How To Change User Profile Location in Windows 8 without Registry Hack

by windowsiso on September 3, 2012

Well, this still remains the same. The default user profile location is still in %SystemDrive%Users. While it may make sense with the new roaming user profile introduced in Windows 8, it’s still a valid point that the user profiles sit in the different partition to separate the system and data, especially in cases such as running OS on SSD while preferring saving data on a larger HDD, preferring saving all data inside user profile, etc..

Fortunately, the old trick still works pretty well, and you can definitely still follow the instruction described there to change the default user profile location. But this time, I am also introducing a maybe easier way to do it without involving any registry change.

Precaution: make sure you follow the exact steps described here to avoid the critical system crash. A good system backup is strongly recommended before doing this.

Step 1: Boot to Repair Mode

Boot to your bootable Windows 8 disk or USB, instead of choosing Install Now, click Repair your computer at the bottom of the popup.

Boot to Repaire mode Windows 8

In Windows 8 Boot option, choose Troubleshoot.

Windows 8 repair boot option

And click Advanced options.

Windows 8 repair boot option - troubleshoot

And finally pick Command Prompt to open the command line console for advanced operations.

Windows 8 repaire boot option command prompt

Step 2: Copy user profile directory over

First, locate both partitions’ drive letter first in the opened Command Prompt window. And use either the built-in xcopy or more powerful robocopy

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