If you support computer labs or any other environment where lots of different people log into your computers daily, you’ve probably had to deal with user profiles that need to be deleted. The good news is that there is a setting in Group Policy that take care of that for you.
Why would you want to set this policy?
- The main reason for setting this policy would be for lab or other types of public use terminals where many users log in on a regular basis. The large number of user logons will cause user profiles to accumulate on the local system. Setting this option will delete old user profiles that are no longer in use.
Where is the policy located?
- Computer Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > System > User Profiles > Delete user profiles older than a specified number of days on system restart.
- Click Enabled
- Set the number of days you want to wait before deleting old profiles.
Supported Operating Systems/Software
- Windows Vista and up
Gotchas and Other Considerations
There are two things you’ll need to keep in mind:
- The deletion process happens on reboot which can potentially have a serious impact on system performance during reboots or shutdown/startup. For a lab, kiosk, or other public terminal, this may be acceptable. For day-to-day workstations, this may not be an acceptable slow down.
- Second, I’ve had a few situations where the user’s profile was deleted, but the C:Usersusername folder stayed behind. The next time the user logged into the computer, they got a new profile folder at C:Usersusername.domain.