Active Directory Forest Recovery Guide

Applies to: Windows Server 2022, Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2, Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2, Windows Server 2003

This guide contains best-practice recommendations for recovering an Active Directory® forest if forest-wide failure renders all domain controllers (DCs) in the forest incapable of functioning normally. The steps it contains serve as a template for your forest recovery plan, which you can customize for your particular environment. These steps apply to DCs that run Microsoft® Windows Server 2016, 2012 R2, 2012, 2008 R2, 2008, and 2003 operating systems.


Procedures that are unique for DCs that run Windows Server 2003 are consolidated in AD Forest Recovery Windows Server 2003.

Steps outlined in this guide