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Supported directory variables

Applies to managed Chrome browsers and ChromeOS devices.

As an admin, you can use variables to configure file paths, such as the directory that Chrome uses for storing user data. That way,  you don't need to set a hard-coded path.

For example, to store profile data under the user local application data on Windows, set the UserDataDir policy to ${local_app_data}\Chrome\Profile. For most Microsoft Windows 7 and Vista installations, this resolves to C:\Users\CurrentUser\AppData\Chrome\Profile.

Chrome browser user profiles are not backwards-compatible. If you try to use mismatched profiles and Chrome browser versions, you might experience crashes or data loss. For details, see Common Chrome browser issues.

Tips for setting paths in policies

  • Policies that include paths where Chrome stores data are platform-dependent. Some policies are only available on certain platforms while others can be used across all platforms.
  • Paths should be absolute. This helps to avoid errors caused by applications starting in different locations on different occasions.
  • Each variable can occur only once in a path.
  • Where possible, most policies will create a path if it doesn't already exist.
  • Using network locations for some policies can lead to unexpected results. For example, the user profile is not backwards-compatible. So, running a different version or channel of Chrome browser with the same profile might corrupt your profile.

List of supported path variables

Path variable Description Example
All platforms


The machine name. The domain name can be included.



The user who is running Chrome (respects suids). 


Apple macOS only


The current user’s Documents folder. /Users/johndoe/Documents


The folder where user’s profiles are stored. /Users

Microsoft Windows only


The name of the client PC connected to a Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) or Citrix session.

Take into account that this variable is empty if used from a local session. So, if used in paths, you might want to prefix it with some text so that part is guaranteed not to be empty.

C:\chrome_profiles\session_${client_name} produces:

  • For local sessions—
  • For remote sessions—


The current user’s Documents folder.



The system-wide application data (AppData) folder.



The current user’s AppData folder.



The current user’s home folder.



The current process’s Program Files folder. Depends on whether it is 32-bit or 64-bit process.

C:\Program Files (x86)


The current user’s Roaming AppData folder.



The name of the active session. Useful for distinguishing multiple remote sessions that are simultaneously connected to a single user profile. 

Local desktop sessions—WinSta0


The Windows folder.




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