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Registry ProfileList

The Windows Registry is a fundamental component of the Windows operating system that stores the system information, user-related information, and configuration settings. Registry has many hives, one key hive is the ProfileList.

The ProfilelList stores the information about user profiles that are currently loaded on the computer. The user profile includes settings, preferences, and configurations unique to each user.

The ProfileList registry key is a crucial part of Windows user management, it is used to load and unload user profiles and to manage the state of the user profiles.

In this article, we will discuss ProfileList in Registry, how to access the registry ProfileList, and what information registry ProfileList stores.

Where is the ProfileList in Registry?

The ProfileList hive is located in the Windows Registry at the following location.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList

To access the ProfileList in the registry, open the registry editor with admin privileges. In the registry editor, navigate to the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList.

What Information Does Registry ProfileList Store?

The ProfileList registry key is a subkey of the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList key.

The common registry values related to user profiles in Windows are available in the ProfileList registry key.

  • Default โ€“ It contains the default user profile path. It serves as a template to create new user profiles. The default location path is: %SystemDrive%\Users\Default.
  • ProfilesDirectory โ€“ It specifies the value of the root directory where the user profiles are stored. The default location path is : %SystemDrive%\Users.
  • ProgramsData โ€“ This registry entry represents a central location where the application data are stored. This application data is not specific to any user. The default location path is : %SystemDrive%\ProgramData
  • Public โ€“ This registry entry represents the public user profile folder which is accessible to all the users on the system. It is often used for sharing files and resources among the different user accounts. The default location path is : %SystemDrive%\Users\Public

The ProfileList hive is a collection of subkeys, each of which corresponds to a user profile on the system. These subkeys are named using the Security Identifiers (SIDs) and contain the information about each user profile.

For example, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList\S-1-5-18

This key stores the information about user profiles such as Profile name, SID, ProfileImagePath, Guid, State, etcโ€ฆ

Cool Tip: Learn more about Registry SAM which stores the user information!


The ProfileList hive is very significant in managing and maintaining user profiles. It ensures the user-specific settings and configuration are applied correctly and stored in their respective profile folder.

Keep this in mind while modifying the ProfileList registry, as incorrect changes can lead to user profile issues and system instability.

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