I'm asking on behalf of a friend of mine.

Here's the situation:

My friend logged onto a Windows 7 install and ended up logging onto a temporary profile (he made it so it does this intentionally). He used that Win7 install to attempt to move some files from an external hard drive to his Win7 install, however he forgot that he was using a temp profile. He went to shut down, but in the middle of the shut down process realized that the documents he copied over to the profile on that Win7 install will be zapped once the shutdown was complete. He let the shutdown go since he didn't want to jeopardize anything further.

He wants to know where this temporary profile is stored. He's running a deletion recovery program and has not restarted into that Windows 7 install with the temp profile in case he ends up overwriting something, but he'd prefer to direct the program at a particular directory if possible.

Is this temporary profile stored in C:\Users or are the contents of the profile stored elsewhere?

Edit: To clarify, we know that the contents of the temp profile were deleted, but we want to know where the profile originally was so we can point our file deletion recovery program at it.


My Documents is a special folder, %userProfile%\Documents by default. It would be saved there if not redirected by some other method.

The profile TEMP that is created on logon disappears on logoff... But, you can try this: http://community.spiceworks.com/topic/105605-recover-data-from-temp-profile

After logging in as administrator. Right click the folder, properties, security, advanced button, owner tab, select your admin account your logged in as, Check Replace owner ..., and ok out of there.

Now you can change the security settings to include your admin account.

My guess is that will not work, and you could try using Recuva at C:\Users and see if it sees the C:\Users\TEMP directory.

  • Yeah, that's not the issue. The files have already been deleted, we just need to know where this account used to stay so that we can point our recovery software at it. – White Phoenix Apr 3 '13 at 19:26
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    Thats why the second part is there: My guess is that will not work, and you could try using Recuva at C:\Users and see if it sees the C:\Users\TEMP directory. – Austin T French Apr 3 '13 at 19:46
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    @WhitePhoenix - The location of the profile has been said multiple times, but reading the hdd is advise, since the physical location of the files on the media wouldn't be the same. Tell your friend to stop using a temp profile... – Ramhound Apr 3 '13 at 20:02

The temporary profile's root folder is usually C:\Users\Temp, and it's deleted when the user logs off.

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