Tip & How-To about Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate Edition

How to rename or move a User Profile folder ?

To rename (or move) the User Profile folder, you may use the following method. This method has been adopted from KB314843, but this page explains in detail how to rename an User account home directory.
Though you can move or rename the user profile folder, there may be some side-effects after using this method. This is because of the reason that there may be some absolute path (to the old user profile folder) references in the registry, made by third-party software. Therefore, there may be a loss of functionality in some third-party software which stores the file locations as absolute paths, in the registry.
Before modifying the registry, you need to take a full backup, in case you want to Undo the changes or to recover from disasters caused by incorrect registry modifications if any. You may use ERUNT for a full registry backup. Use Registry Editor at your own risk
Rename the User Profile folder using Windows Explorer

  • Logon to an admin account that is not the account being renamed.
  • Open the Documents and Settings folder, by typing this in Start, Run dialog:
%SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings
  • The list of folders will be displayed. Select the corresponding folder of the user account that you want to rename.
Example %SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\OldUsername
becomes
%SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\NewUsername

Next step is to notify the registry that the folder has been renamed (or the Profile Path has been changed)


Changing the ProfileImagePath value in the registry

ProfileList key, SIDs and the ProfileImagePath value The ProfileList registry key contains some sub-keys, which are nothing but the list of User Account Security Identifiers (SID). Each of the SID represents an Account. The key is located here:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE\ Microsoft\ Windows NT \ CurrentVersion \ ProfileList
Identify the SID for your User account, and change the Profile path
  • To know the SID for your user account, you may use the script sidlist.vbs
  • Download the script and run it. (The User Account names and SIDs will be listed in a log file, and opened automatically.)
  • Note down the SID for your account.
  • Then, in the Registry Editor, select the correct SID that belongs to your user account.
  • In the right-pane, double-click the ProfileImagePath value and set the correct path and folder name. ( The ProfileImagePath stores the full path of the User account home folder. )
Example %SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\OldUsername
becomes the following:
%SystemDrive%\Documents and Settings\NewUsername


You're done now. Close Registry Editor, and restart Windows. See if you're able to logon to that user profile successfully. Additionally, to verify if the path has been changed successfully, type SET in the Command Prompt. If you find any abnormal behavior while running an application (in case), you may Undo the above procedure. Then you may use the Copy To Profile method instead to accomplish your task.

Posted by on

Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate Edition Logo

Related Topics:

Related Questions:

1 Answer

Windows cannot load the locally stored profile. Possible causes of this error include insufficient security rights or a corrupt local profile. If this problem persists contact your network administrator.


It looks your profile is corrupted. You can login with administrator's login id other than the local profile user id and rename the old profile located in c:\documents and settings\ your user login name folder
and rename the folder. After that logout and login again with your user id, one having problem with profile and again go to the c:\documents and settings\ your user id name folder which you renamed and move your critical data on desktop or my documents to the new profile.

May 14, 2010 | Microsoft Windows XP Professional

1 Answer

i want to get my profile back


This can be a little easier than it sounds, but it takes a quite a few steps. The profile names only get extensions like .domainname or .thiscomputer if there is already a folder in the profile folder under the username. The easiest way to recover the original profile is to log in as another username with admin rights and follow these steps:

BE CAREFUL NOT TO DELETE ANYTHING YOU NEED!!! If in doubt MOVE to a backup location instead of deleting

Remove any "new" profiles under the same username

Delete (or move) the "new" profile folders, so that there are no folders in the profile folder under the username you want

rename the profile folder of the username you want to keep - i.e. rename it to "OldUsername"

logout and log in as the username you want

logout and log back in as your alternate admin user

look in the profiles folder, you should now see a folder with the original name corresponding to the original username folder you renamed. If that folder does not exist, something is not working right - you'll need to give me more information before I can tell you what.

copy the contents (make sure you have your view settings set to show all files, including system files) from the renamed profile folder (OldUsername if you used my suggestion) to the newly created profile folder. Overwrite anything that exists in the folder.

Logout and log back in as the desired username. All settings should be restored.

These steps are dependant on continuance of profile foldernames. The "new' Profile folder MUST be the EXACT name of the original. This is because many items in the USER.DAT (user hive of the registry) point to folders by name. If you don't get the foldername correct, the process will not work.

Nov 12, 2009 | Microsoft Windows XP Professional

1 Answer

printer will not print


Create a New User Profile like Test Account and try printing from that account and check if its printing from there..
How to Create a New User Account ?
XP
Start>Control Panel>User Accounts>Create New Account it shoul be admin...
Vista
Start>Type User Accounts in Search>Click User Accounts>Manage Another Account Create New Account..
If its able to print fine in new account then that means the profile of your old account is corrupted..If its doing the same thing in new account also ..Reinstall the Printer driver in the following Method..
Disconnect the Printer
1.Click>Start>Control Panel>Printers and Faxes and delete the The Printer that you are reinstalling the driver for delete all if there are more than 1 printer of the same.
2.Go to Control Panel>Add/Remove Programs> Uninstall the Lexmark related Programs
3.Restart the computer
4.Start > Run > Type in "cmd"
5.now you will have command prompt Type this and hit enter "net stop spooler"
6.Click>Start>Run Type in "C:\WINDOWS\system32\spool\drivers" Hit Enter
7.You will have the following folder open rename the W32X86 folder to W32X86.OLD
8.Restart the computer
9.Insert the Lexmark CD and start installing the software Note : Connect the Printer only when the installation is prompted to connect..

This should defnitely take care of your problem..
Note if you are using vista try this first
Start type msconfig open that go to tools tab and disable UAC and restart and check..

Jan 28, 2009 | Lexmark X1270 All-In-One InkJet Printer

Not finding what you are looking for?

37,207 people viewed this tip

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Microsoft Computers & Internet Experts

micky dee

Level 3 Expert

2658 Answers

Piyal Perera
Piyal Perera

Level 3 Expert

528 Answers

Les Dickinson
Les Dickinson

Level 3 Expert

18389 Answers

Are you a Microsoft Computer and Internet Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions

Loading...