Copy user profiles with Windows 2000's User Profiles tab
by Jim Boyce
A user profile in Windows encompasses the desktop, application settings, and other folders that define the user's working environment. Learn how a handy Windows feature can make it simple to copy user profiles.
A user profile in Windows encompasses the desktop, application settings, and other folders that define the user's working environment. When a user logs on for the first time with an account, Windows 2000 automatically creates their profile in the \Documents and Settings\(user) folder, where (user) is the logon name.
If you wanted to copy a profile, you could simply copy folders. However, Windows includes a feature specifically to help you copy user profiles. To use this feature, right-click My Computer and choose Properties. Then, click the User Profiles tab. This tab displays a list of all of the user profiles stored on the computer.
To copy a profile, follow these steps:
Click the profile and then click Copy To.
In the resulting Copy To dialog box, click Browse to specify the location for the copy. (Make sure to include the new user name in the path.)
Click Change if you need to change the list of users allowed to use the profile.
Select the user and click OK, then click OK in the Copy To dialog box to begin the copy.
Click OK to close the System Properties sheet when you have finished copying profiles.
When you copy a profile using the User Profiles tab, keep in mind that Windows does not copy the hidden Local Settings folder in the profile. This folder stores non-essential files, but can also store critical files such as Outlook mail stores (PST files). If you need these files as part of the destination profile, copy the Local Settings folder manually to the target profile.