How to Enable Active Directory in Windows 10 (Simple Steps)

Active Directory gives you a lot of control over users and computers in a domain. Here is how to enable Active Directory in Windows 10.

Active Directory is one of the most powerful tools in Windows. It lets you set rules, proper hierarchy and manage all the users and computers in a domain. For example, you can use Active Directory to say which computers belong to which network, which users have access to a specific storage space, who can access what apps, user hierarchies, profile pictures, system settings, installed applications, allowed policies, and more. Put simply, if you are a system admin, Active Directory is an invaluable tool without which effectively managing Windows computers and users in a network or domain will be a lot harder, almost impossible.

Windows 10 servers and Enterprise version comes preinstalled with Active Directory module. All admins have to do is open use it. However, if you want to use Active Directory in Windows 10 Pro edition, you must manually install and enable it. Once enabled, you can use it to set rules for other users and computers as needed.

The good thing is, it is pretty easy to enable Active Directory in Windows 10. Let me show you the steps on how to do it without further ado.

Important note: You can only turn on the Active Directory in Pro or Enterprise editions. If you are using the Home edition, Active Directory is not available to you, and the below steps are not applicable. Here’s how to check Windows 10 version.

Enable Active Directory in Windows 10

There are two major steps to turn on Active Directory in Windows. First, we need to install the “RSAT: Active Director” feature. Without it, we cannot enable the Active Directory in Windows 10. If you are wondering, unlike the previous versions, Microsoft chose to remove the RSAT tool for usability reasons. So, we have to install it as an optional feature. After that, we can proceed to the second step. i.e., install and turn on Active Directory. Here is how to do it.

RSAT Active Directory tool is available as an additional feature. This means we can install it via the Optional Features section.

Step 1: Open the Settings app and go to the “Apps > Apps & Features” page.

Step 2: Next, click on the “Optional features” link under the “Apps & features” section on the main page.

click optional features

Step 3: Since we want to add a new feature, click on the “Add a feature” button.

click add a feature

Step 4: Type “RSAT: Active Directory” in the search bar. Next, select the “RSAT: Active Directory Domain Services and Lightweight Directory Services Tools” checkbox in the search results and click the “Install” button. If you see a confirmation window, click “Ok” or “Yes.”

install rsat active directory feature to enable active directory in Windows 10

Step 5: As soon as you click the Install button, Windows will download the necessary files and install & enabled the RSAT Active Directory feature.

Step 6: Open the Start menu, search for “Turn Windows features on or off,” and click on the result. This action will open the Windows Optional Features tool.

Step 7: Now, find and expand the “Remote Server Administration Tools” option. You can do that by clicking the little “+” icon in front of the option.

Step 8: Next, expand the “Role Administration Tools” option.

Step 9: Select the “AD DS and AD LDS Tools” checkbox.

Steps 10: Click the “Ok” button.

Steps 11: As soon as you do that, Windows will enable the Active Directory feature. Keep in mind that the OS might automatically download necessary or missing files and updates required by Active Directory.

Step 12: Finally, close all windows and reboot the computer to apply the changes.

That is it. After rebooting, the Active Directory feature is enabled, and you can start using it immediately.

I hope that helps.

If you are stuck or need some help, comment below, and I will try to help as much as possible.

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