Duplicate profile folders exist under the "Documents and Settings" folder?

Published: Oct 13, 2005
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I have several duplicate user profile folders in the Documents and Settings folder. The folder names may be similar to the following:

Obviously, they all are refer to a single user account (Robert). As each takes considerable space, I would like to delete the invalid ones. How to determine which folder is the valid?


Duplicate user profile folders are created due to many reasons (For instance, incorrect permissions assigned to the Profile folder. The appropriate user account must have Full Control of their profile folder. If not, a new profile folder will be created with any of the above suffixes.)

The following Microsoft Knowledgebase article helps you restore the user profile folder for your user account.

How to restore a user profile in Windows 2000

Once you restore your user profile, the additional folders can be removed. Before deleting the remaining profile folders, make sure that you've backed up or transferred the data from the other folders to a safe location.

A note of caution: Don't delete the following folders.

More information

To know the Homepath (user profile folder) for the currently logged on user account, , type the following command in Start, Run:


Note down the HOMEPATH location. HOMEPATH is per-user specific. So, run the SET command under each user profile. Alternately, you can verify the ProfileImagePath data under this registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows NT \ CurrentVersion \ ProfileList \ <SID>

This script lists all the SIDs and the corresponding user names.

Related article

How to rename or move a User Profile folder?