Copying a User Profile to Another Local User

Here is an easy way to manually copy a user profile on the same machine. 

These instructions are specific to XP, but the process is very similar in 2000 and Vista.  I’ve used this before when I disjoined a machine from a domain but wanted to copy the domain user’s profile to a local user.


  1. Create a new user and log on and then log off as that user.
  2. Log on as a local admin
  3. From the Start menu, select Settings, then Control Panel. Double-click System.
  4. Click the Advanced tab, and then, under "UserProfile", click Settings.
  5. Click the profile you want to copy and then click Copy to.
  6. In the Copy To dialog box, click Browse to select the directory to which you want to copy the profile. This will usually be C:\winnt\profiles\username or C:\Documents and Settings\username, where username is the username of the profile to which you are copying. When you’ve selected the directory, click OK.
  7. Under "Permitted to Use", click Change.
  8. In the field labeled "Enter the object name to select:", enter the username of the user who needs to have rights to view this profile. Click Check Names to make sure that the user is found. If the user is not found, you may need to click Locations… to select the correct domain (or, if it is a local account, to select the computer name), and then click OK.
  9. Click OK twice.
  10. If you are prompted to continue, click Yes. Allow a minute for the system to copy the profile.
  11. In the User Profiles window, click OK, and then click OK again in the System Properties window.

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