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Roaming Profiles in Windows 10

Roaming profiles is the sum total of settings, configurations, files and folders, desktop and background settings of a profile.

Normally with a profile it is setup as a local profile where all the profile settings are stored on the one PC.  Every time someone logs onto their PC, their settings are all there as they were last time they logged on.  The reason they want a roaming profile, as it allows you to share your profile, so whatever PC you log onto in the network, you get the same files and folders and settings at whatever PC you sit down at.

This is efficient if you have lots of employees that sit at different workstations.  It is also a good idea for high level staff, or executives.  If they sit down to work, and their PC won't start or their hard drive crashes, you can supply them another workstation or laptop, and they can log onto their roaming profile, and pick up where they left off.

To setup roaming profiles, you follow this process.  The one I will use will be for small to medium organisations.  For larger or enterprise level organisations, I recommend deploying the roaming profiles via Group Policy Objects, or GPO's

  1. Create a profile folder on the server (C:\PROFILES)

  2. Share read/write permissions for everyone. Don't worry, this doesn't mean everyone will be able to access each other’s profiles, as this will still be locked down with user security passwords etc.

  3. Go to Server manager/Tools/active directory users and computers.

  4. Select one of the users, double click, choose properties then go to the profile tab.

  5. Type in: \\servername\profile\%username% this is a system variable that will plug in whatever the user is

You can then test the roaming profiles now, by logging into a roaming profile, and configure the desktop etc.  Then go to another pc and logon with the same profile and make sure the same profile settings have come across.

Some things to be aware of are:

SECURITY.  Roaming profiles save a local cache of the profile on the local workstation.  You should be aware of the fact that if there is sensitive information in that roaming profile (e.g. payroll, trade secrets), then that sensitive information will be cached on that pc, and if it is stolen or misplaced, that data is at risk of being compromised.

Applications don’t migrate with the roaming profile.  For this reason you need a baseline of applications installed on each company workstation.  EG Word, Excel, Outlook, Chrome, Teamviewer etc.

Another thing to be aware of is hard drive capacity of the workstation.  As the roaming profile caches, if you have a lot of users logging on, that hard rive could fill up.



Courtesy of Eli the Computer Guy:

kel toyne