CopyProfile enables you to customize a user profile and use the customized profile as the default user profile. Windows uses the default user profile as a template to assign a profile to each new user.

CopyProfile runs during the specialize configuration pass. It should be used after customize the built-in administrator profile. Using the CopyProfile setting often requires that you use a separate answer file you generalize a computer by running sysprep.

Be aware of the following considerations when you use CopyProfile:

  • On the reference computer, use only the built-in administrator account. Creating multiple accounts might cause you to copy the wrong user profile as the default profile.

  • Do not use a domain account. This is because the CopyProfile setting runs after the computer is removed from the domain during sysprep. Therefore, settings that are configured in a domain account will be lost. If you make changes to the default user profile, and then join the computer to a domain, the customizations that you made to the default user profile will appear on new domain accounts.

  • Be aware that some customizations to the default user profile are not copied, such as items that are pinned to the task bar. Some settings are reset by the new user logon process. To configure these user settings, use Group Policy settings or create scripts to define them.

  • Some user profile settings, including the Default Apps settings, are encrypted by using a hash that is specific to the user. If you copy these settings to another user profile, Windows treats them as invalid and resets them the first time that the user signs in. Windows does not support using CopyProfile to copy these settings.


    Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Before you modify it, back up the registry for restoration in case problems occur.

    After you run CopyProfile, you must delete some registry entries from the default user to prevent reset issues. Here’s how to procced:

    1. Open Registry Editor.

    2. Locate and select this subtree:

    3. On the File menu, select Load Hive.


      The default user hive isn’t present by default. It must be loaded, edited, and then unloaded manually.

    4. Type C:\Users\Default\NTUSER.DAT in the File name box and select Open.

    5. In the Load Hive dialog box, type a temporary name <DefaultUser> in the Key Name box and press Enter.

    6. Delete these registry entries:

      • HKEY_USERS\<DefaultUser>\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Associations\FileAssociationsUpdateVersion
      • HKEY_USERS\<DefaultUser>\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Associations\UrlAssociations
      • HKEY_USERS\<DefaultUser>\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts


      These registry entries are present only after running CopyProfile.

    7. Go to HKEY_USERS\<DefaultUser>.

    8. On the File menu, select UnLoad Hive.

    9. Close Registry Editor.

    Now Windows will load the usual Default Applications settings from the oemdefaultassociations.xml file when a user signs in to Windows for the first time.

For more information about how to use CopyProfile, see Customize the Default User Profile by Using CopyProfile.


Value Description
True Changes the default user profile to include customized settings. Set this value to True only if you have made user profile customizations that you have to apply to all new users.
False Does not change the default user profile. This is the default value.

Valid configuration passes


Parent hierarchy

Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup | CopyProfile

Applies to

For a list of the Windows editions and architectures that this component supports, see Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup.

XML example

The following XML output specifies that Sysprep copies the customized user profile settings from the built-in administrator account to the default user profile.



Boot Windows to Audit Mode or OOBE

Sysprep (System Preparation) Overview