Windows Server 2012 – Activate Active Directory Recycle Bin via GUI

Published on 06/13/2013 by Wouter Makkinje

Filed under Active Directory, Microsoft Windows Server 2012

Last modified 02/17/2017

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Introduction

The Active Directory Recycle Bin allows us to bring back deleted objects from Active Directory without loosing any object properties. (Such as SIN’s)

In past versions of Windows Server activating the Active Directory Recycle Bin on domain controllers has been a rather complicated task for your average systems manager. Basically in Server 2008 R2 you had to use Powershell to get the job done and it could be very confusing for those who aren’t to familiar with Powershell.

Thankfully in Windows Server 2012 activating the Active Directory Recycle Bin has been reduced to a 3-4 click operation that any admin MUST use on their Domain Controllers. I will describe the procedure below and if followed correctly you will have a feature on your domain controller that could potentially save your butt one day if you accidentally delete an important AD object.

Lets do it!

Connect to your Windows Server 2012 Domain Controller.

  1. Place the mouse in bottom left corner to reveal the start button.
  2. Right click on the Start icon and select Control Panel.
  3. Double-click Administrative Tools.
  4. Select Active Directory Administrative Center.
  5. Right-click on your domain in the left hand side.
  6. Select Enable Recycle Bin.
  7. If you get an error or it refuses to turn on, check your forest functional level and domain functional level as they MUST be a minimum of Server 2008 R2

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