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 http://dev.chromium.org/administrators/common-problems-and-solutions for more details.

Some hints about setting paths in policies:

  • All policies that concern paths where Chrome stores different data are platform-dependent. Some of these are only available on specific platforms but others can be used on all platforms.
  • Paths should be absolute to avoid errors caused by applications starting in different location on different occasions.
  • Every variable can occur only once in a path. For the majority of them, this is the only meaningful way of using them as they resolve to absolute paths.
  • Almost all policies will create the path if it doesn't exist and if possible
  • 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/channel of Chrome with the same profile may corrupt your profile.

List of supported path variables:

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

 ${machine_name} - The machine name possibly with domain 
(example resolution : "johnny.cg1.cooldomain.org" or simply “johnnyspc”)

Windows only: 
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 ${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")

${client_name) - The name of the client pc connected to an RDP or Citrix session. Available on Chrome 25+.
Take into account that this variable is empty if used from a local session. Therefore if used in paths you might want to prefix it with something which is guaranteed to be non-empty.
(example : C:\chrome_profiles\session_${client_name} - produces c:\chrome_profiles\session_ for local sessions and
c:\chrome_profiles\session_somepcname for remote sessions.)

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

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

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