Recreating Windows Profiles

You may need to recreate a windows profile when rebuilding a PC, or dealing with file corruption. This article lists the various files/folders that should be copied over from the “old” profile.

To recreate a profile I recommend logging on as administrator and renaming the old profile – e.g. c:\users\JoeBloggs.old (windows 7) or c:\documents and settings\JoeBloggs.old (XP). If roaming profiles are used then please do the same to the profile held on the server.

Once you have renamed the folder log back in as the user and a fresh profile is created. I recommend that you then copy the below from the “old” profile (e.g. JoeBloggs.old). 


Outlook Address Books – “%USERPROFILE%\Application Data\Microsoft\Address Book”

Microsoft Signatures (if used) – “%USERPROFILE%\Application Data\Microsoft\Signatures”

Outlook NK2 names file – “%USERPROFILE%\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook” (make sure NK2 file is the same name as the Outlook profile e.g. “Outlook.nk2”)

Microsoft Office dictionaries – “%USERPROFILE%\Application Data\Microsoft\Proof”

Desktop items – “%USERPROFILE%\Desktop”

Internet Favorites – “%USERPROFILE%\Favorites”

My Documents – %USERPROFILE%\My Documents

 Note:- some of the directories might not exist if that particular application has not be opened. You can create these directories manually or type this in a command prompt:-

MKDIR “%USERPROFILE%\Application Data\Microsoft\Address Book”

MKDIR “%USERPROFILE%\Application Data\Microsoft\Signatures”

MKDIR “%USERPROFILE%\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook”

MKDIR “%USERPROFILE%\Application Data\Microsoft\Proof”


Windows 7

Note that several file locations have changed in Windows 7

Outlook Address Books – Windows Address Book has been replaced by Windows Contacts

Microsoft Signatures (if used) – “%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Signatures”

Outlook NK2 names file – “%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Outlook” (make sure NK2 file is the same name as the Outlook profile i.e. Outlook)

Microsoft Office dictionaries – “%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Proof”

Desktop items – “%USERPROFILE%\Desktop”

Internet Favorites – “%USERPROFILE%\Favorites”

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