Vista Registry – Delete Roaming Cache DeleteRoamingCache

Vista Registry – Delete Roaming Cache DeleteRoamingCache

The key question with the registry setting called DeleteRoamingCache is: ‘Where does the cache get deleted?’  The answer is on the machine where you set the value, DeleteRoamingCache=1.

Here is a classic case of checking that your logic matches the registry’s; in this instance, a value of 1 means: no roaming caches gets saved.  To be clear, 1 means that all roaming profiles get deleted.

On the other hand, changing to DeleteRoamingCache=0, would be a double negative, (don’t delete), therefore you end up with roaming profiles.

Topics for DeleteRoamingCache

Incidentally, this tip to delete a roaming user’s cache is consistently voted near the top of any list of registry hacks.


Background to Delete Roaming Cache

This registry dword, DeleteRoamingCache, controls whether or not, the local computer saves a copy of a user’s roaming profile when users logoff.

Roaming profiles are stored on a server.  However, by default, when a user with a roaming profile logsoff, the system saves an additional copy of their profile on the local hard drive.  This scheme was designed to give roaming users faster logon, especially when network traffic was busy.

The incentive to change the default behaviour occurs when lots of roaming users logon to one ‘kiosk’ machine.  As a result, the disk fills up with profiles, and if it’s unlikely they will ever logon again, you may as well make a registry tweak which deletes these unwanted roaming profiles.

Registry Instructions for DeleteRoamingCacheWindows Vista Regedit and AutoAdminLogon

  1. Launch Regedit. (See more details on starting regedit)
  2. Navigate to this path:
  3. Create a new DWORD called DeleteRoamingCache 
  4. Setting a hex value of 00000001 deletes all local roaming profiles.
  5. See Screenshot below.

Registry Screenshot of DeleteRoamingCache

Registry Screenshot of DeleteRoamingCache No Roaming Cache

Note the path at the very bottom of the screenshot:

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Key Learning Points

  • Check your logic.  Especially with the double-negative behavior of: DeleteRoamingCache = 0
  • Do you find the DeleteRoamingCache value in HKCU** or HKLM? 
    Answer: HKLM.
  • Should you create a value, or modify an existing setting? 
    Answer: Create a DWORD called: DeleteRoamingCache. 
    Then assign it a hex value of 00000001 
  • Is DeleteRoamingCache a String Value or a DWORD? 
    Answer: DWORD.
  • Do you need to Restart, or merely Log Off / On? 
    Answer: Restart the local machine.
  • Tip: Add this Value, DeleteRoamingCache to Regedit’s Favorites menu.

** HKLM is an abbreviation of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, and HKCU is shorthand for HKEY_CURRENT_USER.  These acronyms are so well-known that you can even use them in .reg files; Vista will understand and obey the registry instruction.

Creating a .Reg File

This page explains how to create, and then edit .reg files for your computer.  As it’s easy to import the contents of a .reg file into the registry, do take extra care with procedures.  Example DeleteRoamingCache  .reg file.

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Windows Vista Registry Tweaks: