How to Upgrade Active Directory FFL from 2003 to 2016 ??

Anant Bera 131 Reputation points


We have an Active Directory environment with 2003 FFL and 2008 DFL. We plan to upgrade FFL to Windows Server 2016. What are the key considerations and the process we need to follow to upgrade both FFL and DFL to the latest version?


Windows Server
Windows Server
A family of Microsoft server operating systems that support enterprise-level management, data storage, applications, and communications.
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Active Directory
Active Directory
A set of directory-based technologies included in Windows Server.
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  1. Jing Zhou 3,660 Reputation points Microsoft Vendor


    Thank you for posting in Q&A forum.

    When upgrading the FFL (Functional Level) of the Active Directory environment from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2016, the following key factors and steps need to be considered:

    Before upgrading, be sure to back up Active Directory data to prevent accidental data loss.

    Ensure that all domain controllers comply with the system requirements of Windows Server 2016 and have installed the latest updates and patches.

    Ensure that applications and services are compatible with Windows Server 2016 to avoid compatibility issues after upgrading.

    Upgrade DFL and FFL using the Active Directory User and Computer Management Tool (ADUC).

    Right click on the domain in the Active Directory User and Computer Management tool, select "Upgrade Domain Functional Level", and then select the target functional level.

    Monitor the status and event logs of the domain controller during the upgrade process to ensure there are no errors or warnings. And test the functionality of the domain controller, including user authentication, group policy application, etc., to ensure that everything runs normally.

    Best regards,

    Jill Zhou

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