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LoadUserProfile (userenv)
TODO - a short description

C# Signature:

[DllImport("userenv.dll", SetLastError=true, CharSet=CharSet.Auto)]
static extern bool LoadUserProfile(IntPtr hToken, ref PROFILEINFO lpProfileInfo);

VB Signature:

    <DllImport("userenv.dll", EntryPoint:="LoadUserProfile", SetLastError:=True, CharSet:=CharSet.Auto)> _
        Public Shared Function LoadUserProfile(ByVal hToken As IntPtr, ByRef lpProfileInfo As PROFILEINFO) As Boolean
    End Function

User-Defined Types:


Alternative Managed API:

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The LoadUserProfile function loads the specified user's profile. The profile can be a local user profile or a roaming user profile.



in Token for the user, which is returned by the LogonUser, CreateRestrictedToken, DuplicateToken, OpenProcessToken, or OpenThreadToken function. The token must have TOKEN_QUERY and TOKEN_IMPERSONATE and TOKEN_DUPLICATE access. For more information, see Access Rights for Access-Token Objects.


[in, out] Pointer to a PROFILEINFO structure. LoadUserProfile will fail and return ERROR_INVALID_PARAMETER if the dwSize member of the structure is not set to sizeof(PROFILEINFO) or if the lpUserName member is NULL. For more information, see the following Remarks section.

Return Values

If the function succeeds, the return value is nonzero.

The function fails and returns ERROR_INVALID_PARAMETER if the dwSize member of the structure is not set to sizeof(PROFILEINFO) or if the lpUserName member is NULL.

Otherwise, if the function fails, the return value is zero. To get extended error information, call GetLastError.


When a user logs on interactively, the system automatically loads the user's profile. If a service or an application impersonates a user, the system does not load the user's profile. Therefore, the service or application should load the user's profile with LoadUserProfile.

Services and applications that call LoadUserProfile should check to see if the user has a roaming profile. If the user has a roaming profile, specify its path as the lpProfilePath member of PROFILEINFO. To retrieve the user's roaming profile path, you can call the NetUserGetInfo function, specifying information level 3 or 4.

Upon successful return, the hProfile member of PROFILEINFO is a registry key handle opened to the root of the user's hive. It has been opened with full access (KEY_ALL_ACCESS). If a service that is impersonating a user needs to read or write to the user's registry file, use this handle instead of HKEY_CURRENT_USER. Do not close the hProfile handle. Instead, pass it to the UnloadUserProfile function. This function closes the handle. You should ensure that all handles to keys in the user's registry hive are closed. If you do not close all open registry handles, the user's profile fails to unload. For more information, see Registry Key Security and Access Rights and Registry Hives.

Note that it is your responsibility to load the user's registry hive into the HKEY_USERS registry key with the LoadUserProfile function before calling CreateProcessAsUser. This is because CreateProcessAsUser does not load the specified user's profile into HKEY_USERS. This means that access to information in the HKEY_CURRENT_USER registry key may not produce results consistent with a normal interactive logon.

The calling process must have the SE_RESTORE_NAME and SE_BACKUP_NAME privileges. For more information, see Running with Special Privileges.

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