Create a profile container for a host pool using a file share

The Windows Virtual Desktop service offers FSLogix profile containers as the recommended user profile solution. We don't recommend using the User Profile Disk (UPD) solution, which will be deprecated in future versions of Windows Virtual Desktop.

This article will tell you how to set up a FSLogix profile container share for a host pool using a virtual machine-based file share. We strongly recommend using Azure Files instead of file shares. For more FSLogix documentation, see the FSLogix site.


If you're looking for comparison material about the different FSLogix Profile Container storage options on Azure, see Storage options for FSLogix profile containers.

Create a new virtual machine that will act as a file share

When creating the virtual machine, be sure to place it on either the same virtual network as the host pool virtual machines or on a virtual network that has connectivity to the host pool virtual machines. You can create a virtual machine in multiple ways:

After creating the virtual machine, join it to the domain by doing the following things:

  1. Connect to the virtual machine with the credentials you provided when creating the virtual machine.
  2. On the virtual machine, launch Control Panel and select System.
  3. Select Computer name, select Change settings, and then select Changeā€¦
  4. Select Domain and then enter the Active Directory domain on the virtual network.
  5. Authenticate with a domain account that has privileges to domain-join machines.

Prepare the virtual machine to act as a file share for user profiles

The following are general instructions about how to prepare a virtual machine to act as a file share for user profiles:

  1. Add the Windows Virtual Desktop Active Directory users to an Active Directory security group. This security group will be used to authenticate the Windows Virtual Desktop users to the file share virtual machine you just created.
  2. Connect to the file share virtual machine.
  3. On the file share virtual machine, create a folder on the C drive that will be used as the profile share.
  4. Right-click the new folder, select Properties, select Sharing, then select Advanced sharing....
  5. Select Share this folder, select Permissions..., then select Add....
  6. Search for the security group to which you added the Windows Virtual Desktop users, then make sure that group has Full Control.
  7. After adding the security group, right-click the folder, select Properties, select Sharing, then copy down the Network Path to use for later.

For more information about permissions, see the FSLogix documentation.

Configure the FSLogix profile container

To configure the virtual machines with the FSLogix software, do the following on each machine registered to the host pool:

  1. Connect to the virtual machine with the credentials you provided when creating the virtual machine.
  2. Launch an internet browser and navigate to this link to download the FSLogix agent.
  3. Navigate to either \\Win32\Release or \\X64\Release in the .zip file and run FSLogixAppsSetup to install the FSLogix agent. To learn more about how to install FSLogix, see Download and install FSLogix.
  4. Navigate to Program Files > FSLogix > Apps to confirm the agent installed.
  5. From the start menu, run RegEdit as an administrator. Navigate to Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\software\FSLogix.
  6. Create a key named Profiles.
  7. Create the following values for the Profiles key:
Name Type Data/Value
Enabled DWORD 1
VHDLocations Multi-String Value "Network path for file share"


To help secure your Windows Virtual Desktop environment in Azure, we recommend you don't open inbound port 3389 on your VMs. Windows Virtual Desktop doesn't require an open inbound port 3389 for users to access the host pool's VMs. If you must open port 3389 for troubleshooting purposes, we recommend you use just-in-time VM access.