Profile Management

Which applications?

The applications in use in your deployment affect how you configure Profile Management. However, in contrast to the other configuration decisions you make, there are no simple yes-or-no recommendations. Your decisions depend on where the applications store persistent customizations (in the registry or in the file system).

Analyze and understand your users’ applications thoroughly to establish where the applications store their settings and users’ customizations. Use a tool such as Process Monitor to monitor application binaries. Google is another resource. For information on Process Monitor, see

Once you understand how the applications behave, use inclusions to define which files and settings are processed. Use exclusions to define which aren’t. By default, everything in a profile is processed except for files in AppData\Local. You might need to include the subfolders of AppData\Local explicitly when your deployment includes any of the following applications:

  • DropBox
  • Google Chrome
  • Applications created with the one-click publish in Visual Studio

Simple applications

Simple applications are those applications that are well behaved. They store personalization settings in the HKCU registry hive and personalization files within the profile. Simple applications require basic synchronization, which in turn requires you to include and exclude items using:

  • Relative paths (relative to %USERPROFILE%) in these policies:
    • Directories to synchronize
    • Files to synchronize
    • Exclusion list - directories
    • Exclusion list - files
    • Folders to mirror

    Note: %USERPROFILE% is implied by Profile Management. Do not add it explicitly to these policies.

  • Registry-relative paths (relative to the HKCU root) in these policies:
    • Exclusion list
    • Inclusion list

For instructions on including and excluding items, see Include and exclude items.

Legacy applications

Legacy applications are badly behaved; they store their personalization files in custom folders outside the profile. The recommended solution is not to use Profile Management with legacy applications but instead to use the Personal vDisk feature of Citrix Virtual Desktops.

Complex applications

Complex applications require special treatment. The application’s files can cross-reference each other and must be treated as an inter-related group. Profile Management supports two behaviors associated with complex applications: cookie management and folder mirroring.

Cookie management in Internet Explorer is a special case of basic synchronization in which both of the following policies are always specified:

  • Process Internet cookie files on logoff
  • Folders to mirror

For information on folder mirroring, more information on cookie management, and instructions on setting these policies, see Manage cookie folders and other transactional folders.

Cross-platform applications

Cross-platform applications are the applications that might be hosted on multiple platforms. For specific versions of Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office, Profile Management supports sharing of personalization settings across platforms. Those settings are stored either in the registry or as files in the profile.

Recommended policy settings for cross-platform applications are documented at Cross-platform settings - Case study.

If you want to share other applications’ settings across platforms, we recommend you use Profile Migrator from Sepago.

Java and Web Applications

Java applications can leave many small files in a profile, which can dramatically increase profile load times. Thus, consider excluding AppData\Roaming\Sun\Java.

Summary of policies

The following table summarizes the policies you use to configure Profile Management for different types of applications. The following terms are used in the table:

  • Relative. A relative path on a local volume, relative to %USERPROFILE% (which must not be specified). Examples: AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\Access.qat, AppData\Roaming\Adobe\.
  • Absolute. An absolute path on a local volume. Examples: C:\BadApp\*.txt, C:\BadApp\Database\info.db.
  • Registry Relative. Refers to a path within the HKCU hive. Examples: Software\Policies, Software\Adobe.
  • Flag. Uses flags to enable or disable processing where no path information is required. Examples: Enabled, Disabled.
Policy Policy Type (Registry, Folder, or File) Wildcard Support? Application Type - Simple Application Type - Legacy Application Type - Complex
Directories to synchronize Folder Yes Relative Absolute  
Files to synchronize File Yes Relative Absolute  
Exclusion list - directories Folder Yes Relative Absolute  
Exclusion list - files File Yes Relative Absolute  
Inclusion list Registry   Registry relative    
Exclusion list Registry   Registry relative    
Folders to Mirror Folder     Absolute Relative
Process Internet cookie files on logoff         Flag

Wildcard processing in file and folder names

Policies that refer to files and folders (rather than registry entries) support wildcards. For more information, see Use wildcards.

Inclusion and exclusion rules

Profile Management uses rules to include and exclude files, folders, and registry keys from user profiles in the user store. These rules result in sensible and intuitive behavior. All items are included by default. From that starting point, you can configure top-level exceptions as exclusions, then configure deeper exceptions to the top-level exceptions as inclusions, and so on. For more information on the rules, including instructions on including and excluding items, see Include and exclude items.

Non-English folder names in profiles

For non-English systems that use Version 1 profiles, specify relative paths in the inclusion and exclusion lists in the local language. For example, on a German system, use Dokumenten not Documents. If you support multiple locales, add each included or excluded item in each language.

Next steps

  1. Answer all question listed in Decide on a configuration.

  2. Based on your answers, configure Profile Management for your deployment. You can leave all other policies as default.

    For a list of policies that you must not configure, see Policies not requiring configuration in Manage.

  3. Test and review the settings, and then enable Profile Management, as described in Review, test, and activate Profile Management.

Which applications?