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

MCSA Servers

Install Active Directory Domain Services on Windows Server 2016

The Active Directory Domain Services is the feature of creating domain and managing it, but it’s never had been easy to do in a new platform due to many changes or having no experience of it. Surely you need some steps to follow to install and configure Active Directory Domain Services(ADDS) fully by following up the steps here. No matter if you have installed your server now or if you are doing it on a VM machine you can do it now, so let’s get started.

Install Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS)

To get started, first you have to install it then setup a domain controller.

Before starting, make sure that you have renamed the server properly and have given static IP address to it. If you don’t know how to do it then see the instructions below.

To setup static IP address open Run (Windows + r) type Ncpa.cpl and hit enter, when the Network Connections opened select the network and right click on it choose Properties. Now select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPV4) and click on Properties. 

Setup IP

When the window appears, select Use the following IP address then enter an IP address, Subnet maskPreferred DNS server addresses and click ok.

Enter IP Address

1. Now to install AD DS open Server Manager and click on Add Roles and features.


2. Read the important notes and click Next to verify and continue the installation.


3. Here let the Role-based be selected, just click Next.


4. Select the server you want to install AD on it then click Next.


5. Now select Active Directory Domain Services then click Add Features to include the required features within AD and click Next.

While installing AD it will install some other features with it such as:

  • DFS Namespace
  • DFS Replication
  • File Replication Services

6. Leave the features window by default and click Next.


7. Read all the info about the AD and click Next.



8. Now the ADDS is ready to install, click Install to begin the installation.


9. Wait for the installation to complete, then click on Promote this server to a domain controller.




Configure Server to Domain Controller

1. When the window opened click on Promote this server to a domain controller, now click on Add a new forest then type the domain name in the Root domain name blank and click Next.




2. Let the Domain Controller options be by default and type a password for DSRM then click Next.




Notice: Set the Forest functional level the highest so your environment can support and make sure that all the domain controller are supported with that operating system.

3. Ignore the DNS delegation warning because its due to not installed DNS server on the server, and click Next.




4. Now verify the NetBIOS name and change it if necessary then click Next.




Note: NetBIOS name is a Network Basic Input/output system that allow applications on separate computers to communicate over a local network and can be required by some applications and network devices.

5. Specify the location of AD DS database, log files, SYSVOL and change it if necessary then click Next.




6. Now review all the configuration you’ve done then click Next.




7. The configuration is done now, click Install to begin the installation and ignore the warnings.

Note: It will install DNS role too.


After installing the system will reboot automatically, when the system restarted the domain will work successfully and you can log in and see the domain features.


That’s all. If you have any question regarding this feel free to ask us.