Have you been tasked with creating a default corporate image and wished you could configure it ONCE and not have to worry about the settings or preferences when a new user logs on and creates a new local or roaming profile?

Windows (XP – Win7) allows us to do so using the following steps.

  • Have another admin level local account. I typically create a new local admin acct called “Setup”
  • Ensure you have show Hidden and System folders ON
  • Log in to the new local account and get it completely set as your default configuration. this can include everything from desktop icons, to IE favorites to MS Office preferences to printers. Once complete, log off “setup” user and back on using the local admin account
  • Now logged on as admin, access the system properties window by right clicking “Computer” or “My Compter” icons either via the desktop or start menu. At the System Properties windows click on the Advanced Tab, and click on the “Settings” button in the middle section labeled User Profiles as shown here..


  • In the new window that appears you should see a list of profiles and the “setup” user profile you wish to copy. Highlight it and then click on the “Copy To” button in the lower right as shown here…


  • The copy to button should be active and you will be prompted for the location to copy the profile to. For XP BROWSE (do not type the path in) to C:documents and settingsDefault user. If this path doesn’t appear you don’t have show hidden and show system folders on. For vista / win7, browse to C:usersDefault
  • You will then be prompted for what permissions will be used on the new profile after it’s copied. Add the “Everyone” group.
  • BINGO! now all new profiles created on that machine will be built off of the “setup” profile you created earlier! Congrats!

You can also reference this TechNet article for more information..

Default user profiles in Windows OS’s

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