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How to Install Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) on Windows 10

Posted by Jamie on November 20, 2019

Windows 10 is a powerful home and office operating system, but many of its users are not aware that it also has full-fledged remote system administration tools for the enterprise and for schools running the Education version of Windows 10.

Computers running the full release versions of  one of these Windows 10 editons can install Microsoft Remote Server Administration (RSAT): Windows 10 Enterprise, Windows 10 Professional., or Windows 10 Education.  RSAT gives system administrators the ability to manage remote servers and PC’s.

Staring over a year ago, in October 2018, Microsoft started including RSAT as one of 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.

In this TechJunkie how-to article, I will show you how to install RSAT and Active Directory Users and Computers in Windows 10.

As mentioned above, if your device doesn’t have Windows 10 Professional or Enterprise versions installed, then none of these instructions will work; only those versions of Windows 10 support this software. Let’s get started.

What is Active Directory Users and Computers?

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.

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 MMC that extends its functionality. 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.

Installing Remote Server Administration Tools

How to Install RSAT on Windows 10 Build 1809 or Later

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. You can be up and running with RSAT in no time.

To get RSAT running, just hit Ctrl-Escape or tap the Windows key, and 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”. Find the RSAT tools and add them.

How to Install RSAT Prior to Windows 10 Build 1809

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.

  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. Double-click the downloaded .msu file once it completes downloading.
  4. Let the install proceed.
  5. Type ‘control’ into the Windows Search box to bring up the Control Panel.
  6. Select Programs and then Programs and Features.
  7. Select Turn Windows features on or off.
  8. Select Remote Server Administration Tools and then Role Administration Tools.
  9. Select AD DS and AD LDS Tools.
  10. 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 using it as a remote system management tool:

  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 seems 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.

Want more information about the Windows 10 administration? We’ve got you covered.

Want to skip the password hassles with Windows 10? Learn how to login to Windows 10 without a password. Note: Though this is convenient and appropriate for some use cases, be careful with this one for security reasons. It might be worth the password hassle to prevent bigger problems.

Are you getting DPC errors? We’ll show you how to fix DPC watchdog errors in Windows 10.

Hare you haveing Windows 10 update trouble? See our tutorial on fixing Windows 10 update issues.

If you are having Windows 10 networking issues, we have a how-to article on fixing Windows 10 networking problems.

Do you have a window that seems to have completely disappeared off your computer’s display? Get that window b back with the help of our tutorial on finding missing windows in Windows 10.

Is your clipboard getting cluttered? Here’s how to clear out your Windows 10 clipboard.

If you don’t needData Execution Prevention (DEP), here’s how to disable DEP from the Windows 10 command line.

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!

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