Tech Tip: Delete locally stored profiles in Windows NT

Learn how to delete locally stored profiles by using Control Panel's System applet.

Windows NT stores local profiles for all users who log on to that machine. But if you have several different users logging on to the same machine, these profiles can begin to take up a lot of unnecessary space.

To save some space, you can delete these superfluous profiles either locally or remotely. You can delete locally stored profiles by using Control Panel's System applet.

Follow these steps:

  1. Open Control Panel's System applet by going to Start | Settings | Control Panel | System.
  2. On the User Profiles tab, select the profile you want to delete, and click Delete.
  3. Click Yes to the confirmation, and click OK.

Keep in mind that you can't delete the user profile of the user you've logged on as. If you try, Windows will display an error message that states the profile is in use.

To remotely delete a locally stored profile, use the Delprof.exe command-line utility, which comes with the Windows NT Server Resource Kit. This tool deletes all profiles that haven't been in use for a given number of days. Here's an example:

C:\>delprof /p /i /c:\\homer /d:3

This command deletes any profiles that users haven't accessed for three days. The /p switch prompts for confirmation before deleting each profile, the /i switch ignores errors, /c: designates the computer name, and /d: defines the number of days since the profile was last in use.

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