I've had a reasonable look around the AD policies but am I right in saying the only place that you can enable & define the profile location is by editing the user, i.e. there isn't a group policy setting to (say) "Set the profile location to \myserver\users\%username%\profile" for all users in group XYZ?

I suspect this might be because of chicken & egg, i.e. group policy is applied after the profile has been loaded and therefore can't specify the location.


You can't set roaming profile locations for a user through group policy.

You can set "roaming profile path for all users logging onto this computer" in System \ User Profiles

You can also set the terminal services roaming profile location for all users logging onto a particular computer through group policy - Computer Configuration \ Policies \ Administrative Templates \ Windows Components \ Remote Desktop Services \ Remote Desktop Session Host \ Profiles \ Set path for Remote Desktop Services Roaming User Profile (in Win 2008) or Computer Configuration \ Administrative Templates \ Windows Components \ Terminal Services (in Win 2003)

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I can't think of any other situation where a Group Policy makes changes to an individual Active Directory object like that. Group policy is applied through a series of client side components (be that client a workstation or a server):

  • Registry Settings
  • Local File System Security
  • Audit and Security Policy
  • Software Installation (GPSI)
  • Logon/Logoff and Startup/Shutdown Scripts

In addition you can't really apply group policy to a group only to a computer account or a user account (you can sort of apply to security groups by changing the permissions on the Group Policy object, although there is no substitute for a properly organised Active Directory domain).

I have had huge success making a large number of changes to Active Directory using Quest's Active Directory PowerShell CMDLETs.

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