In a previous post, I demonstrated how to use folder redirection and offline files to automatically sync documents and settings between computers on a network without a domain controller or group policy (along with some other basic networking stuff). In that post, I specifically mentioned redirecting the ‘Application Data’ folder within the user profile path. I have changed my mind about doing this.

Many applications (Firefox and MS Outlook for me) have problems when using a network redirected Application Data folder:

Firefox stores the profile information here, so depending upon when you last synced if using offline files, you may get your profile, you may not…

Outlook can perform slowly in this situation as well (Mostly just with Outlook 2000 though).

I’ve heard of other apps having problems as well (autodesk products, , and don’t want to find out the next one.

This also apparently explains the difference between ‘Local Data\Application Data’ and ‘Application Data’ – Makes me wish I could tell certain programs which to use.

So, in short – I copied the network instance of ‘Application Data’ back over to the local location and put the registry key back to default. This still achieves my primary goals of making documents available on the Desktop and in the My Documents folder. Application data would be nice if offline files sync weren’t so sketchy (On the laptop that I use as my primary machine).

Now that the local profiles.ini for firefox is stable though, I may point it to a network share for one profile across all machines (This was really the only reason I did this in the first place, as Firefox stores shortcuts, etc. in the user profile).


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  1. [...] Redirection, IT / Add Comment UPDATE: Please see my post about not redirecting the Application Data Folder. If you’re anything like me, you probably have a few computers in your home. At least a laptop [...]