#Windows Server 2012 #Active Directory #Recycle.bin #ws2012 #ADRecovery Get-ADForest

Some times you deleted a object and want to restore the object from the AD. and yes this can be tricky

You can use ADRestore.NET or but did you know you can enable the recycle.bin for your AD ?

Yes this is possible already in windows 2008r2 but sure in windows server 2012 it is still there an real handy.

First to find out what is the forest level from your AD

In the powershell command:

Get-ADForest my domain name


ah in the forestmode I see windows2008r2forest.

ok I want a 2012 forest and yes I want to upgrade.

Set-ADForestMode –Identity mvp.local -ForestMode Windows2012Forest


Are you sure you want this. In my case YES

I rerun the Get-ADForest mvp.local


Enable Active Directory Recycle Bin feature

get-help Enable-ADOptionalFeature -Examples

————————– EXAMPLE 1 ————————–

    C:\PS>Enable-ADOptionalFeature ‘Recycle Bin Feature’ -Scope ForestOrConfigurationSet -Target ‘mvp.local’ -server mvpdc01

    Enable the optional feature ‘Recycle Bin Feature’ for the forest ‘mvp.local’.  This operation must be performed
    on the Domain Controller that holds the naming master FSMO role.


And Yes I’m sure

Full path to the object :CN=Recycle Bin Feature,CN=Optional Features,CN=Directory Service,CN=Windows NT,CN=Services,CN=Configuration,DC=ad,DC=mvp,DC=local


Enable-ADOptionalFeature ‘Recycle Bin Feature’ -scope ForestOrConfigurationSet -target DomainName -server DomainControllerName

Restoring deleted Objects with powershell get full help with the objects.

Get-help Get-ADObject –Example
Get-ADObject -Filter {DisplayName -eq "UserName"} -IncludeDeletedObjects | Restore-ADObject

Get-ADObject -Filter {CN -like "Username"} -IncludeDeletedObjects | Restore-ADObject

Using the Windows Server 2012 graphical tool: Active Directory Administrative Center


Open Active Directory Administrative Center
Right-click the domain icon in the console tree and select Enable Recycle Bin.


Restoring deleted Objects with Active Directory Administrative Center At the domain root of the domain appears Deleted Objects container.

Right-click the selected object and select Restore from the shortcut menu.


Depending on your system environment and business practices, you can increase or decrease the deleted object lifetime and the tombstone lifetime. If you want your deleted objects to be recoverable for longer than the default 180 days, you can increase the deleted object lifetime. If you want your recycled objects to be recoverable (through authoritative restore) for longer than the default 180 days, you can also increase the tombstone lifetime.

The tombstone lifetime is determined by the value of the tombstoneLifetime attribute. The deleted object lifetime is determined by the value of the msDS-deletedObjectLifetime attribute. By default, tombstoneLifetime is set to null. When tombstoneLifetime is set to null, the tombstone lifetime defaults to 60 days (hard-coded in the system). By default, msDS-deletedObjectLifetime is also set to null. When msDS-deletedObjectLifetime is set to null, the deleted object lifetime is set to the value of the tombstone lifetime.

So to find out what the current setting is, go to the properties of the

CN=Directory Service,CN=Windows NT,CN=Services,CN=Configuration,


Find Deleted object lifetime

Get-ADObject "CN=Directory Service,CN=Windows NT,CN=Services,CN=Configuration,
DC=mvp,DC=local" –Properties TombstoneLifeTime


Change the default 180 Days. to 365

Set-ADObject -Identity "CN=Directory Service,CN=Windows NT,CN=Services,CN=Configuration,
DC=mvp,DC=local" –Partition "CN=Configuration,DC=mvp,DC=local" –Replace:@
{"TombstoneLifeTime" = 365}


to get a full list of deleted objects

Get-ADObject -filter ‘isdeleted -eq $true -and name -ne "Deleted Objects"’ -includeDeletedObjects -property *

But Remember If the object is already deleted and then turn-on the recycle.bin will not work !



Active Directory Recycle Bin

Active Directory Recycle Bin is a new feature in windows 2008 R2 it is not an option that you can turn on or of.

Yes it is a hidden feature and you can only turn it on. What do you need well only a windows 2008 R2 DC

By default, Active Directory Recycle Bin in Windows Server 2008 R2 is disabled. To enable it, you must first raise the forest functional level of your AD DS or AD LDS environment to Windows Server 2008 R2, which in turn requires all forest domain controllers or all servers that host instances of AD LDS configuration sets to be running Windows Server 2008 R2. After you set the forest functional level of your environment to Windows Server 2008 R2, you can use the instructions in this guide to enable Active Directory Recycle Bin.

The restore can only be done with powershell there is no supported tool from microsoft but there are nice gui tools.



How does It work.

You can enable it if your forest is on windows 2008 R2 <> check it in Active directory domains and trusts <> right click on domain<> raise domain functional level.

Active Directory Recycle Bin I started the Powershell and get this. Active Directory Recycle Bin

Oh ok I never used the powershell on this server so I have to import the modules

Active Directory Recycle Bin  Active Directory Recycle Bin

Now I am ready to go , mm what is this error

Active Directory Recycle Bin

security ! ok we can fix this so check our powershell policy : Get-ExecutionPolicy

Active Directory Recycle Bin Restricted easy thing change one letter G=S

Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned

Active Directory Recycle Bin   Now we have set the policy and get a list off commands

Get-help set-AD*

this shows a list of all set-ad starting commands.

Active Directory Recycle Bin

Active Directory Recycle Bin

We have already checked that the domain is in 2008R2 mode but you can set this with powershell.

set-ADForestMode -Identity mvp.local -ForestMode Windows2008R2Forest.

To enable the AD recycle Bin we use Powershell, you can do this by hand in the CN=Partitions but this is the best way.

Active Directory Recycle Bin No Ad recycle bin key.

We run the enable option. you can get help on this get-help Enable-ADOptionalFeature

Enable-ADOptionalFeature –Identity ‘CN=Recycle Bin Feature,CN=Optional Features,CN=Directory Service,CN=Windows NT,CN=Services,CN=Configuration, DC=MVP,DC=local’ –Scope ForestOrConfigurationSet –Target ‘mvp.local’

Active Directory Recycle Bin

Active Directory Recycle Bin Now there is a key CN=Recycle Bin Feature

To verify that Active Directory Recycle Bin is enabled, navigate to the CN=Partitions container. In the details pane, locate the msDS-EnabledFeature attribute, and confirm that its value is set to CN=Recycle Bin Feature,CN=Optional Features,CN=Directory Service,CN=Windows NT,CN=Services,CN=Configuration, DC=mydomain,DC=com, where mydomain and com represent the appropriate forest root domain name of your AD DS environment

Active Directory Recycle Bin

We do a list of deleted items check on deleted=True

Active Directory Recycle Bin I used a user that is called “Deleted”


Active Directory Recycle Bin   Active Directory Recycle Bin

Get-ADObject -Filter {displayName -eq "delete"} –IncludeDeletedObjects

Active Directory Recycle Bin   Active Directory Recycle Bin

Get-ADObject -Filter {displayName -eq "delete"} -IncludeDeletedObjects | Restore-ADObject

Active Directory Recycle Bin

So now you can delete and restore AD items but better would be if there where gui tools.

There are no Gui Tools from microsoft at this time. but there are some great community tools . I like the tool from Overall solutions, but there is also a powergui tool


AD Recycle bin AD Recycle bin



Have fun with it don’t tell your user or IT manager this that you can restore Items with a click or script in 10 min time. Else you get more work on recovering deleted items. Even the helpdesk can do this. IMHO this is a must have option just like AGPM Or my old post