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Applies To: Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1, Windows Server 2012

    Active Directory Filter

    Describes the syntax and behavior of the search filter supported by the
    Active Directory module for Windows PowerShell.

    Most get-AD* Active Directory module cmdlets use the Filter parameter to
    search for objects. The Filter parameter has been implemented to replace
    the function of the LDAP Filter and adds support for PowerShell
    variables, rich data types, improved error checking and an Active
    Directory extended form of the PowerShell Expression Language.

    For more information about the Windows PowerShell Expression Language
    syntax, see about_filter.

    Note: The about_filter PowerShell topic refers to more supporting
    expression language topics.

  Support for LDAP Filter Syntax
    The LDAP filter syntax is supported through the LDAPFilter parameter.
    You will find LDAP filter examples along with the new Active Directory
    module filter examples in the Filter Examples section of this topic.

  Search Breadth and Depth
    The breadth and depth of your filter-driven search can be modified by
    two Active Directory module cmdlet parameters: SearchBase and

    When within the context of the Active Directory provider, if the
    Searchbase parameter is not specified, SearchBase will default to the
    current path. When not running under the Active Directory provider, the
    SearchBase will default to the server's DefaultNamingContext.

    The SearchScope parameter defaults to the value Subtree, of the
    enumerated type ADSearchScope.

    For more information, see the SearchBase and SearchScope parameter
    descriptions on any Get-AD* cmdlet.

  Search Result Behavior
    The behavior of the Active Directory module when returning results of a
    search is modified by two cmdlet parameters: ResultPageSize and

    ResultSetSize controls the maximum number of returned objects.

    ResultPageSize specifies the maximum number of objects for each returned
    page of information.

    See the ResultPageSize and ResultSetSize parameter descriptions on any
    get-AD* cmdlet for more information.

  Timeout Behavior
    The following statements specify timeout conditions within the Active
    Directory module and describe what can be done about a timeout them.

    The default Active Directory module timeout for all operations is 2

    For search operation, the Active Directory module uses paging control
    with a 2-minute timeout for each page search.

    Note: Because a search may involve multiple server page requests the
    overall search time may exceed 2 minutes.

    A TimeoutException error indicates that a timeout has occurred.

    For a search operation, you can choose to use a smaller page size, set
    with the ResultPageSize parameter, if you are getting a TimeoutException

    If after trying these changes you are still getting a TimeoutException
    error, consider optimizing your filter using the guidance in the
    Optimizing Filters section of this topic.

  Optimizing Filters
    You can enhance the search filter behavior by using these guidelines.

    Avoid using the Recursive parameter as it intensifies resource usage of
    the search operation.

    Avoid using bitwise AND operators and bitwise OR operators. For more
    information, see the Supported Operators section of this topic.

    Avoid using the logical NOT operator.

    Break down your search into multiple queries with narrower conditions.

    Note: For a full description of filter syntax and usage, see the Filter
    Syntax section of this topic.

  Filter Examples
    The following section shows many examples of filter use in common

    -------------------------- EXAMPLE 1 --------------------------

    Get all entries:

        LDAP Filter Equivalent

        Get-ADObject -Filter 'ObjectClass -like "*"'

    -------------------------- Example 2 --------------------------

    Get entries containing "bob" somewhere in the common name:

        LDAP Filter Equivalent

        Get-ADObject -Filter 'CN -like "*bob*"'

    -------------------------- Example 3 --------------------------

    Get entries with a bad password count greater than five:

        LDAP Filter Equivalent

        Get-ADUser -Filter 'badpwdcount -ge 5'

    -------------------------- Example 4 --------------------------

    Get all users with an e-mail attribute:

        LDAP Filter Equivalent

        Get-ADUser -filter 'email -like "*"'


        Get-ADObject -filter 'email -like "*" -and ObjectClass -eq "user"'

    -------------------------- Example 5 --------------------------

    Get all user entries with an e-mail attribute and a surname equal
    to "smith":

        LDAP Filter Equivalent

        Get-ADUser -Filter 'Email -like "*" -and SurName -eq "smith"'


        Get-ADUser -Filter 'Email -like "*" -and sn -eq "smith"'

    -------------------------- Example 6 --------------------------

    Get all user entries with a common name that starts with "andy" and
    users with a common name of "steve" or "margaret":

        LDAP Filter Equivalent
        (&(objectClass=user) | (cn=andy*)(cn=steve)(cn=margaret))

        Get-ADUser -Filter 'CN -like "andy*" -or CN -eq "steve" -or
        CN -eq "margaret"'

    This second PowerShell script in example demonstrates a more complex
    logic and the use of precedence control via parenthesis.

        Get-ADObject -Filter 'objectClass -eq "user" -and
         (CN -like "andy*" -or CN -eq "steve" -or CN -eq "margaret")'

    -------------------------- Example 7 --------------------------

    Get all entries without an e-mail attribute:

        LDAP Filter Equivalent

        Get-ADUser -Filter '-not Email -like "*"'


        Get-ADUser -Filter 'Email -notlike "*"'

    -------------------------- Example 8 --------------------------

    Get all users who did not logon since January 1, 2007:

        LDAP Filter Equivalent
        //where X is number of 100-nanosecond slices since Jan 1st 1601

        $date = new-object System.DateTime -ArgumentList @(2007,1,1,0,0,0)
        Get-ADUser -Filter '-not LastLogon -le $date'

    -------------------------- Example 9 --------------------------

    Get all users who have logged on in the last 5 days:

        LDAP Filter Equivalent

        $date = (get-date) - (new-timespan -days 5)
        Get-ADUser -Filter 'lastLogon -gt $date'

    -------------------------- Example 10 -------------------------

    The following example query string searches for group objects that have
    the ADS_GROUP_TYPE_SECURITY_ENABLED flag set. Be aware that the decimal
    value of ADS_GROUP_TYPE_SECURITY_ENABLED (0x80000000 = 2147483648) is
    used for the comparison value.

        LDAP Filter Equivalent

        Get-ADGroup -filter 'groupType -band 0x80000000'

    -------------------------- Example 11 -------------------------

    The LDAP_MATCHING_RULE_IN_CHAIN is a matching rule OID that is designed
    to provide a method to look up the ancestry of an object. Many
    applications using Active Directory and AD LDS usually work with
    hierarchical data, which is ordered by parent-child relationships.
    Previously, applications performed transitive group expansion to figure
    out group membership, which used a lot of network bandwidth.
    Applications made multiple round-trips to figure out if an object fell
    "in the chain" if a link were traversed through to the end.

    An example of such a query is one designed to check if a user, "user1"
    is a member of group "group1".

    NOTE: user1 may not be a direct member of group1. It could be a member
    of some other group, which is a member of group1.

    You would set the base to the user DN (cn=user1, cn=users, dc=x) and the
    scope to base, and use the query:

        LDAP Filter Equivalent

        Get-ADUser -Filter 'memberOf -RecursiveMatch "CN=Administrators,
        -SearchBase "CN=Administrator,CN=Users,DC=Fabrikam,DC=com"


  Filter Syntax
    The following syntax descriptions use Backus-Naur form to show the
    PowerShell Expression Language for the Filter parameter.

        <filter>  ::= "{" <FilterComponentList> "}"

        <FilterComponentList> ::= <FilterComponent> |
          <FilterComponent> <JoinOperator> <FilterComponent> |
          <NotOperator>  <FilterComponent>

        <FilterComponent> ::= <attr> <FilterOperator> <value> |
          "(" <FilterComponent> ")"

        <FilterOperator> ::= "-eq" | "-le" | "-ge" | "-ne" | "-lt" | "-gt" |
          "-approx" | "-bor" | "-band" | "-recursivematch" | "-like" |

        <JoinOperator> ::= "-and" | "-or"

        <NotOperator> ::= "-not"

        <attr> ::= <PropertyName> | <LDAPDisplayName of the attribute>

        <value>::= < this value will be compared to the object data for
          attribute <ATTR> using the specified filter operator

    For a list of supported property names and their types, see get-help

  Supported Operators
    The following table shows frequently used search filter operators.

    Operator         Description                     Equivalent
    --------------- ------------------------------ ---------------------
    -eq              Equal to. This will             =
                     not support wild card
    -ne              Not equal to. This will         !x = y
                     not support wild card
    -approx          Approximately equal to          ~=
    -le              Lexicographically less than     <=
                     or equal to
    -lt              Lexicographically less than     !x >= y
    -ge              Lexicographically greater       >=
                     than or equal to
    -gt              Lexicographically greater than  !x <= y

    -and             AND                             &
    -or              OR                              |
    -not             NOT                             !
    -bor             Bitwise OR                      :1.2.840.113556.1.4.804:=
    -band            Bitwise AND                     :1.2.840.113556.1.4.803:=
    -recursivematch  Use LDAP_MATCHING_RULE_IN_CHAIN :1.2.840.113556.1.4.1941:=
                     (Note: This control only works
                      with Windows 2008 and later.)
    -like            Similar to -eq and supports     =
                     wildcard comparison. The only
                     wildcard character
                     supported is: *
    -notlike         Not like. Supports wild         !x = y
                     card comparison.

    Note: PowerShell wildcards, other than "*", such as "?" are not
    supported by the -Filter parameter syntax.

  Operator Precedence
    The following listing shows the precedence of operators for filters from
    highest to lowest.

    Highest precedence: -eq | -ge | -le | -approx | -band | -bor |
                          -recursivematch | -ne | -like
    Lowest precedence:  -or

  Special Characters
    The following escape sequence should be used for specifying special
    characters in AD Filter STRING data, that is, data enclosed in " "
    (double quotes) or ' ' (single quotes).

    ASCII Character     Escape sequence substitute
    ------------------- ------------------------------------------------
    "                   `"  (This escape sequence is only required if
                             STRING data is enclosed in double quotes.)
    '                   ''  (This escape sequence is only required if
                             STRING data is enclosed in single quotes.)
    NUL                 \00 (This is a standard LDAP escape sequence.)
    \                   \5c (This is a standard LDAP escape sequence.)

  LDAP Special Characters
    ADFilter parser will automatically convert all the below characters
    found in STRING data, that is data enclosed in " " or ' ' to their LDAP
    escape sequence. End users need not know about these LDAP escape

    ASCII Character     Escape sequence substitute
    ------------------- ------------------------------------------------
    *                    \2a  (Character * will only be converted in
                               -eq and -ne comparisons Users should use
                               -like and -notlike operators for wildcard
    (                    \28
    )                    \29
    /                    \2f

  Other Active Directory Module Support Topics
    For more information about optimizing filters, see Creating More
    Efficient Microsoft Active Directory-Enabled Applications in the the
    MSDN Library.

    For more information about Active Directory module objects and their
    attributes, see about_ActiveDirectory_ObjectModel.

    For more information about the Windows PowerShell Expression Language
    syntax, see about_filter.

    Note: The about_filter PowerShell topic refers to more supporting
    expression language topics.