Applies To: Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Vista

ProfilesDirectory specifies the path to the user profile folder (normally C:\Users).

When you use a folder name other than "Users", like C:\Documents and Settings, then Windows creates the Users folder on that drive (C:\Users), and also creates an redirect folder (C:\Documents and Settings) that points to the Users folder.


We don’t recommend using this setting, except perhaps in a test environment.
When this setting is changed, the Windows® Store and Windows Store apps are not supported.


Using drives other than the system drive:
Use this setting to move the user-profile folder (typically %SYSTEMDRIVE%\Users) to another location during deployment. The destination path can be on a volume other than the system drive, as long as it meets the following requirements:

  • It must be on an NTFS volume.

  • It can’t point to a drive that has a different copy of Windows on it.

Additional known issues when using drives other than the system drive:
  • You cannot perform edition upgrades. For example, if you use Windows 7 Home Premium with ProfilesDirectory set to D:, you will not be able to upgrade to Windows 7 Ultimate or to Windows 8.

  • Windows Vista®: You cannot service your image. Any updates, fixes, or service packs may not be applied to the installation.

This setting can be used to keep system data separate from user data. If Windows® is re-installed on the system volume, a user with administrative rights can manually recover data from this location.



Specifies the path to the user profile folder. Path_to_profiles_directory is a string with a maximum length of 256 characters.

This string type does not support empty elements. Do not create an empty value for this setting.

Valid Configuration Passes


Parent Hierarchy

Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup | FolderLocations | ProfilesDirectory

Applies To

For a list of the Windows editions and architectures that this component supports, see Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup.

XML Example

The following XML example shows how to set the paths to folder locations.


See Also