Managing Active Directory from the command line

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

Managing Active Directory from the command line

The following command-line tools can be used to manage Active Directory.

Name Description


Import and export Active Directory data using comma-separated format.


Add users, groups, computers, contacts, and organizational units to Active Directory.


Modify an existing object of a specific type in the directory. The types of objects that can be modified are: users, groups, computers, servers, contacts, and organizational units.


Remove objects of the specified type from Active Directory.


Rename an object without moving it in the directory tree, or move an object from its current location in the directory to a new location within a single domain controller. (For cross-domain moves, use the Movetree command-line tool.)


Query and find a list of objects in the directory using specified search criteria. Use in a generic mode to query for any type of object or in a specialized mode to query for for selected object types. The specific types of objects that can be queried through this command are: computers, contacts, subnets, groups, organizational units, sites, servers and users.


Display selected attributes of specific object types in Active Directory. Attributes of the following object types can be viewed: computers, contacts, subnets, groups, organizational units, servers, sites, and users.


Ceate, modify, and delete directory objects. This tool can also be used to extend the schema, export Active Directory user and group information to other applications or services, and populate Active Directory with data from other directory services.


General purpose Active Directory management tool. Use Ntdsutil to perform database maintenance of Active Directory, to manage single master operations, and remove metadata left behind by domain controllers that were removed from the network without being properly uninstalled.

Additional command-line tools are available in the Support tools folder of the product compact disc and from the Resource Kit

For information about other command-line tools, see Command-line reference A-Z. For more information about manageability, see Management Strategies and Tools.