Manage User Profiles for Terminal Services

Updated: March 15, 2010

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

A user profile describes the configuration for a specific user, including the user’s environment and preference settings. Unless you carefully plan and manage user profiles in a terminal server environment, user profiles can become large in size and can cause problems, such as slow logon times, when a user connects to a terminal server. User profile management is also important when users connect to several terminal servers or connect to terminal servers in remote locations.

You can specify a Terminal Services-specific profile path and home folder for a user connecting to a terminal server. This profile and home folder will only be used for Terminal Services sessions. You should assign a separate profile for Terminal Services sessions because many of the common options that are stored in profiles, such as screen savers and animated menu affects, are not desirable when using Terminal Services.

You can manually configure these settings on the Terminal Services Profile tab on the Properties sheet of a user account in the Local Users and Groups snap-in or the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in.

You can also use the following Group Policy settings to configure these settings:

  • Set TS User Home Directory

  • Set path for TS Roaming Profiles

  • Use mandatory profiles on the terminal server

These Group Policy settings are located in Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Terminal Services\Terminal Server\Profiles, and can be configured by using either the Local Group Policy Editor or the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC).

For more information about implementing user profiles for users connecting to a terminal server, see the Terminal Services page on the Windows Server 2008 TechCenter (

For more information about Group Policy settings for Terminal Services, see the Terminal Services Technical Reference (