- Basic Information on the User Profiles
All users of modern Windows NT-based operating systems have many customizable
settings at their disposal, including wallpapers and screen savers, desktop settings, and
many application settings, which can be customized. These settings are only a small part
of a large variety of the customizable settings. There are many reasons users may need
these customizations (after all, individual preferences are always different).
Before the registry concept was introduced, there was always one common problem: any
time you logged onto the network from another computer, you always needed to
customize its settings.
A new user profile is created automatically each time a new user logs onto a Windows
NT-based operating system for the first time. By default, user profiles in Windows NT,
Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003 support desktop settings for the
user environment on the local computer.
Note It is necessary to distinguish user profiles from their policies. Profiles are not
user policies, and each user has a profile even if they don't use Group Policy.