The system creates a user profile the first time that a user logs on to a computer. At subsequent logons, the system loads the user’s profile, and then other system components configure the user’s environment according to the information in the profile.
Types of User Profiles
- Local User Profiles. A local user profile is created the first time that a user logs on to a computer. The profile is stored on the computer’s local hard disk. Changes made to the local user profile are specific to the user and to the computer on which the changes are made.
- Roaming User Profiles. A roaming user profile is a copy of the local profile that is copied to, and stored on, a server share. This profile is downloaded to any computer that a user logs onto on a network. Changes made to a roaming user profile are synchronized with the server copy of the profile when the user logs off. The advantage of roaming user profiles is that users do not need to create a profile on each computer they use on a network.
- Mandatory User Profiles. A mandatory user profile is a type of profile that administrators can use to specify settings for users. Only system administrators can make changes to mandatory user profiles. Changes made by users to desktop settings are lost when the user logs off.
- Temporary User Profiles. A temporary profile is issued each time that an error condition prevents the user’s profile from loading. Temporary profiles are deleted at the end of each session, and changes made by the user to desktop settings and files are lost when the user logs off. Temporary profiles are only available on computers running Windows 2000 and later.