How to copy to Windows 7 Default User Profile?

By markgreenhall ·
Today I set up a Windows 7 Professional laptop on a customers network. When I got to the stage of the process where I copy a preconfigured profile to the default user profile the option was greyed out.

Having done a quick bit of research via Google it would seem that it is quite a common issue - but not one for which there seemed to be an answer.

Does anyone know if you can still copy profiles to the default user profile in Windows 7?


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How to customize a default user profile in Windows 7...

by markgreenhall In reply to How to copy to Windows 7 ...

I did find this but I'm hoping it's not going to be the only supported method!

And this non-supported option from a microsoft forum (

Sure can. Try this:
1. Set your environment exactly the way you want it.
2. Reboot the machine into Safe Mode.
3. Log on as Administrator.
4. Rename the folder c:\Users\Default User to c:\Users\Default
5. Rename the folder c:\Users\Phil to c:\Users\Default User (assuming that "Phil" is your profile folder).
6. Give everyone read-access to c:\Users\Default User
7. Create a new account, then log on under this account to test it.
ID#0214. If this response was helpful, please vote by clicking the green triangle. If it solves the issue, click "Propose as answer". Thanks.

Marked As Answer byKeith-Support EngineerMicrosoft Support, Moderator

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M$ is nuts to have removed the user profile copy function

by michael In reply to How to customize a defaul ...

It is utterly ridiculous that you have to run Sysprep in order to get info into the default user profile, and that the default user profile is the only one that we can copy. I don't want to use Sysprep until I'm ready to image a computer!!!!

Microsoft - give us back the old functionality of copying user profiles!!!!

Meanwhile, I will try the directory rename trick. I had actually successfully copied a different user's profile directory to the network using a utility that enables grayed-out buttons, but I see that some settings didn't get copied over. So I will try the rename directory trick and copy the default user profile and see if that works better.

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Let me know how you get on

by markgreenhall In reply to M$ is nuts to have remove ...
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Here's what I did

by michael In reply to Let me know how you get o ...

Well, I copied the default user profile using the directory rename trick, and copied that using the User Profiles screen to the network location. Unfortunately, the shortcomings I had when I created the mandatory profile using a different method still existed.

I had to fix some things in the profile today, so I made the changes I needed to the profile. Then to copy it I used the earlier method that I had used, since I see there is no advantage to copying it via the default user profile as I had hoped.

What I did in order to copy the profile I wanted was use the Windows Enabler program by Stephen Hewitt. You can find a link to it, as well as a good summary of the issue, here: It's also worth reading the Technet article referenced there.

After reading this, I see that Microsoft doesn't really want us to copy profiles any more, and that any method other than the Syspre one can lead to buggy profiles. Microsoft made a big mess of the whole user profiles issue, which will get really bad if they keep going this way.

Good luck!

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Hello markgreenhall, are you asking and giving the answer as well?..NT

by Peconet Tietokoneet In reply to How to copy to Windows 7 ...
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Still looking for advice

by markgreenhall In reply to Hello markgreenhall, are ...

Well I wasn't trying to give the definitive answer to my own question :) I just did a bit more research after posting the question and thought I'd at least add what I'd found.

Ideally I'd like to know how to copy the profile the same way as before for Windows XP etc. or if that is no longer possible, the quickest / easiest way of setting up a default profile for when users log on.


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