Windows User profiles

This is going to be a mixed topic about user profile management.

Note: never delete a user profile out of Documents and Settings or Users. This will only remove the profile’s data, but not its information in the registry. This will cause errors later like unknown profiles.

How to correctly remove Windows profiles

  1. Open System in Control Panel.
  2. On the Advanced tab, under User Profiles, click Settings.
  3. Under Profiles stored on this computer, click the user profile you want to delete, and then click Delete.

Automated way to remove profiles

  • Use command line tool “delprof.exe”, works great for a terminal server’s with hundreds of profiles.
  • Tool can be downloaded from Microsoft https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=5405
  • You can find some good scripts as well just make sure they delete the registry data for the profile as well.

How to delete profiles with “NTUSER.DAT in use

  1. Make sure the user is not logged in
  2. reboot system, if reboot did not unlock ntuser.dat move on
  3. download “User Profile Hive Cleanup Service” from Microsoft https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=6676
  4. install
  5. reboot
  6. ntuser.dat should no longer be in use.
  • Note: this sometimes will also clean up profiles listed as unknown
  • Note: most “unlock” utilities will not unlock this .dat file.
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