Join a workgroup

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

To join a workgroup

  1. Open System in Control Panel.

  2. On the Computer Name tab, click Change.

  3. Under Member of, click Workgroup, type the name of the workgroup that you want to join, and then click OK.

    If your computer was a member of a domain, Windows prompts you for the user name and password of an account with permission to delete the computer account from the domain.

    If the account you provide does not have permission to remove the computer account from the domain, the computer is disjoined from the domain and moved to the workgroup, but the computer account is left in place on the domain. This may prevent Kerberos authentication to a computer with the same NetBIOS name joined to a different domain within the same forest.

  4. Click OK to close the System Properties dialog box.

    You will be prompted to restart your computer to apply your changes.


  • To perform this procedure, you must be a member of the Administrators group on the local computer, or you must have been delegated the appropriate authority. If the computer is joined to a domain, members of the Domain Admins group might be able to perform this procedure. As a security best practice, consider using Run as to perform this procedure.

  • To open System, click Start, click Control Panel, and then double-click System.

  • To open System from a command line as an administrator, type:

    runas /user: computername \Administrator "rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL sysdm.cpl"

  • A workgroup name must not be the same as the computer name. A workgroup name can be 15 or fewer bytes long, but it cannot contain any of the following symbols: colon, semicolon, double quotation marks, angle brackets, asterisk, plus sign, equals sign, backslash, pipe bar, question mark, and comma

  • Computers that are domain controllers must be demoted before their domain membership can be changed.

  • If the computer is disjoined or unjoined from the domain, any certificates issued from a certification authority (CA) in the previous domain remain in the computer's certificate store. These certificates should be revoked by the CA administrator. For more information, see Related Topics.

  • If your computer does not have TCP/IP networking installed or has other networking protocols installed (without TCP/IP), the computer name must be in uppercase letters 15 or fewer bytes long (depending on which characters are used and the language set as the Language for non-Unicode programs in Regional and Language Options in Control Panel). For more information about how to set the language for non-Unicode programs, see Related Topics.

Information about functional differences

  • Your server might function differently based on the version and edition of the operating system that is installed, your account permissions, and your menu settings. For more information, see Viewing Help on the Web.

See Also


Join a domain
Rename a computer
Change the DNS suffix of your computer
System Properties Overview - Control Panel
Revoke an issued certificate

Other Resources

Display non-Unicode programs in their native language