Creating and Deleting Organizational Units


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In this lesson, I'll be showing you how to create Organizational Units.

Now, an Organizational Unit are these so-called folders that you see up here that contain Active Directory Objects.

active directory users and computer objects
Active Directory Users and Computer Objects

Now, it gets kind of complicated because not all of these are OUs like Bultin, Computers, and ForeignSecurityPrincipals. These are not necessarily Organizational Units but rather Containers.

This gets into the out of the scope of this fundamentals course. We have all this detailed out in the Active Directory Course. If you are interested in that, please refer to the Active Directory in the Windows Server Course. We are getting into a lot more detail there, but just for now know that an OU has a different icon, so you can identify the OUs because you will see the icon slightly different here, This is an OU and these are rather Containers. Also, Organizational Units can receive Group Policy Objects directly attached to them.

active directory users and computer ous and containers
Active Directory Users and Computer OUs and Containers

Now, that probably went right over your head, again, it kind of goes beyond the scope of what I can explain just in this course. We do explain it inside of the Group Policy and the Active Directory courses.

Now, what I am going to do is create an Organizational Unit under Server Academy and I will just right-click the OU, and select New > Organizational Unit.

active directory users and computer new ou
Active Directory Users and Computers - New OU

Now, we are going to call this: Disabled Users. And, we are going to leave this check box here that says Protect container from accidental deletion. You'll know it says Container here. An Organizational Unit and Container are used interchangeably but there are different, ok? This is a Microsoft thing, I am sorry it is that way, but that's the way that it is.

new object organizational unit
New Object - Organizational Unit

So, now we have this Organizational Unit here. If I try to Delete this OU, we are going to get an error message that says You do not have sufficient privileges, or this object is protected from accidental deletion. You remember when we checked that check box it was enabled.

error message when deleting a protected ou 1
Error Message when deleting a protected OU

Now, if I really wanted to delete this OU what I can do is hit View and turn on Advanced Features.

active directory users and computer turn on advanced features
Active Directory Users and Computer - Turn On Advanced Features

And, then I can re-navigate over here to Disabled Users, right-click and choose Properties and I am going to go under Object and uncheck this Protect this object from accidental deletion. I'll hit Apply.

disabled users properties tab
Disabled Users Properties tab

And now if I right-click on this OU I can click Delete and I am able to delete the Organizational unit. I am going to turn off Advanced Features and I am just going to recreate that Organizational unit because we want to use this Disabled Users OU in a future lecture. So, I am naming it Disabled Users and I'll click OK.

Alright, so that's all we have to do in this lecture. Great job getting through this one, and I will see you on the next one.

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Liz M(@lizm)
1 year ago

Everything is new to me. Simple explanation. So far, I’ve been really enjoying it.

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1 year ago

I know every organization is different but is there a best practice layout or simple template for creating these OUs?

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Ricardo P(@ricardop)
Reply to  binpotter
1 year ago

Hi profile avatar Benjamin Potter

The approach most commonly used is the department model where you mirror your org structure in different departmental OUs. This depends on the organization and how big it is. Check the following link for a detailed explanation:


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1 year ago