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How can i force a user to save all his/her files to a specific folder on the machine?

Clients are using: XP, Vista, and 7


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One user, or every user in the domain, or every user in a mixture of domains, or only certain users? – EightBitTony May 14 '12 at 16:48
we dont have domain installed yet, only workgroup, it is going to be on every PC on the workgroup – Skystar3 May 14 '12 at 16:53
I don't know that there's a way to force them to save to a specific location, but there is a way with Active Directory and Group Policy to restrict them from saving to other locations. With AD and GP you can hide and/or restrict their access to the local drives and redirect their My Documents folder to a network share. – joeqwerty May 14 '12 at 18:05

You can use folder redirection in Group Policy to set everyone's "My Documents" folder to a standard location (local folder or a network share).

Since most programs save to My Documents by default, this would cover most of your needs.

owever, it won't prevent a user from explicitly picking a different location. To deal with that, you should be limiting write permissions.

Are your users local Administrators? If so, shame on you. You'll need to cut that out. If they are regular users, by default they should be prohibited from writing to most "system wide" locations. Depending on how rigid you want to be, you may need to lock down further. You can set file permissions by right-clicking on a folder and going to Properties->Security. You can also script something with the cacls command.

You should probably try implementing folder redirection and log in as a standard user and see where you can/can't save files. Always test something like this before you implement it system wide.

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Here is how I would do it. In XP (Vista and 7 should be similar). Go to start, run, mmc. File, add/remove snap-in, under standalone tab click add, select computer management (local) click ok. Expend computer management to local groups and users, users. After you add a user you'll be able to click on properties and select each user home path and that by default will force to save things there. Hope this helps.

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you'll have to do to each individual PC. – George May 14 '12 at 18:01
and user as well. – George May 14 '12 at 18:28

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