileList, right click on ProfilesDirectory and click on Modify.

    E) Type in the full path (ex: E:\Users or D:\Users) of where you want new user accounts to be created at, and click on OK.

Value Name : Profile Drirectory and Value Data is E:Users or D:\Users aned click Ok.

If you would like to do it for all users who are loging in to computers then there is a different step..Refer URL : http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/87555-user-profile-change-default-location.html
CoralonSenior Citrix Engineer

ProfileImagePath Registry EntryKanthec has it mostly right to change the default location.  However, if you don't copy the default profiles in the existing c:\users directory, you will probably break logins.  (I've done this before on Win2k3).

1. Create the new directory (e:\users ,d:\users or whatever)
2. Copy the existing profiles directory (c:\users) with the correct permissions.  I'd suggest using robocopy for it
robocopy /e /sec /mir /sl c:\users d:\users 

Open in new window

/e - subdirectories, including empty ones
/sec - copy security also
/mir - make a mirror copy
/sl - copy the symbolic links - this is really important in Win7
3. modify the ProfileList registry entry as mentioned. Also, change the Default & Public profile location registry entries in this same location.  
4. Go through the GUID entries in the ProfileList.  Under each one of these, modify the ProfileImagePath entry to point to the new location. (see the picture)
5. Once this is done, and you've gotten all the profiles corrected.  Reboot and test.. all of your profiles should be working perfectly from the new location.  Once that is done, then you can delete the old directory.

This one is on us!
(Get your first solution completely free - no credit card required)
Ivano ViolaSystem Administrator

hhaywood000 is correct. No need to mess with the registry. You can easily move your profile folders one-by-one by right-clicking on each folder, selecting properties then the location tab.

CoralonSenior Citrix Engineer

That will not change the default location.  Doing it that way does accomplish the goal of moving the existing ones, although it takes longer.



Thanks everyone for your help on this. This looks like it is going to be fun.


Did you try to change the profile or not?Let me know the status.



This was new to me. All we had to do was to right click on the folder and tell Windows where to find the files.
Use Robocopy but then use this to redirect to the ne location properly:

mklink /J  C:\Users\Public  E:\Public
Now, whatever is meant for the original Public folder gets directed to the new location.
 I hope this helps.
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