TechTip: Install the Microsoft Active Directory Users and Computers tool on Windows 7

"Active Directory Users and Computers" is a great tool for anyone working in or with Microsoft's AD environment, since it allows administrators to search, create and update Active Directory user accounts, groups and even Exchange email distribution lists. In older versions of Windows getting this tool was as easy as installing the "Windows Server 2003 Administration Tools Pack", and you were ready to go. In Windows 7, however, the process is slightly different and requires "activation steps" that are obscure enough to warrant them being well-documented on the web.

Use the following steps to install the Microsoft's Active Directory Users and Computers tool on your Windows 7 system:

  1. Download the corresponding "Remote Server Administration Tools" installation package (either 32 or 64 bit) from Microsoft's website:
  2. Launch the installer and follow the onscreen instructions, as usual. Next part will be tricky - once installed, the individual tools in the package must be activated using the command line.
  3. Run the "Command Prompt" tool with elevated privileges by right-clicking the icon and selecting "Run as administrator" (you may receive the UAC warning pop-up, click "Yes").
  4. In the command prompt window that opens, execute the following lines (in order and one at a time) to enable all the per-requisite features and the "Users and Computers" snap-in:

    dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:RemoteServerAdministrationTools

    dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:RemoteServerAdministrationTools-Roles

    dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:RemoteServerAdministrationTools-Roles-AD

    dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:RemoteServerAdministrationTools-Roles-AD-DS

    dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:RemoteServerAdministrationTools-Roles-AD-DS-SnapIns

  5. Each command will take around 30-45 seconds to complete and you should see the progress and confirmation messages displayed on the screen:

Once all of the activation commands are completed, you should be able to find the "Active Directory Users and Computers" under the "Administrative Tools" folder in your start menu.


Anonymous said...

Thanks. Good information

Anonymous said...

Thanks!. I was almost going to uninstall the win7 admin pack as it didnt have the expected AD tools. I'm so glad I found your article.

Anonymous said...

Highly recommended article. Good Job!