IT: How to Join Machines to Your Active Directory Domain

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We have shown you how to install Active Directory on your network, but it’s pointless to have a Domain Controller unless you add your machines to the Domain, so today we’re going to cover how to do that.

Note: this is part of our ongoing series teaching IT administration basics, and might not apply to everybody.

Adding a Computer to an Active Directory Domain is not hard by any means, but there are 3 things you should always remember:

  • Rename the machine to a user friendly, recognizable name before adding it to the Domain.
  • Make sure your DNS settings are pointing to the correct DNS Server for the domain.
  • You have to have access to a Domain account that is part of the Domain Admins security group.

Joining a Machine To a Domain

Open Computer and click on the System Properties button.

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Now click on the Advanced system settings link on the left hand side.

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When the advanced system settings open, switch to the computer name tab.

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Click on the change button, from here you can change your Computers Name to a more friendly name.

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Now switch the radio button, in the bottom section, from Workgroup to Domain. This will make the text box become available.

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Now type in the name of your domain, ours is howtogeek.local, but yours will be whatever you made it when you set up Active Directory.

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When you hit enter, or click ok, you will be asked for the user name and password of a Domain Admin user account.

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If you specify the correct credentials you will be welcomed to the Domain.

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Taylor Gibb is a Microsoft MVP and all round geek, he loves everything from Windows 8 to Windows Server 2012 and even C# and PowerShell. You can also follow him on Google+