Include and exclude items

This topic describes the process that Profile Management uses to include and exclude items from users’ profiles. Ensure that you understand this process if you decide to modify the default inclusion or exclusion lists to improve the logon and logoff experience of your users. To help you determine whether this modification is required, see Which applications?

For example, you might include Microsoft Word because it is a highly customizable and frequently used application that should present the same experience to roaming users however it is accessed. Conversely, you might exclude an enterprise application because it is infrequently used by some groups so its profile data does not need to be downloaded at each logon and logoff.

By default, all files and folders in local profiles are synchronized with the user store. You can specify files and folders that you do not want to synchronize by adding them to an exclusion list. If you exclude a folder, you can specify subfolders of it that you do want to synchronize by adding them to an inclusion list.

You can include and exclude:

  • Files and folders contained inside profiles.
  • Files and folders that store personalization settings outside profiles.
  • Registry entries in the HKCU hive that store personalization settings. Entries in the HKLM hive are not processed by default and cannot be configured to do so.

Before including and excluding items

Before tuning the contents of your users’ profiles, consider using the set of built-in Windows Performance Monitoring (Perfmon) counters. These provide insights into the behavior of your profiles. Available counters include measurements of the profile size and the time taken to create a Citrix user profile on the local computer.

You might need to decide whether to cache profiles locally (on the computers that run Profile Management). Factors that affect the decision include the Citrix products in your deployment, the available space on the local computers, and the number of users in the deployment.

Files and folders

All included and excluded folder names are language specific. However, folder names in the user store are in a format independent of the operating system language.

You can synchronize files or folders on disks that are treated as local by the operating system. You cannot synchronize files or folders on network mapped drives.

The registry

For existing users, the entire HKCU hive is copied to the user store. For new users, the hive of their Microsoft local, roaming, default, or template profile is copied. Inclusions are added and exclusions are removed from the hive when changes are made to the user store.

Changes to registry key values are not preserved. This is by design and supports the typical use case in which an administrator provides users with a template profile containing a registry value that should not be changed (for example, to standardize the functioning of a particular application). If you have a template profile that contains unwanted keys, use a tool such as Profile Nurse from Sepago to eliminate them from the user store.

About exclusions

Exclusions are processed at logoff not logon. They do not delete data from the user store but prevent new data from being written to it.

Other than the default exclusions, typically you do not need to exclude any items when you first roll out Profile Management. Later, as you track application performance and gather feedback from users, you might need to exclude items if settings from multiple applications clash or if a user’s NTUSER.DAT file grows very large as a result of collecting unneeded settings.

Do not add redirected folders as exclusions.

Important: Citrix recommends that you exclude the folder AppData\Local and AppData\LocalLow from synchronization. If you do not, a very large amount of data may be transferred over the network and users may experience logon delays. These folders are not synchronized by standard Windows roaming profiles. In the default configuration, the exclusion lists contain these folders.

Inclusion and exclusion rules

The following rules are used when Profile Management includes and excludes files, folders, and registry keys:

  1. All items are included by default
  2. If the same path is configured as both an inclusion and an exclusion, the inclusion takes precedence
  3. An inclusion takes precedence over an exclusion in the same folder
  4. An inclusion takes precedence over an exclusion higher up in the folder hierarchy
  5. An exclusion takes precedence over an inclusion higher up in the folder hierarchy

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.