User’s personal folders, including My Documents, Desktop, Favorites and Start Menu, can be redirected using Group Policy in a domain environment. Folders that have been redirected will be available to users on any system they log onto. Since these folders reside on the Server, it is easier for administrators to manage and back them up.
To the user, a redirected folder looks and acts like a locally stored personal folder. Redirecting folders, unlike the folders that make up a roaming user profile, are not copied across the network when a user logs on or off the network. Redirected folders can provide users with easy access to their documents without placing a strain on the network.


When setting up folder redirection, one of the default properties on the SETTINGS tab is “Grant the user exclusive rights to…”. If this is enabled, the administrator will not be able to access the newly created shares without having to run a script or take ownership. We recommended for administrative and backup purposes to uncheck this box. The redirected folders will still have the appropriate security and permissions applied to them.

Grant Permission


It is recommended to create a hidden share named folderredirect$ on the non-system Server drive (e.g. D: Drive).
On the Windows 2016 Server, open Group Policy Management. This is located under the Administrative Tools, or you can do a search for Group Policy Management or type gpedit.msc at a Run command window.
1. Navigate to User Configuration > Policies > Windows Settings > Folder Redirection.
2. Right-click on the folders you want to redirect (we recommend AppData, Desktop, Start Menu, Documents and Favorites).
3. Select “Basic” for setting, and “Create a folder for each user under the root path” for the Target folder location.

Basic Settings

When the user logs into their workstation for the first time, the new folders will be auto-created by the system in the hidden user share. If “Grant the user exclusive rights” was disabled, then the administrator will be able to access those shares.

If the shares are inaccessible because the setting was enabled, you can get access to this shares here – How To Enable Administrator Access to User’s Redirected Folders