How to use the Active Directory Recycle Bin in Windows Server

The Active Directory Recycle Bin is a valuable feature in Windows Server that allows administrators to recover deleted objects within the Active Directory environment. It provides an essential safety net for accidental deletions and can save valuable time and resources.

Enabling the Active Directory Recycle Bin:

Before you can start using the Active Directory Recycle Bin, you need to enable it. Follow these steps:

Launch the PowerShell command prompt as an administrator.

Run the following command:

Enable-ADOptionalFeature -Identity 'CN=Recycle Bin Feature,CN=Optional Features,CN=Directory Service,CN=Windows NT,CN=Services,CN=Configuration,DC=yourdomain,DC=com' -Scope ForestOrConfigurationSet -Target ''
Replace '' with your actual domain name.

Once enabled, restart the Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS).

Using the Active Directory Recycle Bin:

With the Active Directory Recycle Bin enabled, follow these steps to recover deleted objects:

Open the Active Directory Administrative Center (ADAC) or use PowerShell with the Active Directory module.

In ADAC, navigate to the domain partition and select "Deleted Objects" in the left-hand pane. In PowerShell, use the Get-ADObject cmdlet to search for deleted objects.

Locate the deleted object you want to recover and select it.

Right-click on the object and choose "Restore."

Confirm the restoration when prompted.

The object will be restored to its original location in the Active Directory.

Benefits of Using the Active Directory Recycle Bin:

Data Recovery: Accidentally deleted objects can be quickly and easily recovered, reducing downtime and potential data loss.

Administrative Efficiency: Administrators can perform object recoveries without resorting to backups or complex restoration processes.

Enhanced Security: The Recycle Bin provides a safety net against accidental deletions and can prevent data loss.

The Active Directory Recycle Bin is a powerful tool for Windows Server administrators, enabling them to recover deleted objects with ease. Enabling and using this feature is a straightforward process, and it serves as an essential safety net in the event of accidental deletions, ultimately enhancing the efficiency and security of your Active Directory environment.



Further reading

Windows File Recovery command prompts

Hard drive beeping

Windows 11 security features