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Active Directory Administrative Center: Getting Started

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012

In the Windows Server® 2003 and Windows Server 2008 operating systems, administrators could manage and publish information in their Active Directory® environments by using the Active Directory Users and Computers Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in. Beginning in Windows Server 2008 R2, in addition to using Active Directory Users and Computers, administrators can manage their directory service objects by using the new Active Directory Administrative Center.


The version of Active Directory Administrative Center that is included in Windows Server 2012 has additional improvements, including a Windows PowerShell History Viewer to help you learn Active Directory cmdlets. For more information, see Active Directory Administrative Center Enhancements.

Built on Windows PowerShell™ command-line interface technology, Active Directory Administrative Center provides network administrators with an enhanced Active Directory data management experience and a rich graphical user interface (GUI). Administrators can use Active Directory Administrative Center to perform common Active Directory object management tasks through both data-driven navigation and task-oriented navigation.

You can use Active Directory Administrative Center to perform the following Active Directory administrative tasks:

  • Create new user accounts or manage existing user accounts

  • Create new groups or manage existing groups

  • Create new computer accounts or manage existing computer accounts

  • Create new organizational units (OUs) and containers or manage existing OUs

  • Connect to one or several domains or domain controllers in the same instance of Active Directory Administrative Center, and view or manage the directory information for those domains or domain controllers

  • Filter Active Directory data by using query-building search

In addition, you can use the enhanced GUI to customize Active Directory Administrative Center to suite your particular directory service administering requirements. This can help improve your productivity and efficiency as you perform common Active Directory object management tasks.

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