Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Is it possible to create a customized user account in Windows 7 such that the user can install apps but the apps will be removed automatically if they are logged out?

share|improve this question

While this doesn't directly answer your question it might be of interest to you.

Consider Deep Freeze:

In this instance whenever the pc is rebooted it returns to the normal state.

share|improve this answer

Undoing what the user did is hard work & prone to errors or unresolved pop-ups ("are you sure Y/N"...) Just load a fresh/clean/standard profile each time the user logs in.

There is a lovely (...) Microsoft article about what we are supposed to do now that steady state is no longer supported in Win7: steady-state-for-windows-7

share|improve this answer

Well, it sounds like you are traveling down a long and painful road. What you will need is a per-user installation, if you happen to have a decently made installer for the program(s) in question, you can use msiexec and for the ALLUSERS=2 on the command line or in a transform. It might be possible with other installers, so long as they use the Windows Installer API and their documentation gives you a way somehow. Now, if you delete the profiles on reboot (add the account to Guest, profiles erased on reboot by default with some serious caveats, in my personal experience), you will get the illusion of what you ask for. Does that make sense?

Now, another approach is a logoff script that uses wmic product in batch or the Win32_Product WMI class in a VBScript to find any installer that is for the whole machine and delete them; I see this as insanely time-consuming as well.

Since I do work on a lot of public labs, a bit warning here: if you have heavily used machines, this is a dream for administrators and bane for users. Profile (re-)creation is a huge PITA and takes up a lot of system resources every time. Co-workers and I have tried playing games, but it is the absurd number of redirection ops and symlinks Microsoft insists on using in that process. It basically hammers away on the disk and has to resolve all the paths (so I was told, if I can find a ref, it will be posted here as an update). Needless to say, you will hear a neverending fit of complaints from people as you protect them from themselves.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.