How to Install Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) on Windows 10
Windows 10 is a popular operating system for consumer and business PCs, but it also has full-fledged remote system administration tools for enterprises and schools running the Pro and Education versions of Windows 10. Although these tools are not part of the standard Windows 10 installation for non-institutional customers, they can be installed at a later date on some Windows variants, giving you access to powerful administrative functionality on your home or work desktop.
If you have the full version of Windows 10 Enterprise, Professional, or Education, you can install Microsoft Remote Server Administration (RSAT). RSAT gives system administrators the ability to manage remote servers and PCs. Staring over a year ago, in October 2018, Microsoft started including RSAT as one of its Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, and Education “Features on Demand.”
RSAT includes Active Directory Users and Computers and enables administrators to remotely manage Windows servers and desktops from a Windows 10 device. This means you can easily manage user passwords, permissions, and more.
Installing these tools isn’t always self-explanatory. In this article I will show you how to install RSAT and Active Directory Users and Computers in Windows 10.
What Are Active Directory Users and Computers?
- What Are Active Directory Users and Computers?
- Installing RSAT on Windows 10
- Install Active Directory Users and Computers Using the Command Line
- Troubleshooting the RSAT Installation
- Final Thoughts
Active Directory Users and Computers (ADUC) is a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in that enables administrators to manage users, groups, computers, and organizational groups and their attributes. If you have ever needed the IT department at work to reset your password, this is the software tool that they probably used to help you. Although the ADUC snap-in has many functions, password resets are the feature most commonly used.
Installing RSAT on Windows 10
In order to enable these features, you’ll need to install RSAT on your Windows machine.
Installing RSAT on Windows 10 Build 1809 or Later
Starting with the October 2018 update to Windows 10, RSAT is available as a “Feature on Demand” on every Professional, Enterprise, and Education edition of Windows 10. Installing “Features on Demand” is easy.
To get RSAT running, just hit Ctrl-Escape or tap the Windows key, type “manage optional features” in the search box, then select the “Manage optional features” option from the menu.
The settings app will run and will bring up a list of all the optional features already installed on your Windows 10 desktop.
Click the “+” button that says “Add a feature”. Browse through the list for the RSAT tools and add them.
Installing RSAT Prior to Windows 10 Build 1809
If you’re running an earlier version of Windows 10, you can still install RSAT, but the sequence of steps is different.
If you have an earlier build of Windows 10 (for example, if you have automatic updates turned off), then you will need to install RSAT manually by downloading it from the Microsoft website.
Here’s how to download the RSAT suite:
- Visit the Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 10 page.
- Select Download, select the correct operating system and download the file. Select the latest RSAT release for maximum compatibility.
- Double-click the downloaded .msi file once it completes downloading.
- Let the install proceed.
- Type ‘control’ into the Windows Search box to bring up the Control Panel.
- Select Programs and then Programs and Features.
- Select Turn Windows features on or off.
- Select Remote Server Administration Tools and then Role Administration Tools.
- Select AD DS and AD LDS Tools.
- 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.
- Open Control Panel.
- Navigate to Administrative Tools.
- 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 with most server-based installations, you can also do the install via the command line. Just three commands will install RSAT and have you up and running using it as a remote system management tool:
- Open a command-line window as an administrator.
- Type ‘dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:RSATClient-Roles-AD’ and hit Enter.
- Type ‘dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:RSATClient-Roles-AD-DS’ and hit Enter.
- 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
RSAT installations will usually just run smoothly, but there are occasional problems.
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 problem plagues many Windows Update-related installations and Microsoft seems to be in no hurry to fix it. If you’re having other Windows Update related issues, check here for some common problems and solutions.
Not All Tabs Showing in RSAT
If you installed RSAT but you don’t see all the options, 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 RSAT are not clean so old files and configurations can remain.
These are useful tools but only for people who have multiple computers to administer. By following the steps outlined above you can install RSAT on your Windows 10 computer and get back to work as quickly as possible.
How did enabling RSAT go for you? Do you have any tips or tricks for others trying to install remote admin tools? If so, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below!