I need to use Administratively Assigned Offline files in conjunction with folder redirection, but user home folders live on 26 different shares. Do I just need to add 52 file paths similar to:


\\server\shareA\%username%\My Documents


\\server\shareB\%username%\My Documents

... and so on? Or do I need to create 26 GPOs, one for each share; or is there an easier way to do it?

Edit: The solution provided by @berniewhite in the comments of using %homeshare% has resolved the issue and Administratively Assigned Offline Files is now working well.

  • 1
    Yeah, there is an easier way. Stop using 26 different shares and combine them all in one big share. – pauska Oct 10 '12 at 17:07
  • The shares are spread across a number of different volumes due to the amount of data being stored and the number of users with home directories. – ZnewmaN Oct 10 '12 at 17:10
  • User accounts can individually specify a home path. You can then use the home path in GPOs as a variable. I.e. %homepath% %homeshare% %homedrive% – Bernie White Oct 11 '12 at 6:48
  • @BernieWhite that does appear to be the solution to the issues that I am experiencing. – ZnewmaN Oct 11 '12 at 13:52
  • @BernieWhite if you put that in the Answers section I am more than happy to give you reputation for that comment. – ZnewmaN Oct 11 '12 at 15:32

What you have described is generally a two part process.

1. Configure the user’s %HOMESHARE% environment variable

The easiest way to do this on mass is to configure a Connect To Home folder in the Profile tab of the user account in Active Directory.

When a user logs on, the %HOMESHARE% will be set to the value of the To: and %HOMEPATH% will be set to \.

For example you might set this to:

Connect: H:
To: \\server1\homedrives\%username%

2. Configure the GPO

The second part is to use the environment variables in the GPO.

With a folder redirection GPO you would use something like:

Basic—Redirect everyone's folder to the same location for the Documents folder redirection, then use a combination of %HOMESHARE% %HOMEPATH% and %HOMEDRIVE% to point each user to a unique user location. E.g.


This might help:


If you have enterprise licensing look into using a DFS namespace.


From there the redirection should be easy.

  • DFS namespace may not work well if you have to balance shares over servers on a mass scale, because it would mean you would need to create each user folder as a leaf, which has its own overhead. You can't just do \\namespace\home\user in a single GPO. You would need to combine it with variables. – Bernie White Oct 11 '12 at 6:53
  • @BernieWhite - true. I didn't take the user balancing into consideration. I've predominantly used namespaces for combining multiple shares into a single interface as indicated. – Tim Brigham Oct 11 '12 at 16:01

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