Install Active Directory on Windows Server 2016 step by step

Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) is the center for management tasks (Users, Groups, Computers, Organizational Units, Schema) in Windows networks. You can manage the network by AD DS easily. Imagine if you were a network administrator. You could create user accounts and gave them access to special files manually. It was practical if you were engaged with less than 50 users and computers. If you were engaged with 12000 users and computers, what did you do? You can do the complete the task with AD DS easily. You create a group and add user accounts as members and define to which files the group access by installing Active Directory to manage the network easily. It is a simple task that you can do in Windows network using AD DS.

You can find every kind of information about the users, computers, hardware, software and etc in the Active Directory Domain Services. Windows Server 2016 is the latest version of Windows Server and in this article I show you how to install active directory.

Install AD DS Graphically

Follow the steps below to install Active Directory Domain Services on Windows Server 2016.

1. Press the Start Menu button and click on the Server Manager icon which is the management tool in Windows Server 2016.

Open Server Manager

2. Active Directory Domain Services is a Windows Server role. Click on Add Roles and features option to install the role.

Add roles and features
Add roles and features

3. In the Before you begin you have nothing to do. Click on Next button. In the Select Installation Type page, Select the Role-based or Feature-based Installation option. Click Next on button.

Role-based or feature-based installation

4. Let the Select a server from the server pool option selected. Specify the server that you want to install the role on, from the Server Pool. Click on Next button.

Select a server from the server pool

5. Select the Active Directory Domain Services role. A new windows opens and ask you to install management tools. Installing AD DS role, you just install the core services. Click on Add Features button to install management tools. then click on Next button.


Active Directory Domain Services role

6. In the Feature page, you got nothing to do. Just click on Next button. In the Active Directory Domain Services page you can read some information about AD DS. Click on Next button to move in the next page.

Active Directory Domain Services page

7. At the last step of the Active Directory installation is the confirmation of the selections. So confirm the selection by clicking on the install button. After the installation of the role, the server needs to be rebooted. You can restart it manually or let the system decide by putting the mark on Restart the destination server automatically if required option. Click on Install button to start the installation.

Active Directory Domain Services
Install active directory

Install AD DS though PowerShell

You can install AD DS through PowerShell. You need to run Install-WindowsFeature cmdlet. This cmdlet helps you to install roles and featues on Windows Server. After that, you need to type name of the feature you want to install. Type AD-Domain-Services for installing AD DS role.

Complete cmdlet: Install-WindowsFeature AD-Domain-Services

After typing the cmdlet press the Enter button.



While server rebooted, log in to server with your domain account. Default user name is Administrator. After that you can do post-installation configurations to promote this server to domain controller.

For any kind of question feel free and leave a comment below.

Watch out: Promote Windows Server 2016 to Domain Controller step by step


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