Syntax to Exclude Directories in Roaming Profiles

By | January 23, 2011

GPO Exclude DirectoriesIn Windows 2003 (2000 and 2008) you can use group policies to manage users and computer settings.
Most companies have servers where all the data is saved and users should not save any data locally.

A lot of companies also use roaming profiles so users can basically sit anywhere and have their data and settings (independant from the PC they are using).

Unfortunately this data is mostly saved centrally on a server and some programs (like java etc) create temporary folders in the users profiles. (also some users like to save mp3, videos and pictures in their profiles)

This can lead to very big user profiles filling up the servers.

One way to exclude directories (thus not single files or filettypes) of roaming profiles to be placed on the servers is by using the Group Policy Object (most of the times Default Domain Policity) and then in

* User Configuration
* Administrative Templates
* System
* User Profiles
* –> “Exclude directories in roaming profile”

You can enable this and type in the folders you want to exclude.
You ONLY type the name of the folder FROM the root directory of the profile
Most of the times the root directory is
C:\Documents and Settings\username\

So if you want to exclude C:\Documents and Settings\mensermo\Application Data\Mozilla then you type in “Application Data\Mozilla”

Here is the syntax
Application Data\Mozilla

for extended folder entries, separate each by a semi-colon
Desktop;My Documents;Recent;Application Data\Adobe;Application Data\AutoDesk;Application Data\Mozilla

Remeber to put a semicolon ; at the end!

Prior to certain service packs the number of characters was limited to 260 characters.
For WinXP+SP2 and higher the limit is 4,096 characters.

To verify delivery to the targeted user accounts, go to a device where a targeted user account has logged on and run an RSoP report (Start | Run | Rsop.msc) or check the following registry key manually:
"ExcludeProfileDirs"="Application Data\Mozilla"