How to relocate User profile to different partition


Well-Known Member
I've been researching how to relocate the User profile to a different partition. I've actually tried 3 different methods I discovered online. So far, none of them has worked despite repeated attempts. I would like to hear from anyone who has actually done it under Windows 7.

I start by restoring from an Acronis True Image backup that was made just after OS installation without applications. That gives me a very clean starting point which is totally reproducible. Thanks

I have not moved my profile because I prefer to back it up.

First Look at Windows 7's Backup and Restore Center - windows 7

You may want to back up your system and to try this tool to change/move Windows 7 Default User Profile Directory.


You can easily change a user's personal folder (My Documents, Music, Videos, etc.) location by right-clicking on the folder > properties > location tab > move.


This should work in 7 also, moving the entire profile :

Change User Profile Folder Location in Vista
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList

1. Back up first
2. Copy your profile(s) to the new location
3. Change the corresponding values in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList

Default key
Public key


Well-Known Member
Thanks a lot cybercore. The article:
Change User Profile Folder Location in Vista
did the trick.

I succeeded in creating a new User profile on my E:\ partition. My job was considerably simpler than the author's since I was starting with a brand new Windows 7 install and had no applications to deal with.

Here are the steps I used, where OrigAccount is the account created during original Windows install:
1. Copy the original Default Profile directory to the new location (ie C:\Users\Default to E:\Users\Default)
2. Copy the original Public Profile directory to the new location (ie, C:\Users\Public to E:\Users\Public)
3. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList
4. Change the value of the Default key to the new user profile location (ie, E:\Users\Default)
5. Change the value of the Public key to the new user profile location (ie, E:\Users\Public)
6. Change the value of the ProfilesDirectory to the new user profile location (ie, E:\Users)
7. Enable the administrator account:
a. Activate 'administrative tools' in Start Menu
b. Start Computer Management
c. Click on Local Users & Groups / Users
d. Right click on Administrator and select properties
e. Uncheck the box labeled 'Account is disabled'
8. Reboot and log in under administrator account
9. Profile should now be located in E:\
10. Reboot and then delete OrigAccount account (Control Panel/User Accounts)
11. Delete folder C:\Users\OrigAccount (ie, original account)
12. Configure password and picture for Administrator account


Well-Known Member
I've been running with my new User profile on E:\ without problems, however, I happened to search the Registry for the original (ie, temporary) user name that was created during Windows 7 installation. There are many instances; perhaps 20 or so. As indicated in steps 10 and 11 above, I did delete the temporary account and erase the User folder. The User profile was relocated after Windows 7 was installed and activated, but without updates or apps. I wonder if the relocate could have been done in such a way that Registry would not remember the temporary account? I wonder if this will cause a problem in the future since the Registry references a User account that no longer exists?


Well-Known Member
I have now taken the next step which is to create a Standard user account called Visitor without a password, but with Parental controls on which programs can be run. Unfortunately, when I try to log onto this new account I get the following error message:
The User Profile Service failed the logon.
User Profile cannot be loaded.
Any idea how to correct? Thanks

The Answer for You

@ prroots: don't play around with the registry. You'll end up in a real mess. I have successfully (and invisibly) done this on Windows 7 64 by using instructions on this forum thread: How to relocate user profile folder to other drive in windows 7 : Tips5

Note: ignore the main article! scroll down to the comment from "ohdannyboy on December 4th, 2009 2:33 pm" and follow his instructions! Read them very carefully. It worked for me, but you have to follow them exactly.

There is only one potential slight glitch I 'may' have come across since doing this. The Google Chrome browser does not auto update, and cannot install themes and extensions. This may be down to relocating the user directory... but I doubt it. But other than that I promise you it has been completely invisible for 2 months now...

Good luck with it!

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