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Below I will show two ways of enabling the Active Directory Recycle Bin. AD DS Recycle Bin has been around since Windows Server 2008 R2, but it had no GUI to enable or work with it. In fact, you had to use ADSI edit. Windows Server 2012 added the ability to enable and work with the AD DS Recycle bin via the GUI, making this cool feature really convenient to use.

[themify_box style=”red warning”] Enabling the Active Directory Recycle Bin is a one-way (irrevocable) forest wide operation.

You can enable the Active Directory Recycle Bin in two ways:


Open Active Directory Administrative Centre

Right Click on your Domain Name

Click Enable Recycle Bin…

You have now enabled the Active Directory Recycle Bin via the GUI.


Open PowerShell with elevated credentials.

Type (making sure you change the below code to match your Domain Name)

Import-Module ActiveDirectory
Enable-ADOptionalFeature -Identity `
'CN=Recycle Bin Feature,CN=Optional Features,CN=Directory Service,CN=Windows NT,CN=Services,CN=Configuration,DC=pixelrobots,DC=co,DC=uk' `
-Scope ForestOrConfigurationSet -Target ''

Press Y to confirm

You have now enabled the Active Directory Recycle Bin using PowerShell


Now that you have enabled the Active Directory Recycle Bin by either the GUI or PowerShell the option to Enable it in ADAC will be still available but grayed out.

To restore a deleted item you just need to access the Deleted Objects container in ADAC, locate deleted object in this case, a user. Right click on it and select Restore or Restore To…

Pixel Robots.

I’m Richard Hooper aka Pixel Robots. I started this blog in 2016 for a couple reasons. The first reason was basically just a place for me to store my step by step guides, troubleshooting guides and just plain ideas about being a sysadmin. The second reason was to share what I have learned and found out with other people like me. Hopefully, you can find something useful on the site.


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