Configuring User Profiles

As far as roaming profiles are concerned, two types exist, personal and mandatory. A personal roaming profile is the default type, and allows a user to make changes to their profile. A mandatory roaming profile is one which a user is not allowed to change – that is, any changes that they make while logged on will not be back saved to the server. A personal roaming profile is changed to a mandatory roaming profile by renaming the Ntuser.dat file in the profile to When mandatory roaming profiles are used, usually you have many users accessing the safe profile information, so many accounts would be set up to point to the same profile location. A good example of why mandatory roaming profiles might be used is with respect to a environment such as that used by bank tellers – we would want their environment to always be consistent, regardless of the system to which they logged on.

For a list of local profiles on a system, use the User Profiles tab in the System program. This will show you the profiles that exist on the system, their size, and type (local or roaming). This program also allows you to copy a profile over to a server and change its type, if you wanted to change a profile from local to roaming, or vice versa.

Author: Dan DiNicolo

Dan DiNicolo is a freelance author, consultant, trainer, and the managing editor of He is the author of the CCNA Study Guide found on this site, as well as many books including the PC Magazine titles Windows XP Security Solutions and Windows Vista Security Solutions. Click here to contact Dan.