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What is a login profile on Windows PCs?

When you login to a campus Windows PC with your username and password, the computer loads a bundle of basic settings and preferences for you, known as a profile. There are three types of profile used at Sussex:

1. Network profile
Normally, when you login to a Windows PC on the campus, you will be logged in with a networked profile. This includes the settings and the appearance you're used to, such as the applications you see on the start menu and your desktop background (if you've personalised it). Your network profile is sometimes referred to as a roaming profile in Windows because it doesn't matter which PC you log into, your settings follow you.

2. Local profile
If Windows can't download your network profile for some reason, for example if the computer is not connected to the campus network, then it will look for a local profile for your username. If you've used that particular computer recently, the chances are it will have a local profile saved for you, with all the settings you had the last time you used that PC.

3. Temporary profile
If Windows can't find a local profile for you either, it will create a temporary profile for you. This doesn't have any of your saved settings but will at least enable you to login and start using the PC.

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This is question number 2775, which appears in the following categories:

Created by David Guest on 1 February 2016 and last updated by Sandy Radford on 13 September 2016