Windows 7 - Configuring a Default User Profile

It can take quite a bit of time to tune up a user account and set it up “just so.” There are taskbar icons to add, things to change in Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer, and potentially dozens of other applications to configure. It’s bad enough doing this once, but if you have many accounts on your computer and you want them all to be set up more or less the same way (at least initially), you’re looking at a lot of setup time. Fortunately, you can do this just once and have Windows use your settings as the base settings for other accounts. You can set up one account as you want it and copy that account’s profile to the Default user profile so that all future accounts start with a copy of your finely tuned setup. The trick is that you have to do this before other users have logged on to the computer for the first time. It’s also best to do this after setting up, but before really using, your own account.

To use this technique to set up nicely pre-tweaked accounts on your computer, follow these steps:

1. Log on to a Computer Administrator account and set it up just as you want all the accounts to look. (Of course, other users can change things after they log on; you’re just setting up their account’s initial look and feel.)
In addition to setting preferences, you can add icons to the desktop and taskbar and add documents to the Documents folder and favorites to the Favorites list in Internet Explorer. You can also delete marketing junk installed by Microsoft or your computer manufacturer.

2. Create a new Computer Administrator user account named xyz. Don’t bother setting a password for it.

3. Log out or switch users, and then log in using the new xyz account. Don’t bother making any changes.

4. Click Start, Computer. Click Organize, Folder, and Search Options. Select the View tab and select Show Hidden Files and Folders. Click OK; then close Computer.

5. Click Start, Control Panel, System and Security, System; then in the left Tasks list, select Advanced System Settings.

6. In the middle User Profiles section, click Settings.

7. Select the entry for the account that you originally logged on to and set up. Click Copy To. Then click Browse.

8. In the Browse for Folder dialog box, open the drive that Windows is installed on, dig into Users, and select Default. Click OK to close the Browse for Folder dialog box; then click OK to close the Copy To dialog box.

9. When prompted, click Yes to overwrite the original default profile.

10. When the copying finishes, close all the windows and log out.

11. Log back in to the original account.

12. Click Start, Control Panel, User Accounts and Family Safety, Add or Remove User Accounts.

13. Select account xyz and click Delete the Account. Click Delete Files; then click Delete Account.

Now, when any other user logs on for the first time, his or her user profile will be created with the settings, files, and icons exactly as you set them.

Source of Information : QUE Microsoft Windows in Depth (09-2009)

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