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How To Install Active Directory Users and Computers in Windows 10

Posted by Jamie on August 21, 2018

If you use Windows 10 Professional or Enterprise and manage remote servers, you could benefit from Microsoft’s Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT). It includes Active Directory Users and Computers and enables you to remotely manage Windows servers and desktops from a Windows 10 device. This tutorial will show you how to install Active Directory Users and Computers in Windows 10.

Active Directory Users and Computers (ADUC) is an MMC snap-in that enables administrators to manage users, groups, computers and organizational groups and their attributes. It is where an admin goes to reset user passwords, add users to new groups or organizational units and manage object permissions throughout a domain. Of all of those features, it is the password reset feature that most administrators will use most.

An MMC snap-in is an add-on for the Microsoft Management Console. You can add or remove modules from MMC to add or remove features as your needs dictate. Microsoft decided to call them snap-ins instead of add-ons but the meaning is the same.

Install Active Directory Users and Computers in Windows 10

As long as you’re using Windows 10 Professional or Enterprise, you can install Active Directory Users and Computers in Windows 10. On Windows servers, this forms part of the standard Windows Server Administrative Tools but has been released as a downloadable snap-in for Windows 10. It removes the restriction for admins to be using or remote desktop into a Windows Server to administer their domains.

Here’s how to download and install Active Directory Users and Computers:

  1. Visit the Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 10 page.
  2. Select Download, select the correct operating system and download the file. Select the latest RSAT release for maximum compatibility.
  3. Install RSAT from the download.
  4. Type ‘control’ into the Windows Search box to bring up Control Panel.
  5. Select Programs and then Programs and Features.
  6. Select Turn Windows features on or off.
  7. Select Remote Server Administration Tools and then Role Administration Tools.
  8. Select AD DS and AD LDS Tools.
  9. Check the box by AD DS Tools and select OK.

You have now installed and enabled Active Directory Users and Computers in Windows 10. You should now be able to see it in Control Panel.

  1. Open Control Panel if you closed it.
  2. Navigate to Administrative Tools.
  3. Select Active Directory Users and Computers.

You should now be able to perform most of the usual daily tasks you need to on remote servers.

Install Active Directory Users and Computers using the command line

As this is server stuff, you can also install Active Directory Users and Computers using the command line. Just three commands will install RSAT and have you up and running.

  1. Open a command line window as an administrator.
  2. Type ‘dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:RSATClient-Roles-AD’ and hit Enter.
  3. Type ‘dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:RSATClient-Roles-AD-DS’ and hit Enter.
  4. Type ‘dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:RSATClient-Roles-AD-DS-SnapIns’ and hit Enter.

This will install and integrate Active Directory Users and Computers into Windows 10 ready for you to use.

Troubleshooting the RSAT installation

Installing Active Directory Users and Computers in Windows 10 should be a breeze but doesn’t always go smoothly. There are a couple of issues that may get in the way of this process but they are easily overcome.

Windows Update

The RSAT installer uses Windows Update to install and integrate RSAT into Windows 10. That means if you have Windows Firewall turned off, it may not work properly. If you have installed RSAT and it doesn’t show up or won’t install properly, turn on Windows Firewall in Services, perform the install and then turn Windows firewall off again.

This is the same issue that plagues any Windows Update procedure and Microsoft seem to be in no hurry to fix it.

Not all tabs showing in RSAT

If you installed RSTA but you don’t see all the options, that might be something else. Right click Active Directory Users and Computers in Admin Tools and make sure the Target is set to ‘%SystemRoot%\system32\dsa.msc’.

If the target is correct, make sure you have the latest Windows Updates and the latest version of Active Directory Users and Computers. If you had a previous install, remove that before reinstalling the newer version. Updates to it are not clean so old files and configurations can remain.

It is only really administrators of domains that will get any use from Active Directory Users and Computers in Windows 10. It is a useful set of tools but is only relevant to managing remote servers and users. If you do that for a living and want to use Windows 10 instead of a server client, now you can.

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