1.    17 Jan 2016 #1
    Join Date : Jan 2016
    Posts : 6
    Windows 10 Professional

    User Account Actual Name in "%Sysroot%\Users": It Matters


    Hello,

    I have a large home office data store synched between devices using Offline Files and standard Windows user account based sharing and UAC. As a result, all user’s personal data folders have a very specific naming system maintained for years. The new “sign-in using Microsoft account option,” which is very attractive for synchronizing less data intensive user data, led me to try that, but the resulting user account name was not customizable, and was totally incompatible with our network shares. I did a full “reset” and changed to local accounts matching our existing directory structure. But we have lost the ability to sync settings between the office machines as well as mobile devices.

    Is there a way to make this work, gaining the advantages of both sign-ins?

    I read the tutorial about changing from a local to Microsoft account sign-in route with hope that it might help.
    Would changing to Microsoft account sign-in also change the naming of the established user profile personal folders, which are the same as the legacy ones? I am hoping, since Windows will not allow me to rename these folders, that they will also be unaffected by the change to a Microsoft account sign-in.

    Please advise ASAP.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    18 Jan 2016 #2
    Join Date : Oct 2013
    A Finnish expat in Germany
    Posts : 13,112
    Windows 10 Pro

    When you set up a new user account as a Microsoft account, be it the initial user when installing / setting up Windows or later on in Settings, the naming of the user profile folders follows certain guidelines.

    A typical email address / MS account consists of a first name, last name and domain (first.last@domain.tld). Of course many users don't use their real names but whatever names are used, the syntax is mostly the same (exception: first name or last name alone is also enough, the name part of an email address do not have to be both names separated by dot).

    • If the name is 5 characters or shorter long not counting the separating dot, the complete email name will be used as the user profile name. MS account k.finn@domain.tld would get the user profile named as kfinn
    • If the name is over 5 characters long, an abbreviation of the email name will be used as the user profile name. MS account karifinn.tenforums@domain.tld would get the user profile named as karte (abbreviation will in most cases contain three first characters of the first name followed by two first characters of the last name)
    • If the name in the email used has only one part, usually the first name, and this name is max 5 characters long, the name will be used for the user profile as is. MS account Kari@domain.tld would get the profile named as Kari
    • If the name in the email used has only one part, usually the first name, and this name is over 5 characters long, the name of the user profile will be the first 5 characters of that name. MS account KariFinn@domain.tld would get the profile named as KariF
    • The user profile name in all above cases uses upper and lower case letters as they are used in the original MS account email address. If the MS account has been created using some uppercase letters as for instance TenForums@domain.tld, the user profile would be named as TenFo, but if that MS account email address would be created as tenforums.com, the user profile would be tenfo
    • In Windows networking an MS account user can sign in to any network resources with either his / her MS account credentials, or with his / her user profile credentials. Example: a Windows 10 user karifinn.tenforums@domain.tld with a user profile name karte as explained above can sign in to any network resource either with the MS account email, or with his user profile name ComputerName\karte, password in both cases being the same, the one of the user account (MS account password)

    OK, that's the bit confusing part. The easy part is this: Always create your users as local accounts! Any new user, create it as a local account naming the user as you'd prefer. This will name the user profile and its folder exactly as you want to. Now simply switch this user to an MS account, the user profile and its name will remain the original ones, the name you gave to this user.

    Example: Create a local user WhoIsTheDaddy and then switch this user to an MS account iam@domain.tld. For this user, the username of his MS account used to sign in to Windows would be iam@domain.tld but his user profile name, name of his user folder would still be WhoIsTheDaddy.

    Tutorial: Microsoft Account - Switch to in Windows 10 - Windows 10 Forums

    Kari
    Last edited by Kari; 18 Jan 2016 at 19:06. Reason: Fixed some typos
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    22 Jan 2016 #3
    Join Date : Jan 2016
    Posts : 6
    Windows 10 Professional
    Thread Starter

    Hi Kari,

    Thanks for explaining the Byzantine user profile folder naming conventions MS uses. That was a masterful explanation! It would be nice if MS would just put this info out there before asking clients to make a choice of this magnitude! I concluded, as you confirmed, that once a profile folder is created, with all of its dependencies, its name in unchangeable! I knew this from accidental keying errors of my own, but was unsure if MS had some "backdoor" way of changing my chosen local account names, undoing the reset and local folder route I chose!

    Thanks for confirming what I was only mostly sure was the case. I could find nothing documenting the particular process by which MS effects the change from "local" to MS Account logins. Although I could see that the assigned password is changed at the outset, no one discussed what changes, if any, are made to the structure and contents of the affected user profile. As I said originally:

    "... Would changing to Microsoft account sign-in also change the naming of the established user profile personal folders, which are the same as the legacy network ones? I am hoping, since Windows will not allow me to rename these folders, that they will also be unaffected by the change to a Microsoft account sign-in..."

    I've been in the situation of "buyer's regret" after prior user account naming choices that I wanted to correct, and, although the user account display name changes, the profile folders never did for me, but then, I'm not Microsoft wanting everyone to play in their Outlook.com/OneDrive universal sandbox!

    Glad to hear from someone who has done what I was hesitant to do that MS is subject to the same constraints, as changing the names of those folders wreaks havoc in an established traditional network share universe!. The accrued benefits of the change are significant, but I could not tolerate the directory changes. In this case, it took me 2 hours of waiting through the reset to get back the foldernames I wanted. And, I took the "local folder" route on all of the other home-office machines even before reading your and others' replies, but I would not have had the courage to change the logins until hearing from others. The icing on the cake is that the passwords for the "local" and MS accounts are the same!

    Thanks again for confirming that!

    Ken
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    23 Jan 2016 #4
    Join Date : Sep 2014
    Nashville, TN
    Posts : 3,143
    Windows 10 Pro

    It's a relatively simple process to create a new account using the format you want, then transferring your data to the new profile. I don't seem to understand why you are making such a fuss about it. If you regret the choice you made, just make a new one with the account name you want. It's not rocket science.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 


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