Types of User Profiles

User Profile

User profiles are used for providing basic user environment needs.

The profile is responsible for providing the initial desktop environment needs with the help of desktop folder, favorites, cookies, my documents, start menu, and Internet settings, n/w connections and etc.

When a user logs in for the first time the user will be loaded with a default user profile.

Default user profile is located under C:\documents and settings\default user


Types of Profiles

Local profile

Roaming profile

Mandatory profile


Local Profile:

It is a profile loaded for the user and saved to the local hard drive where the user works.And profile will be saved when a user logs off.

Local profiles are limited only to the machine where they are saved.

A user with a local profile will not be loaded with a network profile when he logs on from another machine.


Roaming Profile:

It is a profile, which is saved in the shared folder on the server. Hence available in the entire network.As a result, when a user logs in from any machine in the network he will be loaded with a roaming.


Mandatory Profile:

Mandatory Profile is a profile used for controlling desktop environment setting especially used for restricting a user from saving user data, setting, and configuration on the desktop.

It is a type of roaming profile but settings are not saved when a user logs off.

Changes will be available only for the session where the user is active. (Active session).


Go to My ComputerPropertiesAdvanced tab-->select Settings on User Profilehere to check the Status


user profile1


user profile2


Configuring a Roaming Profile

a. Create a shared folder on Server with name “User Profiles”.

b. Go to user properties >> Profile tab

c. Mention the path of the folder like

d. \\Servername\foldername\%USERNAME%

e. Example \\WINFILESVR\Userprofiles\%USERNAME%


user profile3


Now login to the client with username and password.

On the first login you profile will be saved at shared location.

Once log off your setting will be saved on to the shared location.

When you log back in your profile will be loaded from the shared location.


Configuring a Mandatory Profile

Open the profiles folder you’ve created for roaming

There will be a user folder

Take the ownership of the folder of the user

Open the folder

Rename the file

Ntuser.dat to ntuser.man Now the Profile becomes Mandatory profile, whatever the changes you did while you logged in will not be saved while you logging off.


Roaming Vs Mandatory Profiles

Roaming profile will the keep your changes and setting by saving it to the shared location, whereas “mandatory profile” will not save any of your settings when user logoff and login back you will see the default profile is loaded.


Topics Summary