ProfilesDirectory specifies the path to the user profile folder (normally C:\Users).

When you use a folder name other than "Users", like C:\Documents and Settings, then Windows creates the Users folder on that drive (C:\Users), and also creates an redirect folder (C:\Documents and Settings) that points to the Users folder.

Important usage notes

  • We don’t recommend using this setting, except perhaps in a test environment.

  • When this setting is changed, Microsoft Store apps are not supported.

  • Using drives other than the system drive:

    Use this setting to move the user-profile folder (typically %SYSTEMDRIVE%\Users) to another location during deployment. The destination path can be on a volume other than the system drive, as long as it meets the following requirements:

    • It must be on an NTFS volume.

    • It can’t point to a drive that has a different copy of Windows on it.

  • Beginning with Windows 10, OS upgrades are supported even if user profiles have been redirected to another drive. For example, if you are using Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 with ProfilesDirectory set to D:\, you can upgrade to Windows 10.

    However, this is not supported when using push-button reset.

  • This setting can be used to keep system data separate from user data. If Windows is re-installed on the system volume, a user with administrative rights can manually recover data from this location.



Specifies the path to the user profile folder. Path_to_profiles_directory is a string with a maximum length of 256 characters.

This string type does not support empty elements. Do not create an empty value for this setting.

Valid Configuration Passes


Parent Hierarchy

Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup | FolderLocations | ProfilesDirectory

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 example shows how to set the paths to folder locations.