Can we downgrade DFL/FFL?

Garima Das 1,041 Reputation points

Hello everyone,

I am wanting to upgrade DFL and FFL in my organization's AD environment. As part of the rollback plan, is the downgrade of DFL/FFL possible?

What would be the steps to perform the same?

Also, I looked over and couldn't find any Microsoft Article supporting the downgrade of the DFL/FFL. What is the best recommendations from Microsoft to perform the downgrade?


Active Directory
Active Directory
A set of directory-based technologies included in Windows Server.
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  1. Yanhong Liu 3,420 Reputation points Microsoft Vendor


    Thank you for posting in Q&A forum.

    Unfortunately, once DFL and FFL are raised, they cannot be downgraded without forest restoration. This is because raising DFL and FFL makes irreversible changes to the Active Directory database schema.

    It is recommended that you test the upgrade in a non-production environment before applying it to your production environment. This allows problems that may occur to be identified and resolved without impacting your production environment.

    If you decide to proceed with the upgrade, make sure you have a complete backup of your Active Directory environment. If something goes wrong you can restore the backup, effectively "downgrading" your DFL and FFL.

    For more information, please refer to the link:

    Active Directory Domain Services Functional Levels in Windows Server | Microsoft Learn

    AD Forest Recovery - Backing up a full server | Microsoft Learn

    Active Directory Forest Recovery - Performing a nonauthoritative restore of Active Directory Domain Services | Microsoft Learn

    I hope the information above is helpful.

    Best Regards,

    Yanhong Liu


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