Things Not to Do When Implementing Roaming Profiles

Roaming profiles have a bad reputation of being extremely picky about choosing when to work correctly. There are a few things you want to make sure you don’t do when setting up your roaming profile implementation:

  • Do not set extremely tight disk quotas for users utilizing roaming profiles. If it is likely they will breach their quota, this happening could cause the profile synchronization will fail which could result in a loss of important data.
  • Do not use the Encrypted File System (EFS) on files in a roaming user profile. EFS is not compatible with roaming profiles.
  • Do not give users full administrative permissions to the directory where roaming profiles are stored. You should only give your users the lowest level of permissions needed. It is also a good idea to put a dollar sign ($) after the share name when creating the share so that it is not even visible to casual network browsing users.
  • Do not store user profiles on a machine that does not use the NTFS file system. The lack of features will almost assuredly lead to trouble.
  • Do not use Offline Folder caching on roaming profile shared directories. This could lead to synchronization problems when both the offline folder and roaming profile attempt to synchronize at the same time.


Chris Sanders is the network administrator for one of the largest public school systems in the state of Kentucky. Chris’s specialties include general network administration, windows server 2003, wireless networking, and security. You can view Chris’ personal website at

Mitch Tulloch is President of MTIT Enterprises, an IT content development company based in Winnipeg, Canada. Prior to starting his own company in 1998, Mitch worked as a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) for Productivity Point International. Mitch is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, networking and security and has written 14 books and over a hundred articles on various topics. He has been repeatedly awarded Most Valuable Professional (MVP) status by Microsoft for his outstanding contributions in supporting users who deploy Microsoft platforms, products and solutions. Mitch is also a professor at Jones International University (JIU) where he teaches graduate-level courses in Information Security Management (ISM) for their Masters of Business Administration (MBA) program. For more information see

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