Folder Redirection in Group Policy allows a systems administrator to redirect certain folders from a user’s profile to a file server. In part 4 of this series, I’ll discuss configuring Folder Redirection and the available configuration options in Group Policy.
Now that we have a server with a share configured, we’re ready to set up the Folder Redirection in Group Policy. Folder Redirection is User configuration. Because of that, you’ll need to either create a new Group Policy Object (GPO) or edit an existing GPO that is linked to an OU for your users. Go to User Configuration > Policies > Windows Settings > Folder Redirection.
GPMC in Windows 7 Showing Folder Redirection
Right-click on one of the folder names and click Properties. In my example, I’ll be using Documents. The first thing you’ll want to set in the Target tab is how you want to redirect folders: Basic or Advanced. If you’re planning on directing every user to your new User share, then Basic will probably do for you. If you have multiple shares for Folder Redirection (possibly for departments or geographical locations), you can choose Advanced and assign specific folders for groups.
Folder Redirection Properties
Next, you’ll need to determine where you want to redirect the user folders. In most circumstances, you’ll probably want to use “Create a folder for each user under the root path.” However, you can also use a user’s home directory (if you have that attribute configured in AD), a specific path (for labs or common area computers where every user should share certain folders), and the local user profile (useful if you don’t want users reconfiguring folder locations).
Target folder location
Type in the name of your server and the path to your Users share. If you used the option to create a folder for each user under the path, you’ll see that your folder structure should be in the format \\fileserver\Users\%username%\redirectefoldername for each Folder Redirection you configure.
Root Path setting
Go to the Settings tab. Uncheck the checkbox by “Grant the user exclusive rights to Documents.” If you don’t uncheck this setting, the permissions will be configured so that even Administrators won’t be able to access the files without changing the folder permissions.
Choose the settings for the remaining options that work for your environment and click OK.
That’s it! All you need to do is go to your test system, refresh Group Policy, log off, and log back in. Just be aware that when you run gpupdate, you’ll get a reminder that you need to log out and back in for the changes to take place.
In the last post of this Folder Redirection series I will share some best practices tips.