Microsoft

Delete cached user profiles with a Windows registry tweak

Roaming profiles can be lifesavers for users who work from multiple computers, but these profiles can also fill a workstation's hard drive in no time. Read how you can automatically purge these pudgy profiles.


Roaming profiles allow users to log on from any workstation on the network and access the same user profile. You can accomplish this in Windows 2000 by copying the user's profile from the server when the user logs on. Unfortunately, user profiles are often rather large and can quickly eat up a workstation's free hard drive space. However, you can configure your workstations to delete the profile once the user logs off the machine. Here's how.

A word of warning
The following article suggests ways to edit your system registry. Using the Windows Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems requiring the reinstallation of your operating system and possible loss of data. TechRepublic does not and will not support problems that arise from edits you make to your registry. Use the Registry Editor and the following directions at your own risk.

Purge those pudgy profiles
A user profile can be quite hefty because it incorporates the user's desktop folder, My Documents, and other folders and data. If the user maintains an Outlook folder file or other large documents or data stores, the user profile may approach or even surpass several hundred megabytes in size. And when the user logs off, the data remains on the workstation. If several users work from the same computer, there is the potential for a bunch of data to be on the workstation that doesn't need to be there.

You can address the problem by directing Windows 2000 to delete the cached user profile data when the user logs off. You accomplish this through a registry change. Open the Registry Editor and go to this key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion
\Winlogon


If the string value DeleteRoamingCache isn't present, create the value and set it to 1. You can change this value to 0 later if you decide you no longer want to delete cached roaming profiles.

More Windows registry tips
Check out the following TechRepublic articles for more information on the Windows registry:

 

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