Introduction to Troubleshooting AD FS 2.0

Updated: July 30, 2010

Applies To: Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) 2.0

This guide explains how to troubleshoot Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) 2.0. If you are not familiar with this guide, review the following sections of this introduction.

When to use this guide

Use this guide when:

  • You need to understand how to perform basic troubleshooting of common problems that might occur when you are working with AD FS 2.0.

  • You want to understand how to configure and enable service logging to trace AD FS 2.0 service activity.

  • You want to know more about how you can track AD FS 2.0 performance using Performance Monitor and other Microsoft supported tools.

  • You want to have a good background in how to debug, analyze, or report on complex issues in your AD FS 2.0 deployment.

Do not use this troubleshooting guide to find out how to perform an operations task, such as "Configure a New AD FS 2.0 Server Instance" or "Add a Claims Provider Trust." You can find information about how to perform these and other common tasks in the AD FS 2.0 Help, which is available with the installed product or at AD FS 2.0 Product Help (

This guide assumes that you have a basic understanding of AD FS 2.0, how it works, and why your organization uses it to support its identity and access needs. You should also have a thorough understanding of how identity technology is designed and deployed in your organization. This includes an understanding of the mechanisms that your organization uses to configure and manage directory services (such as Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS)) or other settings that are used for managing identity and security in your business environment. For more information about designing and deploying AD FS 2.0, see the AD FS 2.0 Design Guide ( or the AD FS 2.0 Deployment Guide (

How to use this guide

Use the following flow diagram to help target the section in this guide that best fits your needs for troubleshooting AD FS 2.0.

For your convenience, the following provides a summary and links to each of the topics mentioned in the diagram:

  • Configuring Computers for Troubleshooting AD FS 2.0

    This topic describes how to configure your computer or computers for troubleshooting. Read this topic if you are ready to enable trace logging for your AD FS 2.0 deployment.

  • Things to Check Before Troubleshooting AD FS 2.0

    This topic provides a list of tasks and settings to check before you troubleshoot a problem. Read this topic before you read a problem topic to make sure that your system is set up properly for troubleshooting.

  • Troubleshooting AD FS 2.0 Problems

    This topic contains links to step-by-step diagnostic procedures and possible solutions that help you identify and fix AD FS 2.0 problems. You can use this topic to find a solution for a problem.

  • Troubleshooting User-Reported Symptoms for AD FS 2.0

    This topic provides you with a list of common symptoms that indicate a possible problem with your AD FS 2.0 deployment. You can use the flowcharting in each symptom as a map to narrow and eliminate possible causes for the symptom that coincides with your troubleshooting scenario.