A Roaming Profile moves the user profile to network storage. This is everything in the users/%userid% folder (with the exception of some items like web browser cache and temp items) is copied from the network storage during login, and copied back to network storage during logout.
A user’s profile can get massive over time. Profiles of over 20 Gig are not uncommon. This significantly slows down the login and logout process.
To combat this problem, folder redirection is recommended. The following folders within the profile can be redirected to network storage. AppData (Roaming), Contacts, Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Favorites, Links, Music, Pictures, Saved games, Searches, Start Menu, Videos.
Things that won’t be redirected are things like shortcuts, desktop background images, and most significantly an Outlook pst file. The ntuser.dat file can’t be redirected, but can be roamed. This is the user portion of the registry.
So which option (or combination) is right? It depends on what you are trying to accomplish. If you want to safeguard user documents, redirected folders, and imap are the way to go. If you have high maintenance users that “need” that picture of their puppy as their desktop background, roaming profiles might be the way to go.
Identify clearly and concisely the data that needs to be on network storage and then make a decision based on that.
Users must be moved into your OU in order for the profile settings to be changed by an Enterprise Administrator. This is only available for staff and faculty that work for your college, unit, department or campus.
Students are not considered candidates for roaming profiles. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to request user accounts to be moved.
Configuring Roaming User Profiles
Questions, comments, and requests for assistance may be directed to the Windows Active Directory Team (email AD team).