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What is the correct way to delete a user's profile in Windows Server 2016? & why do we delete them?

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Last Modified: 2020-10-05
What is the correct way to delete a user's profile in Windows Server 2016? & why do we delete them?

Is it to clear the user's login cache or corrupt credentials? Etc.?
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Hello ThereSystem Administrator
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Commented:
What is the correct way to delete a user's profile in Windows Server 2016?
1. Run netplwiz.exe and delete the user profile
2. Remove C:\Users\username folder
3. Delete corresponding registry key under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList                                  

why do we delete them?
You usually delete them as a clean up process of the user that left the company + to get some disk space
Lead Systems Administrator
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GiboSystems Engineer

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Commented:
Is deleting a user's profile will help resolve some login issues when a user was accidentally deleted in active directory & then re-created w/ the same user name?

Please advise, thanks.
Seth SimmonsLead Systems Administrator
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Commented:
it can
if a user was deleted and created again with the same username and their old user profile is present, i would expect the new account to have a profile folder named user.001 since the folder named user already exists

GiboSystems Engineer

Author

Commented:
Noted w/ thanks.
GiboSystems Engineer

Author

Commented:
Or sometimes I see that it appends a suffix ~ domain name in the user's account login name in Windows
Seth SimmonsLead Systems Administrator
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Commented:
that's because there is a local account with the same username
if the local administrator account is used, then the profile will be named administrator
login as the domain administrator, the folder name will be administrator.domain 
Hello ThereSystem Administrator
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Commented:
If you create a local user called TestUser and you log in with this account first, the "C:\Users\TestUser" folder will be created.
Then, if you create a domain user called TestUser, the "C:\Users\TestUser.domainname" will be created.

If you reverse it:
If you create a domain user called TestUser2 and you log in with this account first, the "C:\Users\TestUser2" folder will be created.
Then, if you create a local user called TestUser, the "C:\Users\TestUser2.computername" will be created.
GiboSystems Engineer

Author

Commented:
noted, tnx
GiboSystems Engineer

Author

Commented:
appreciate all your feedback, makes all things clearer why we're having these login issues
GiboSystems Engineer

Author

Commented:
*** if the user’s profile is deleted, will it also remove or delete all the files, folders, desktop etc. in the server or PC?
Hello ThereSystem Administrator
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Commented:
Local user data are deleted = all under C:\Users\testuser (C:\Users\testuser\Desktop, C:\Users\testuser\Documents, C:\Users\testuser\Downloads, C:\Users\testuser\Pictures, etc.).
GiboSystems Engineer

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Commented:
perhaps make a backup of data before deleting a corrupt user’s profile
Hello ThereSystem Administrator
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Commented:
Sure if you feel you might need them.
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Commented:
It’s been a while since I did this, but it’s either part of SCCM Tools, or the SCCM add-on “one-click” tools that does it all for you
It lists all the profiles and deletes the profile and the registry entry with a click of the mouse button
GiboSystems Engineer

Author

Commented:
unfortunately we don't have an SCCM in our environment

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