Folder Redirection – Redirect Documents to Home Folder

In my earlier post, I created an instruction guide on how to redirect desktop folder to a different location outside the user’s profile to prevent profile expansion. In this guide, I am going to show you how to folder redirect Document folder to the home folder.

The process is almost the same as desktop folder redirection mentioned in the previous guide but there are few settings that are different. The steps below explain how to folder redirect document folder to the home folder. The steps will work on Windows 2008, 2008 R2, Windows 2012, Windows 2012 R2.

If you have not setup a home folder for a user before, follow steps 1 to 7. If you know how to create a home folder, skip 1 to 7 and continue from step 8.

  1. Launch Active Directory Users and Computers
  2. Locate a user or select all the users in an OU by pressing Ctrl-A
  3. Right click on a user or multiple users and select properties. A dialog box will appear displaying the property of a user as shown below. If you have selected multiple users, the settings will be slightly different from below and the tabs will be almost identical.
    Users Property
  4. Click on Profile Tab
  5. Under home folder section, select connect and specify a drive letter as shown in the below screenshot. After you have specified the drive letter, specify the server and folder name to store the home folder (the folder will need to be shared otherwise folder redirection will not work). The format should be \\servername\sharedfoldername\%username%. It is recommended to enter %username% if you have selected multiple users since the home folder will be created with the associated usernames. You can also enter this if you have selected one user to prevent typo.
    User HomeFolder Property
  6. Click Apply.
  7. Click Ok.
  8. The Home folder will now be created. Launch Group Policy Management from the Task bar or from the start menu.
    Group Policy Management
  9. Expand the forest level and then domain level and expand an OU, which you would like to create the folder redirection. Right click on an OU and click Create a GPO in this domain, and link it here.
    New Group Policy
  10. Right click on the GPO and click Edit.
    Edit Group Policy
  11. Navigate to Users Configuration ->Policies -> Windows Settings -> Folder RedirectionFolder Redirection Location
  12. Right Click on Documents and click on properties.
    Document Settings
  13. A dialog box will appear. In the Target tab (selected by default), select Basic – Redirected everyone’s folder to the same location.
    Documents Setting
  14. Under Target Folder Location, click the drop down box and select Create a folder for each user under root path (This should be selected by default).
    Documents Target Folder Location
  15. In the Root path, Specify the location of the home folder by using UNC (Universal Naming Convention) path \\servername\HomeFolderSharedFolder. The \\servername is the name of the server where the home folders are stored and the \HomeFolderSharedFolder is the actual shared folder that contains the home folder. Alternatively, you can copy the home folder path from the user’s property in Active Directory Users and Computers described in step 5.
    Documents Root Path
  16. Once you have specified the location, click on the settings.
  17. If you would like the administrator to have full access to the user’s Documents folder uncheck Grant the user exclusive rights to the documents.If you would like the users to have full access to their Documents Folder and not the administrator, you can check the settings. If you would like the contents in the current documents to be moved to the new location, check move the contents of Documents to the new location. If you have Windows 2000 or XP Operating System, check the third box Also apply redirection policy to Windows 2000 Server Windows XP and Windows Server 2002 Operating SystemThe Screenshot below shows the settings that I have applied, which is unchecking all the boxes. This is because the settings apply perfectly to my environment.
    Documents Settings Tab
  18. Under Policy Removal, leave the settings as default as shown on the above screenshot unless you like to move the documents to local profile in which case you select the second radio button Remove the folder back to the local userprofile location when policy is removed.
  19. Once you have applied the necessary settings, click the Apply button and then click OK After you clicked the OK button, a warning popup box will appear. Click yes to the warning box.
  20. Exit out of Group Policy Editor by pressing the cross button on the top right corner.
  21. On the Group Policy Manager, click on the settings tab and press F5 on the keyboard to refresh the page.
  22. You will see the group policy settings for Documents Redirection.
    Group Policy Document Settings
  23. Launch the command prompt and run gpupdate /force command on the server to update the group policy settings.
  24. Log on and off few times as a user on the client machine to verify that the documents folder has been redirected to the home folder.If you need help with verifying that the Documents have been folder redirected to the user’s home folder, I will create a future guide on this, which will be posted shortly.


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About Sumit Patel

I am Sumit and I am very passionate about IT and I like to share my skills and knowledge to everyone with IT related problems. I have made this site to help IT technician resolve issues very quickly by following short instruction guides. I have started my IT career back in 2012 working as a contractor. While I was contracting, I was studying and passed few exams. The latest exam I have passed was first part of Microsoft MCSE 2012 R2 series and now I am preparing for Cisco exam to gain hands experience with the networking side of things.

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