TIL: Windows 10 goes back to adding a .v5 suffix to profiles

So, back in the Windows 7/ Server 2008 era if you had a roaming profile it was always suffixed with a .v2 extension. So if you username was “rakhesh” and your profile path in AD was “\\someservers\profiles“, the actual path created there would be “\\someservers\profiles\rakhesh.v2“. This is because Windows 7/ Server 2008 had a different profile format to Windows XP/ Server 2003 and prior, so Microsoft decided to tack on this extension so there’s no corruption. Neat idea!

But with Windows 8/ Server 2012 and Windows 8.1/ Server 2012 R2 there was no similar extension. So if you started using roaming profiles with these OSes, and you had a mixed environment, you were in for some trouble. Everything would write to the .v2 profile.

Turns out you can apply a hotfix for Windows 8/ Server 2012 and Windows 8.1/ Server 2012 R2, and then create a new registry value UseProfilePathExtensionVersion (of data 1) under HKLM\System\CurrentControlset\Services\ProfSvc\Parameters and this will cause these two OSes to append a .v3 and .v4 suffix respectively to the roaming profiles. Nice!

With Windows 10/ Server 2016 though, the OS goes back to the old behavior of adding a .v5 extension. So no need for any hotfix or registry key changes. Nice!

As an FYI to myself here’s two alternative approaches to Windows 8/ Server 2012 and Windows 8.1/ Server 2012 R2 profile handling if one didn’t want to go the hotfix + registry key change route: this one’s from Microsoft, and this one’s something I found while Googling. I prefer the latter.

Update: To keep things interesting (via) –

  • Windows 10 build 1511 and older use v5 profiles. (These are builds 1507 and 1511 – aka Threshold 1 and Threshold 2).
  • Windows 10 build 1607 and newer use v6 profiles. (Build 1607 is also known as Redstone 1. The next one, build 1703 is known as Redstone 2, and so on).
  • Windows Server 2016 uses a v6 profile.