Friday, April 8, 2011

Temporary Profile in Windows 7

I'm not sure if there is any real world relevance to this because I created my problem as part of messing around while creating a lab activity. But on the off chance it's useful to anyone.....

Steps to force a user to have a temporary profile:
  1. Log on as an Administrative user.
  2. Delete profile folder for user from C:\Users
Basically, we manually deleted the profile without informing Windows. So, Windows still thinks the profile is there. You should delete a profile from the System Properties Advanced tab. However, if you try to use this now, the deleted user profile is not listed.

To resolve the issue, use Regedit. The list of profiles is maintained in:
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList
Each profile has it's own key based on the SID of the user. To identify the key for the failing profile to delete look at the ProfileImagePath value. This value is the file path to the profile and contains the name of the user.

After you've identified the correct key, delete it. On next logon the user profile should be created and work correctly.


  1. I stumbled across this by mistake while trying to replicate the 'locking the desktop' feature in Windows Steady State. Have you done anything else with it? I am looking to polish it a little and then deploy it on 100 public machines. I would be interested in talking/email with you about it.

  2. I've never actually used this for anything, but I'm happy to help out if I can email is byron (at) You might also want to check out this if you haven't already: