How to Enable Active Directory in Windows 11

Active Directory

A step-by-step guide to enable ADUC on Windows 11 either by Settings app, PowerShell, or Command Prompt.

The default installation of Windows does not include Active Directory Users and Computers; instead, it is available as an optional feature in Windows which you will have to download separately.

What is Active Directory in Windows?

Active Directory Users and Computer is mainly used to manage objects, people, computers, organization units, and each of their properties. It helps the IT administrators in organizations to centralize the storage repositories which then can be shared with other users of the organization providing selective access to content depending on their privileges.

Along with centralized storage, rights management, administrative privileges, and even user configurations can be centrally controlled using the Active Directory Group Policy.

One major benefit of having an Active Directory is that the tool provides a single sign-on feature. That means the user does not have to authenticate each and every time they wish to access the content.

Moreover, it is worth noting that the Active Directory service is only available for Microsoft systems and only in the professional or server versions of the Windows operating systems.

There are multiple ways you can enable the Active Directory services on your system, you can either use the GUI route that is through the Settings app, or you can enable it using the PowerShell, or you can use the Command Prompt

Enable Active Directory from the Settings App on Windows 11

Active Directory can be easily enabled through the optional features section in the Settings app.

To do so, first, head to the Start Menu and click on the ‘Settings’ tile present under the ‘Pinned apps’ section. Otherwise, type Settings in the menu to perform a search for it.

After that, on the Settings window, click on the ‘Apps’ tab present on the left sidebar to proceed.

Then, from the right section of the window, locate and click on the ‘Optional features’ tile to continue.

On the next screen, locate the ‘Add an optional feature’ tile and click on the ‘View features’ button present on the far right edge of the screen. This will open a separate window on your screen.

Next, on the ‘Add an optional feature’ window, type Active Directory in the search bar present on the window to locate the tool. From the search results, locate the ‘RSAT: Active Directory Domain Services and Lightweight Directory Services’ and click on the checkbox following the option. After that, click on the ‘Next’ button present at the bottom of the overlay window to proceed.

On the next screen, click on the ‘Install’ button present on the window to initiate the installation.

It might take a few minutes to install the services on your system, wait till the process is finished.

Once successfully installed, head to the Start Menu and type Windows Tools to perform a search for it. Then, from the search results, click on the ‘Windows Tools’ tile to open it.

Now, on the Windows Tools window, locate and double-click on the ‘Active Directory Users and Computers’ tile to open and manage the devices connected to your server.

Enable Active Directory Using the PowerShell

If your routine usually revolves around Powershell or Windows Terminal, you might find this way much more comfortable than the Settings route.

To enable the ADUC this way, first, head to the Start Menu and type Terminal to perform a search for the app. Then from the search results, right-click on the ‘Terminal’ tile and choose the ‘Run as administrator’ option to proceed.

Now, a UAC (User Account Control) window will appear on your screen. If you are not logged in from an admin account, enter the credentials for one. Otherwise, click on the ‘Yes’ button to continue.

On the terminal window, type or copy+paste the below-mentioned command and hit Enter on your keyboard to initiate the installation process.

Note: This will require you to have an active internet connection in order to add functionality to your computer.

Add-WindowsCapability -Online -Name "Rsat.ActiveDirectory.DS-LDS.Tools"

You should be able to track the installation process on your screen, wait till the operation completes. Once installed, you can safely close the PowerShell window.

Once installed successfully, head to the Start Menu and type Windows Tools to perform a search. Then, from the search results, click on the ‘Windows Tools’ tile to open it.

After that, on the ‘Windows Tools’ window, locate and double-click on the ‘Active Directory Users and Computers’ tile to open it.

Use Command Prompt to Enable Active Directory

If you prefer Command Prompt more than the PowerShell or the GUI route, this method will suit you the best.

To enable the Active Directory this way, first, head to the Start Menu and type cmd to perform a search. Then, right-click on the ‘Command Prompt’ tile and click to select the ‘Run as administrator’ option.

Now, a UAC screen will appear on your screen. If you are not logged in with an administrator account, enter the credentials for one. Otherwise, click on the ‘Yes’ button to proceed.

After that, on the Command Prompt window, type or copy+paste the below-mentioned command and hit Enter on your keyboard to execute the command and install the ADUC on your system.

DISM.exe /Online /Get-CapabilityInfo /CapabilityName:Rsat.ActiveDirectory.DS-LDS.Tools~~~~0.0.1.0

Once installed successfully, head to the Start Menu and type Windows Tools in the menu to perform a search. Then, from the search results, click on the ‘Windows Tools’ tile to open it.

Now, on the ‘Windows Tools’ window, locate and double-click on the ‘Active Directory Users and Computers’ tile to open it.


Ther you go folks, you can enable the Active Directory on your Windows 11 PC using the above-mentioned methods and manage all the users centrally.