Methods of Editing Connection Profile Files

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 Foundation, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Vista

The CMAK wizard provides the ability to customize the most frequently used elements of a connection profile. However, you might want to customize elements that you cannot configure in the wizard. By adding or editing keys and values to the individual files that make up a connection profile, you can provide even higher levels of customization to meet the needs of the most advanced environments.

Connection profile file types

Connection profiles include files of the following types:

  • Service provider (.cms) files. The .cms files specify the configuration of the phone book and most of the other functions of your connection profiles. Most advanced customization for a connection profile is done by editing the .cms file for a particular connection profile.

  • Connection profile (.cmp) files. The .cmp files contain information specified by the user. Because users can overwrite any changes you make to this file, any changes you make to this file will be available only the first time the connection profile is used. Editing this file allows you to provide a first-time-only population of user information. For example, you can fill in the user name, the password, and the phone number fields for the first user to install and open your connection profile.

  • Information (.inf) files. The .inf files specify installation information for your connection profiles. Although you can edit some setup and uninstall information in an .inf file, you should test the installation after you make any changes. You cannot edit information files from the Advanced Customization page of the CMAK wizard. To edit .inf files, you must use a plain-text editor.

  • Connection profile (.sed) files. The .sed files contain the instructions for building a self-extracting executable (.exe) file for your connection profiles. You should never edit any .sed file.


You should not edit these files without a basic understanding of system configuration files. Troubleshooting changes to service-profile files is difficult, so you should be careful if you modify them. Read section and key descriptions carefully. It is advisable to make a backup of these files before you edit them.

Editing files

You can edit specific files used to build the connection profile in one of two ways:

  • Select the Advanced customization check box in the Build the Connection Manager Profile and Its Installatio Program page of the CMAK wizard. If you do this and then click Next, the Advanced Customization page appears.

  • Edit files after profile creation with any plain-text editor, such as Notepad.

You can use the Advanced customization page to edit the .cms and .cmp files when you build a connection profile. You can select or type in section names, keys, and values. You must click Apply after you specify each change. Some advantages of this method are that the changes you make are built directly into the connection profile when you click Next and that you can make many changes quickly. However, if you mistype a section name or a key name and click Apply, you cannot edit or delete that section or key name directly. You can delete a key only by setting the value to blank, and you can delete a section only by setting one of the keys in it to blank.


If you set the value of a single key to blank in the Advanced Customization pane, you delete that key and all other keys in that section, as well as the section itself.


Users who install profiles for individual use can modify .cms and .cmp files of the profiles they install. Only members of the Administrators or System Operators groups can modify .cms and .cmp files of profiles installed for All Users. All members of the Administrators group on a local computer can modify the .cms and .cmp files of any connection profile that is installed on that computer.

To customize a connection profile after you have built it, you can edit any of the connection profile files with any plain-text editor, such as Notepad. However, you must run the CMAK wizard again after editing the files in this way in order to incorporate your changes.

For more information, see Deciding What to Customize, Uses for Advanced Customization, and ISP and Service Type Keys.

Additional references