In this tutorial, I will explain how to setup active directory on windows server 2016.

The first step is to get windows server 2016 install on a server. it is very similar to server 2012/2012 R2 installation and in one of my previous posts i have describe how to do the windows server 2016 installation and IP configuration in details.

  • Machine Name: WS2016
  • IP Address:
  • DNS Address:

(Since the server will be act as DNS server, for DNS server field you can use local host address or

Active Directory setup is now divided into the following two parts:
1. Install Active directory Domain Service
2. Promote server as Domain controller

If you want to see video tutorial first then click on below video to see the steps to Setup Active Directory Domain Service with DNS on Windows Server 2016

Let’s walk through the methods of installing active directory on Windows Server 2016 and adding domain in new forest.
  • Step-1: Install Active Directory Domain Services (ADDS) Role
  • 1. Login into your server via administrator user.
    2. Open the Server Manager
    3. Next select and click on Add roles and features from the Server Manager dashboard.
  • 4. Click Next to proceed
  • 5. Select Role-based or feature-based installation option and click on Next.
  • 6.  Since I am installing AD DS server role locally I will select “Select a server from the server pool”
    Select the server on which you want to install AD DS server role , in my case its WS2016.
    Click on Next
  • 7. Now select Active Directory Domain Services from the Server Roles page.
  • 8. Click on AD DS, will open a window explaining about additional feature that are required to install Active Directory Domain services. Click on Add Features.
  • 9. Click on Next.
  • 10. Review on features and select them. Once done click on Next.
  • 11. Now Click on AD DS tab and review the information about AD DS on the current page. Click on Next.
  • 12. Click on Install to start the installation process.
  • 13. Installation will take some time to complete.
  • Step-2: Promote Windows Server 2016 as Domain Controller
  • 14. After installing Active directory services, Click on Promote server to a domain controller link.
  • 15. Select Deployment option as per your requirement. Here I am installing first Active directory in my network so I am selecting Add a New Forest. Now specify your root domain name into the Root domain name field. (Here I have used mylab.local).
  • 16. Select forest and domain functional level. In my new lab all servers will be Windows Server 2016. So I will be setting the functional level to Windows Server 2016. You’ll also set your DSRM password here. Click on Next.
  • 17. In next window it will give following error but it can be ignore. click on next to continue.
  • 18. In next window it ask for the NetBIOS name. we can keep it default and click on next to continue.
  • 19. In next window it give option to change file paths for AD database, log files and SYSVOL files. we can change the paths or keep them defaults. once changes are done click on next to continue.
  • 20. In next window it gives description about the installation. click on next to continue.
  • 21. In next window it will run system check and verify system is compatible with the selected installation. once test completes successfully click on install button to begin the installation. if its passes any critical errors those needs to be address before the installation begin.
  • 22. Then it will start the installation process and we need to wait till it finishes.
    Once its complete the install it will automatically reboot the server.
  • 23. Once server is rebooted log in to server using domain admin credentials.
  • 24. Open Server Manager console and click on tools. Select Active Directory Users and Computers
  • 25. Verify WS2016 (Windows server 2016)  is now promoted as a domain controller for mylab.local domain from Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in.
  • Congratulations!! We have successfully setup Active Directory Domain Service on Windows Server 2016.