Redirecting Folders

Personal folders, including My Documents and My Pictures, can be redirected using Group Policy. Folders that have been redirected will be available to users no matter which computer they log on from. They are also easier for administrators to manage and back up.

To the user, a redirected folder looks and acts like a locally stored personal folder. Redirecting folders, unlike the folders that make up a roaming user profile, are not copied across the network when a user logs on or off the network. Redirected folders can provide users with easy access to their documents without placing a strain on the network.

To redirect folders, create a new Group Policy object in the Group Policy console, and then expand User Configuration , Windows Settings , and Folder Redirection . Icons for the five personal folders that can be redirected—Application Data, Desktop, My Documents, My Pictures, and Start Menu—will be visible. To redirect any of these folders, right-click the folder name, click Properties , and then select one of the following options:

Basic    Redirect everyone's folder to the same network sharepoint. All folders affected by this Group Policy object will be stored on the same network share.

Advanced    Redirect personal folders based on the user's membership in a Windows 2000 security group. Folders are redirected to different network shares based on security group membership. For example, folders belonging to users in the Accounting group can be redirected to the Finance server, while folders belonging to users in the Sales group are redirected to the Marketing server.

When you select either the Basic or Advanced setting, you must enter the name of the shared network folder as the target folder location. For example:


After you have entered a target folder location, select the Settings tab, configure the desired options in this dialog box, and then click Finish to complete the folder redirection.


Do not precreate the directory defined by username . Folder Redirection will handle setting the appropriate DACLs on the folder.

Guidelines for Configuring Folder Redirection

By redirecting folders, you can make documents available to users as needed. You can also improve the availability of those documents by including them in your server backup schedule.

If Roaming User Profiles create too much network traffic in your organization, consider redirecting only selected personal folders so that at least documents will follow the user from computer to computer, even if personal settings do not.