How to remove Active directory


  • I bought Windows Server 2012 Essentials thinking it would be easy to setup.  I did not know it was going to install active directory by default.  I am replacing an older server with a new one and it does not need active directory, it just uses a workgroup setup with file shares.  This is for a very small company with 8 users.

    I went to uninstall the active directory throught the Server Manager but all of the check boxes are grayed out and I am login as the Administrator.

    Can I get rid of Active Directory in this server version?

    I also have a text mode in the lower right hand, I guess since I had to use a un-signed drive it puts this message there, how can I remove this?

    Monday, December 31, 2012 5:20 PM


  •   It is not a matter of whether the services need AD or not. All SBS servers must be domain controllers and always have. Without AD they will not function. Looks like you bought the wrong version of the OS.



    Monday, December 31, 2012 11:04 PM
  • Hi,

    AD is Essential  part of Windows Server 2012 Essentials.You would not be able to remove it. 

    Can I get rid of Active Directory in this server version?

    Answer:  No for Windows Server 2012 Essentials

    Uninstall the active directory via the Server Manager  possible

    Answer:  No for Windows Server 2012 Essentials

    Windows Server 2012 Essentials OS is domain controller by default.

    Please help and appreciate others by using these features: "Propose As Answer", "Vote As Helpful" and "Mark As Answer"


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    Wednesday, January 02, 2013 4:42 AM
  • "You cannot remove AD.  Just make your user account in ADUC and it will be fine.  No need to remove it anyways.  Make sure you setup local DNS."

    Not sure how to do this, I don't know much about Active directory and since the current old server is only using a simple work group I thought I would just setup it up the same.  I did want to use the VPN and the User backup functions but not sure if this involves use of the Active Directory service and roles.

    The router mainly does the DNS and VPN routing and the server has a local assigned IP address - 192.168.1.xx

    If I can use the active directory without having to setup a domain then this would be good, just don't know how to do that.
    I am a hardware guy and have not much knowledge in "server" settings.  Used to trouble shoot mainframe computers but mainly build computers and do website design.

    • Marked as answer by csufer Wednesday, January 02, 2013 5:49 AM
    Monday, December 31, 2012 9:58 PM
  • Hi csufer,

    As others said, Windows Server 2012 Essentials is a domain controller and we cannot remove AD role.

    For more information about Windows Server 2012 Essentials, we can refer to:

    Windows Server 2012 Essentials Get started

    Hosted Windows Server 2012 Essentials

    Release Documentation for Windows Server 2012 Essentials

    Manage Windows Server 2012 Essentials

    Use Windows Server 2012 Essentials

    In addition, we can get better support in Windows Server 2012 Essentials forum.

    Windows Server 2012 Essentials General Forum

    Hope this helps.

    Jeremy Wu
    TechNet Community Support

    Thursday, January 03, 2013 7:00 AM

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