Windows Roaming Profile Problems

What is a “roaming profile”?

Your roaming profile is what allows you to log in to different computers on campus and keep your idividual settings. It resides on our profile server where information about application settings and preferences, user-defined shortcuts and desktop settings, and other similar settings are stored.  Various files and registry settings are downloaded to the PC when you log on, and uploaded to a server when you log off.  The benefit of a roaming profile is that your PC experience can be very similar, no matter what networked PC you log in to. 


Have you “Exceeded your profile space”?

A local copy of your profile is downloaded to every PC you log in to on campus.  As such, each network user is allocated a maximum of 200mb of profile space.  If you get a message that you have exceeded the space, please open a help desk ticket; a Sr. Technical Support Specialist can assist you with deleting some unneeded files. We highly suggest having a knowledgeable person assist you with your cleanup. 

You can see the files that are in your profile by going to C:\Users\<your-userid>\AppData\Roaming.

What is the quickest way to fix this problem?

  1. Clear out any files you have downloaded; these are typically found in your "Downloads Folder".

  2. Move files/folders you have created on your desktop to your Z drive (excluding "Shortcuts").

  3. Move music, video and photo files out of the My Music, My Documents, My Photos and My Videos folders within your profile to a new local Folder you create on the Computer primary drive, typically the C: drive.  However, items on the C:\ directory level are not backed up. You can also move these files to a personal USB thumb drive, external hard drive, or other storage device.

Once you exceed your maximum profile space, you will NOT be able to successfully log off without an error message warning you that your profile space has been exceeded.  Additionally, until the issue is resolved, your profile will no longer be backed up to the server.  When you try to log off when you profile is too large, you might get an option to close all apps and log off.  This will log you off, but will only copy up to 200mb of data.  Any data over the limit will not be uploaded and it is likely that this data will be deleted and there is no way for us to get this back for you.  We recommend that you never do this.


What has Information Technology done to improve my profile problems?

Information Technology has purposefully excluded some application data folders from being saved back to the file server when you log off.  Remember that your files are saved at logoff, so to get the current picture, you should log off, then on again, then go to that page.


The following folders are excluded from backup so you DO NOT need to clean out these folders:

C:\Users\username\Roaming\Download Manager
C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computers
C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\ShoreWare Client
C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Document Building Blocks

It sounds like an easy fix to provide you with a larger profile than 200mb, but that just perpetuates the problem and makes the log in and out time unmanageable.


How do I know where to find the problem?

Everyone has different folders inside their profile. You will need to check the size of each folder in your profile to determine the folders that are using up your space.


To check your individual folder sizes:

  1. Right-click on the folder

  2. Choose Properties and write down the size in megabytes

  3. Repeat for each folder, looking for folders that have the largest size


What is the biggest benefit of a small profile?

The smaller your profile, the faster you can log in.  Why?  Because each time you log in, everything in your profile gets copied/synchronized to the local PC and each time you log off, most everything in your profile gets copied/synchronized with the profile server.