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Supported Directory Variables

The policy for modifying the user data directory and other paths for Chrome to use has support for several variables, so you don't need to set a hard-coded path for all users. For example, if you want to store your profile data under the user local application data on Windows, set the UserDataDir policy to : "${local_app_data}\Chrome\Profile" Which on most Windows 7 / Vista installations would resolve to : C:\Users\CurrentUser\AppData\Chrome\Profile.

Chrome profiles are not backwards compatible, so storing the user profile on a network drive and using it with different versions of Chrome can cause crashes and data loss. Please see for more details.

Some hints about setting paths in policies

List of supported path variables

ChromeOS only

${google_drive} - The root directory of Google Drive.
(example resolution: "johndoe")

All platforms besides ChromeOS

${user_name} - The user that is running Chrome (respects suids).
(example resolution: "johndoe")

${machine_name} - The machine name possibly with domain
(example resolution : "" or simply “johnnyspc”)

Windows only

${documents} - The "Documents" folder for the current user.
(example resolution : "C:\Users\Administrator\Documents")

${local_app_data} - The Application Data folder for the current user.
(example resolution : "C:\Users\Administrator\AppData\Local")

${roaming_app_data} - The Roamed Application Data folder for the current user.
(example resolution : "C:\Users\Administrator\AppData\Roaming")

${profile} - The home folder for the current user.
(example resolution : "C:\Users\Administrator")

${global_app_data} - The system-wide Application Data folder.
(example resolution : "C:\AppData")

${program_files} - The "Program Files" folder for the current process. Depends on whether it is 32 or 64 bit process.
(example resolution : "C:\Program Files (x86)")

${windows} - The Windows folder (example resolution : "C:\WINNT" or "C:\Windows")

${client_name) - The name of the client pc connected to an RDP or Citrix session. Take into account that this variable is empty if used from a local session. Therefore if used in paths you might want to prefix it with something which is guaranteed to be non-empty.
(example : C:\chrome_profiles\session_${client_name} - produces c:\chrome_profiles\session_ for local sessions and c:\chrome_profiles\session_somepcname for remote sessions.)

${session_name} - The name of the active session. Useful for distinguishing multiple simultaneously connected remote sessions to a single user profile.
(example resolution: WinSta0 for local desktop sessions)

MacOS only

${users} - The folder where users profiles are stored
(example resolution : "/Users")

${documents} - The "Documents" folder of the current user.
(example resolution : "/Users/johndoe/Documents")