Active Directory Users and Computers (ADUC) Installation and Tutorial

Paul Hill

January 1, 2024 • 7 min read

    Active Directory Users and Computers (ADUC) is part of Microsoft’s Active Directory (AD). This system manages all the critical user details, such as names, emails, addresses, and crucial login information like passwords. In the IT world, when people talk about “Active Directory”, they’re often referring to ADUC. It’s the go-to tool for organizing and controlling access within your network.

    If you want to learn more about Active Directory Users and Computers, consider enrolling in our free Active Directory Fundamentals course at the link below:

    Course: Active Directory Fundamentals

    This free course will teach you the fundamentals of Active Directory. You’ll learn how to create and…

    10 Lessons
    1 Quizzes
    1 Labs
    1 Hr

    How to Install Active Directory Users and Computers on Windows 10

    Installing Active Directory Users and Computers (ADUC) on Windows 10 is straightforward. The process varies slightly depending on your version of Windows 10, but it’s nothing too complicated. Let’s break it down into two parts based on the Windows 10 version you’re using.

    Verify Your Version of Windows

    Before proceeding with the installation steps outline below, be sure to confirm which version of Windows you have. It’s also important to note what edition of Windows you have since that will require different steps.

    To verify your version of Windows, click the windows button, and search for “system info,” and select “System Information” from the search results:

    System Information

    Look for “OS Name” and “Version”.

    image 1
    How to find your OS Name and Version on Windows

    Install ADUC on Windows 10 Pro 1809+, and Windows 11 with PowerShell

    If you’re using Windows 11 (Home or Pro), execute the following PowerShell command to see what you have available:

    Get-WindowsCapability -Name RSAT* -Online | Select-Object -Property DisplayName, Name, State

    This returns a list shown below. I want to install the first option, which for my computer is “Rsat.ActiveDirectory.DS-LDS.Tools~~~~”.

    image 2
    Install RSAT on Windows 11 with PowerShell

    I can install this with the following PowerShell command:

    Add-WindowsCapability -Online -Name Rsat.ActiveDirectory.DS-LDS.Tools~~~~

    For Windows 10 Pro Version 1809 and Above without PowerShell

    If you’re using Windows 10 Pro version 1809 or later, installing ADUC is part of adding the ‘RSAT: Active Directory Domain Services and Lightweight Directory Tools’ feature. Here’s how to do it:

    1. Open Settings: Click on the Start menu and select ‘Settings’.
    2. Access Apps & Features: Navigate to ‘Apps’ and then to ‘Optional Features’.
    3. Add a Feature: Click on ‘Add a feature’ at the top of the page.
    4. Find and Install RSAT Tools: Scroll or search for ‘RSAT: Active Directory Domain Services and Lightweight Directory Tools’. Select it and click ‘Install’.
    5. Wait for Installation: The installation might take a few minutes. Once done, you’ll have ADUC available to use.

    This is a pretty hassle-free process, and it’s nice that Microsoft made these tools readily available without needing additional downloads.

    For Windows 10 Version 1803 and Below

    For older versions of Windows 10 or for Windows 10 Home, like version 1803 and below, you’ll need to download the RSAT package manually. Here’s how:

    1. Visit Microsoft’s Download Center: Search for ‘RSAT for Windows 10’ in your web browser and visit the Microsoft Download Center link.
    2. Download the RSAT Installer: Choose the correct version of the RSAT installer based on your Windows 10 version.
    3. Run the Installer: Once downloaded, run the installer and follow the on-screen instructions.
    4. Enable ADUC: After installation, go to ‘Control Panel’, select ‘Programs’, then ‘Turn Windows features on or off’. Here, check the box for ‘AD DS and AD LDS Tools’.

    How to Start Active Directory Users and Computers (ADUC)

    Once you’ve successfully installed Active Directory Users and Computers (ADUC) on your Windows 10 machine, the next step is to actually start using it. Launching ADUC is a breeze, and once you’re in, you’ll find a range of options to manage your network’s users and computers effectively. Let’s walk through how to get it up and running.

    Accessing ADUC

    To open ADUC, you’ll typically use the Windows search function:

    1. Open the Start Menu: Click the Windows icon on your taskbar.
    2. Search for ADUC: In the search bar, type “Active Directory Users and Computers”.
    3. Launch the Tool: Click on the ADUC application that appears in the search results.

    If it’s your first time using ADUC, you might want to pin it to your Start menu or taskbar for quick access in the future. Simply right-click on the ADUC app in the search results and choose ‘Pin to Start’ or ‘Pin to Taskbar’.

    Navigating the ADUC Interface

    When you first open ADUC, you’ll be greeted with a tree-view of your Active Directory environment.

    image 3
    Active Directory Users and Computers Console

    Here, you’ll see your domain and a series of folders representing various organizational units (OUs) and groups.

    Navigating through this interface is straightforward. You can expand each OU to see the objects (like user accounts and groups) within them. Right-clicking on objects or the space in the console gives you a context-specific menu, offering various administrative tasks you can perform, like resetting passwords or creating new users.

    Some Quick Tips

    • Use the ‘Find’ Feature: If you’re looking for a specific user or group, the ‘Find’ function is incredibly handy. It’s a bit like using the search function on your computer – simple and efficient.
    • Familiarize Yourself with Context Menus: Right-clicking on different items in the ADUC gives you a lot of options. Spend some time getting to know these – they’re great time-savers.

    Basic Features and Functionalities of Active Directory Users and Computers

    Active Directory Users and Computers (ADUC) is chock-full of features that can simplify the life of a network administrator. Understanding its core functionalities is key to leveraging its full potential. Let’s delve into some of the basic yet powerful features of ADUC.

    User Account Management

    At its core, ADUC is about managing user accounts. Here are some of the things you can do:

    • Create New User Accounts: You can set up new user accounts, complete with detailed personal information and login credentials.
    • Modify Existing Accounts: Need to update a user’s details or change their group memberships? It’s just a few clicks away in ADUC.
    • Delete or Disable Accounts: When a user leaves or needs to be temporarily removed from the network, you can either disable or delete their account.

    Group Management

    Groups help organize your AD objects like Users and Computers. Create groups based on department, role, access needs, or anything else you can think of. This allows you to apply Group Policies Objects (or GPOs) to the specific groups and configure specific settings for that group.

    Organizational Units (OUs)

    OUs are like folders that help you organize and manage users, groups, and other AD objects more efficiently. Once you create an OU, like groups, you can apply specific Group Policy Objects to that organizational unit.

    You can create OUs any way you see fit and whatever makes sense to you while organizing your domain, but it should be created with the idea that later you’ll come back and apply GPOs and apply security settings.

    Finding and Managing Objects

    ADUC comes with a robust search feature that lets you quickly find any object in your directory. It’s particularly useful when you’re managing a large number of users and groups.

    Security and Permissions

    Managing security settings and permissions is a big part of ADUC. You can:

    • Set Permissions: Define what users can and cannot access.
    • Manage Security Groups: Use security groups to apply permissions to a set of users.


    That provides a basic overview of Active Directory Users and Computers including it’s installation. If you want a more indepth tutorial on Active Directory, you can check out our other blog post titled Active Directory 101: A Step-by-Step Tutorial for Beginners. If you want more formal training, consider our free Active Directory Fundamentals course below:

    Course: Active Directory Fundamentals

    This free course will teach you the fundamentals of Active Directory. You’ll learn how to create and…

    10 Lessons
    1 Quizzes
    1 Labs
    1 Hr

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