Profile bloat – we’ve all seen it. Many applications, and even Windows itself, can store files in the most inappropriate places within the user profile. For example, here’s just part of what the Vodafone Mobile Connect application stores within the roaming portion of my profile:

VodafoneMobileConnectAppData

Yes that’s 37.3Mb of logs. Handy.

Here’s iTunes storing 161Mb in 3295 files in AppData\Roaming – imagine waiting for that to copy at logon.

iTunesBackupAppData

I’ve been spending some time with some of the user profile virtualisation (or user virtualisation / user environment management / user workspace virtualisation ) products lately and have started to compile a list of profile folders that I’ve needed to exclude from being managed.

Profile virtualisation products like this one and this one can optimise what is roamed; however exclusions may still be required and are necessary if are using standard Windows roaming profiles or less complex virtualisation solutions such as Citrix Profile Management.

Most of these products are very easy to install and configure and for the most part are ‘fire and forget’; however adding some exclusions is a simple way to improve logon and logoff times by reducing the amount of managed data.

Folder Exclusions

The following tables list a selection of folders from within the user profile (all relative to %USERPROFILE%) that should be considered for exclusion.

First up, here’s a list of the default user folders for Windows Vista and above, that in most cases would be redirected from the user profile to a network location:

Folder Description
Contacts Contacts folder (depreciated in Windows 7?)
Desktop Desktop folder; usually redirected
Documents Documents folder; usually redirected
Downloads Downloads folder
Favorites Internet Explorer favourites; usually redirected
Links Windows Explorer favourites; usually redirected
Music Music folder; usually redirected
Pictures Pictures folder; usually redirected
Saved Games Games saves
Searches Windows Explorer custom searches; usually redirected
Videos Videos folder; usually redirected

If you are using folder redirection, you may not need to add these to your exclusion list; however if folder redirection did not apply then excluding these from the user profile will prevent them from becoming managed (potentially managing very large amounts of data).

Next is a list of folders from various applications that either store large files or many small files that will impact on logon and logoff times:

Folder Description
.VirtualBox Sun VirtualBox; Default configuration and storage folder
Tracing Windows Live Messenger, Office Communicator; tracing logs. Info how to change that location here
Podcasts Zune; Podcasts folder
Virtual Machines Windows Virtual PC; default configuration and storage folder
AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync Apple iTunes; Folder used to store device backups
AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\Logs Apple iTunes; Stores device logs
AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\iTunes\iPhone Software Updates Apple iTunes; Stores full images of the iPhone OS
AppData\Roaming\Microsoft Office\Live Meeting 8 Microsoft Live Meeting; default installation folder
AppData\Roaming\Microsoft Shared\LiveMeeting Shared Microsoft Live Meeting; shared folder
AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\XDE Microsoft Visual Studio; Windows Mobile 7 emulator images
AppData\Roaming\Macromedia\Flash Player\macromedia.com\support\flashplayer\sys Adobe Flash; Cookies and settings
AppData\Roaming\Macromedia\Flash Player#SharedObjects Adobe Flash; Cookies
AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Flash Player\AssetCache Adobe Flash; cache folder
AppData\Roaming\Vodafone\Vodafone Mobile Connect\Log Vodafone Mobile Connect
AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Recent Windows; recent files and folders; lots of small files can increase logon/logoff times
AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu Windows; personal Start Menu; if applications are managed this folder could be excluded
AppData\Roaming\SoftGrid Client\Icon Cache App-V; Icon cache for shortcuts. If using App-V server this will be re-populated
AppData\Roaming\Juniper Networks\Juniper Citrix Services Client Juniper Networks; Citrix ICA client binaries
AppData\Roaming\Juniper Networks\Setup Client Juniper Networks; Setup client binaries
AppData\Local Various; Local application data (i.e. non-roaming); should be excluded by default
AppData\LocalLow Various; Local application data for low integrity applications; should be excluded by default
AppData\Roaming\MetroTwit\User_Images MetroTwit user images cache
AppData\Roaming\Dropbox DropBox install folder
AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Office\Recent Shortcuts to recent files edited in Microsoft Office
AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Crash Reports Firefox Crash Reports
AppData\Roaming\McAfee\Common Framework Various McAfee apps including VirusScan. Logs files and others
AppData\Roaming\Spotify\Gracenote Gracenote SDK DLLs used by Spotify

If you have any additional folders to exclude, let me know and I’ll add them to the list.