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

Posted by Jamie on April 30, 2019

Windows 10 is a powerful home and office operating system, but many of its users are not aware that it is also has full-fledged management tools for the enterprise. Windows 10 desktops running either the Professional or Enterprise editions of Windows have the ability to manage remote servers and computers using a set of tools known as Microsoft Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT). RSAT includes Active Directory Users and Computers and enables administrators to remotely manage Windows servers and desktops from a Windows 10 device. In this article, I will show you how to install RSAT and Active Directory Users and Computers in Windows 10. Note that if your device doesn’t have Windows 10 Professional or Enterprise versions installed, then none of this will work; only those versions of Windows 10 support this software.

What is Active Directory Users and Computers?

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.

Installing Remote Server Administration Tools

Build 1809 or Later

With the October 2018 update to Windows 10, RSAT is already installed on every Professional or Enterprise edition of Windows, and only needs to be activated. 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.

Prior to 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 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.

  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.

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

Want to skip the password hassles? Learn how to login to Windows 10 without a password.

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

Update troubles? See our tutorial on fixing Windows 10 update issues.

If your Ethernet isn’t working, we’ve got a guide to fixing Windows 10 networking problems.

Got a window that’s disappeared off your screen? Get it back with our tutorial on finding missing windows in Windows 10.

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

If you don’t need DEP, here’s how to disable DEP from the Windows 10 command line.

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