AD Users and Computers

Active Directory Users and Computers definitions:

  • Domain Controller (DC) – is a server that responds to security authentication requests within a Windows Server domain. A domain controller is the centerpiece of the Windows Active Directory service. It authenticates users, stores user account information and enforces security policy for a Windows domain.
  • Organizational Unit (OU) –  is a subdivision within an Active Directory into which you can place users, groups, computers, and other organizational units. You can create organizational units to mirror your organization’s functional or business structure.
  • AD Domain – an Active Directory Domain is a collection of objects within a Microsoft Active Directory network. The domain is at the top of the tree and has domain controllers, users and computers.

Let’s start with the first step, make sure you have the AD feature installed on your server. Open Server Manager -> Tools -> Active Directory Users and Computers.

If doesn’t show up, you need to install the feature. Go to Server Manager -> Manage -> Add Roles and Features -> Role-based or feature-based installation -> Check the box “Active Directory Domain Services” and click Next, then Install.

  • After the feature is installed, go to Tools -> Active Directory Users and Computers. The tree on the left side will show: Domain, Domain Controllers, Organizational Units, Computers, Users.
  • If you want to create a new OU / User / Computer / Group just select where you want to create it (Domain, OU) and right click and then choose the option: Computer/OU/User. If you want to create a new user inside an OU, select the OU and inside select Users and right click -> choose User.
  • If you want to Disable a user / Reset Password / Delete or change Properties, select the user and right click -> choose the option from the menu.
  • If you want to Disable computer / Reset / Delete or change Properties, select the computer and right click -> choose the option from the menu.
  • By default all the users are inside container Users and all the computers are inside container Computers. When you create a new OU and want users/computers to be part of that new OU, you need to move users/computers into the new OU. Right click on user/computer and choose the option Move, then select where you want to move it.
  • For changing Users properties, double click or right click -> select Properties. With the properties you have the option to change user: Display name, Login name, Lock/Unlock account, Account expiration, Add/Remove from a group, Change permissions. You cannot change the password from here, to change the password for a user right click and choose Reset Password.
  • For changing Computers properties, double click or right click -> select Properties. With the properties you can change who manage the computer, add/remove from a group
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