Working with Active Directory Users and Computers


You use Active Directory Users and Computers to manage recipients. Active Directory Users and Computers is an MMC snap-in that is a standard part of Microsoft Windows Server™ operating systems. However, when you install Exchange 2003, the setup wizard automatically extends the functionality of Active Directory Users and Computers to include Exchange-specific tasks.


If the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in is installed on a computer that does not have Exchange or the Exchange management tools installed, you will not be able to perform Exchange tasks from that computer.

You start Active Directory Users and Computers from either an Exchange server or from a workstation that has the Exchange System Management Tools installed. For detailed instructions, see How to Open Active Directory Users and Computers. The following figure shows how Active Directory Users and Computers appears on the screen.

Active Directory Users and Computers hierarchy


The left pane of Active Directory Users and Computers is the console tree that shows your fully qualified domain name at the root level. Click the + (plus) sign to expand the root container. Under the root container are several default containers:

  • Builtin   Container for built-in user accounts.

  • Computers   Default container for computer objects.

  • Domain Controllers   Default container for domain controllers.

  • ForeignSecurityPrincipals   Container for security principals from trusted external domains. Administrators should not manually change the contents of this container.

  • **Users   **Default container for user objects.

In addition to the default containers, you can organize directory objects in logical units by creating containers named organizational units. For example, you can create an organizational unit for your marketing group that holds all the directory objects associated with your company's marketing department. Organizational units are useful for applying Group Policy settings and for organizing objects in a meaningful way. For more information about organizational units, see the Windows documentation.

After you have organized the containers in Active Directory Users and Computers, you can then use those containers to:

  • Create recipients.

  • Perform Exchange-specific tasks.

  • Manage multiple Exchange domains.