How to create and copy roaming user profiles

On occasions, it may be necessary for an administrator to copy a defined User Profile to several users or to a group of users, which will present each of them with an identical initial profile for their first logon, which they will then be able to modify as required.

To create a Roaming Profile:

  1. In the System tool in Control Panel, click User Profiles, and then select an existing user profile.
  2. Change the type of profile by clicking Change Type. Select either Local or Roaming. Select Roaming.

Now to make them all the same:

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Copy the User Profile you want to use as the default or initial to the other user's account by following these steps:

  1. In Control Panel, double-click the System icon.
  2. Click the User Profiles tab.
  3. Select an existing local or roaming profile that you want to copy.
  4. Click the Copy To button.
  5. Under Copy Profile To, specify a UNC path to the user's profile folder, for example: ServerNameShareNameUser'sProfileDirectory


    In Network Neighborhood, select the user's profile directory.

  6. Click Change in Permitted to Use to select the user that will be permitted to use this profile.

    Note that if you are using a Windows 2000-based computer, verify that you are not choosing users or groups from a Windows NT-based domain because Windows 2000 is designed to use Active Directory to select domains.

  7. Click OK to copy the profile.
  8. Click OK to close System properties.
  9. The user's account will then have to be updated to reflect the path of the roaming profile. This is done in User Manager. Double-click the appropriate user's name.
  10. Click Profile, and then type the UNC path from step 5 for the User Profile Path. Click OK.
  11. After the user has successfully logged on, the profile will be saved on the server as a Roaming Profile, and any profile changes will be saved to the server.


This was first published in September 2001

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