Types of Active Directory Groups – TheITBros (2023)

TheActive Directory Groupsis a collection of Active Directory objects. The group can include users, computers, other groups, and other AD objects. The administrator manages the group as a single object. In Windows, there are 7 types of groups: two types of domain groups with three fields in each, and a local security group. In this article, we'll talk about the different types of Active Directory groups, the differences between them, group fields, and show you how to create ad groups and manage them in different ways.

GTypes of groupings in Active Directory

Active Directory groups can be used:

  • To simplify management by assigning share (resource) permissions to a group rather than individual users. When you assign permissions to a group, all its members have the same access to the resource.
  • To delegate Active Directory management tasks by assigning permissions to a group. In the future, you can add new members to the group who need the permissions granted by this group.
  • Linking Group Policy Objects(GPO) in groups to apply custom settings using Security Filtering or Group Policy Preferences Component-level targeting.
  • To create email distribution lists.

There are two types of AD groups:

  • Active Directory security groups. This group type is used to grant access to resources (security principal). For example, you want to assign permissions to a specific group to files in a shared network folder. To do this, you need to create a security group.
  • Active Directory distribution groups. This group type is used to create email distribution lists (typically used in Microsoft Exchange Server). An e-mail sent to such a group will reach all users (recipients) of the group. This group type cannot be used to provide access to domain resources because security is not enabled.

Note. You can assign an email attribute to the security group (making it an email-enabled security group) and use it in mailing lists (but it's not recommended).

Technically, distribution groups differ from security-enabled groups by one bit in thegroupTypeFeature. For a security group, this attribute will contain the SECURITY_ENABLED bit.

There are three group fields in Active Directory for each type of group:

  • Local domain. It is used to manage access rights to different domain resources (files and folders, NTFS permissions, remote desktop access, provision of Windows privileges, use in GPO security filtering, etc.) only in the domain where it was created. A local group cannot be used in other domains (however, a local group can include users from another domain). A local group can be contained in another local group, but cannot be added to the global group.
  • Global. This group type can be used to provide access to resources in another domain. In this group, you can only add accounts from the same domain in which the group was created. A global group can be added to other global and local groups.
  • Worldwide. Recommended for use in large Active Directory forests. Using this team scope, you can define roles and manage resources that are spread across multiple domains. If your network has many branches connected to WAN channels, it is desirable to use global groups only for groups that change infrequently. Because changing the global group causes theWorld Directoryto beare reproducedthroughout the enterprise.

Trace. AD groups can be members of other groups. This is callednested groups. Nested groups are a useful way of managing in AD based on business roles and functions.

There are alsolocalgroups. These groups are created in the local Security Accounts Administrator (SAM) database on that computer. The difference from domain groups: local groups work even ifunable to communicate with an Active Directory domain controller.

You can change AD groupsField of applicationtheType. But there are several conditions:

  • You can convert the Global Security Group to a Universal if the group is not part of another global group.
  • You can convert a domain-local group to global if no other domain-local group is added to its member list.
  • A global group can be converted to a domain local group without restrictions.
  • A global group can be made global if it does not contain another global group as a member.

Note. You can alsomanage Privileged Groups in Active Directory.

Default (Built-in) AD Domain Groups

When you create a new AD domain, several predefined (built-in) security groups with DomainLocal scope are created. These predefined groups can be used to control access to shared resources and assign specific administrative permissions at the domain level. Default AD groups reside in a dedicated AD containerBuilt.

Types of Active Directory Groups – TheITBros (1)

Only user accounts can be added to these groups: you cannot add a built-in AD group to them (group nesting) or add user-defined domain groups to them.

You can list the default ad group using PowerShell:

Get-ADGroup -SearchBase 'CN=Builtin,DC=theitbros,DC=com' -Filter * | Format-Table Name,GroupScope,GroupCategory,SID -AutoSize

Types of Active Directory Groups – TheITBros (2)

Administrators DomainLocal Security S-1-5-32-544

Users DomainLocal Security S-1-5-32-545

Guests DomainLocal Security S-1-5-32-546

Print Operators DomainLocal Security S-1-5-32-550

Backup Operators DomainLocal Security S-1-5-32-551

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Replicator DomainLocal Security S-1-5-32-552

Remote Desktop Users DomainLocal Security S-1-5-32-555

Network Configuration Managers DomainLocal Security S-1-5-32-556

DomainLocal Security Performance Monitor Users S-1-5-32-558

Performance Log Users DomainLocal Security S-1-5-32-559

Distributed Users COM DomainLocal Security S-1-5-32-562

IIS_IUSRS DomainLocal Security S-1-5-32-568

Cryptographic Operators DomainLocal Security S-1-5-32-569

DomainLocal Security Event Log Readers S-1-5-32-573

DCOM Certificate Service Access DomainLocal Security S-1-5-32-574

Remote Access Servers RDS DomainLocal Security S-1-5-32-575

RDS Endpoint Servers DomainLocal Security S-1-5-32-576

RDS Management Servers DomainLocal Security S-1-5-32-577

Hyper-V Administrators DomainLocal Security S-1-5-32-578

DomainLocal Security S-1-5-32-579 operators access control help

DomainLocal Security Remote Administration Users S-1-5-32-580

DomainLocal Security Servers S-1-5-32-549

Account Handlers DomainLocal Security S-1-5-32-548

Pre-Windows 2000 Compatible Access DomainLocal Security S-1-5-32-554

Inbox Forest Trust Builders DomainLocal Security S-1-5-32-557

Windows DomainLocal Security Authorization Access Group S-1-5-32-560

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DomainLocal Security Terminal Server License Servers S-1-5-32-561

Note that built-in AD groups use a special SID format: S-1-5-32-xxx (xxx from 500 to 1000). For regular AD groups, the SID looks like this: S-1-5-21-yyyy-zzz, where yyyy is the Domain ID, zzz – Related Identifier (RID).

Active Directory Group Naming Convention Best Practices

Group names in the Active Directory domain should be descriptive, meaningful, and simple. Considering that sometimes all three conditions may seem impossible, you can compose group names according to the following rules:

  • Use only English characters for group names.
  • For the first letter of the group name, use the letter that indicates the type of group (G, D, or U). You can find out the group type in the group properties in ADUC, but it is convenient to see the group type in the name.
  • In global group name, specify the name of the department for which you are creating this group. For example, Store, Marketing, Shop, Managers, etc.
  • In domain local group name, specify the purpose of the group and the access permission type (R/RW). Since domain local groups are used to set access rights to various resources, this should be reflected in the group name.

Create an ad group using the ADUC plugin

The easiest way to create a new group in the AD domain is to use theActive Directory Users and Computers add-on. go toYOUR ADVERTISINGin which you want to create the group, right-click on it and selectYoung>Club.

Types of Active Directory Groups – TheITBros (3)

Specify a unique group name, select the group type and scope, and click OK.

Types of Active Directory Groups – TheITBros (4)

To add a user to the group, search for the group name in the Active Directory Users and Computers console and double-click it. In the group properties window, clickMemberstab and use itAdditionbutton to add users, computers or other groups.

Types of Active Directory Groups – TheITBros (5)

Note that when adding members to a group, searches are only performed for the following types of objects: Users, Groups, and Service Accounts. If you want to add an AD object to the security group (such as a computer or a contact), click theObject typesand check the optionsContactsandComputers. You can now select all types of Active Directory objects.

Types of Active Directory Groups – TheITBros (6)

You can also add a user to the group by right-clicking on it and selecting the itemAdd to a group. This is very convenient when you need to bulk add users to a group.

Types of Active Directory Groups – TheITBros (7)

Note that on the Member tab, in the properties of any Active Directory user,Primary Groupis clarified.Primary group IDused to support the UNIX POSIX model of resource access control. In Active Directory, the PrimaryGroupID attribute for a user must be the RID (relative identifier) ​​of the group to which the user will be associated. By default, all Active Directory users have a PrimaryGroupID of 513 (domain user group).

Global or universal security groups can be specified as the primary group. This means that you cannot specify a local domain or any distribution group as the primary group.

Not all resources support a Primary Group ID setting. In most cases, you should not change the Primary Group attribute, except in special cases related to POSIX applications and Mac clients.

Types of Active Directory Groups – TheITBros (8)

You can also create new groups from the graphical Active Directory Administration Center (dsac.exe). Right-click the domain name or OU and selectYoung>Club.

Types of Active Directory Groups – TheITBros (9)

Fill in the following mandatory fields:

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  • Team name.
  • Group scope (Global/Local domain/Global).
  • Group Type (Security/Distribution).

Here you can also set a description for the group, enable/disable Protect from accidental deletion, add users to the group, etc.

Click OK to create the group.

Types of Active Directory Groups – TheITBros (10)

To remove a user from a group, search for the group by name using Global Search and open its properties. go toMemberstab, select the user you want to remove and clickRemovebutton. Click OK to save your changes.

Types of Active Directory Groups – TheITBros (11)

How to create and modify ad group using PowerShell?

To create Active Directory groups, use PowerShellNew-ADGroupcmdlet from the Active Directory module for Windows PowerShell. Install itActive Directory PowerShell moduleand enter module cmdlets in the PowerShell session:

Import-ActiveDirectory module

The type of Security or Distribution group is specified using the-Group categorydisagreement. The range of the group is specified using the–GroupScopeparameter (valid values: DomainLocal, Global, or Universal).

To create a new global distribution group in the target OU, you can use the command:

New-ADGroup -Διαδρομή "OR=Groups,OR=Brazil,DC=theitbros,DC=com" -Όνομα "BrazilUsers" -Global Scope Group -GroupCategory Distribution

If you want to find all distribution groups in your domain, use the following cmdlet:

Get-ADGroup -Filter 'groupcategory -eq "Distribution"'

Using the following command, you can create a new security group:

New-ADGroup –Name RemoteAccessUsers -GroupScope Universal -GroupCategory Security -Message "OR=Groups,OR=USA,DC=theitbros,DC=com"

You can change Active Directory group attributes using the Set-ADGroup cmdlet. For example, you want to add a description to the security group you created earlier:

Set-ADGroupRemoteAccessUsers – Description "Users who can access the corporate network via DirectAccess server and VPN"

You can now add users to this group usingAdd-ADGroupMembercmdlet:

Add-ADGroupMember RemoteAccessUsers -Members user1,user2,user3

To remove a user from an AD group, use the Remove-ADGroupMember cmdlet:

Remove-ADGroupMember -Identity RemoteAccessUsers -Members user1, user2

Confirm unsubscribing the user by pressing Y > Enter.

To completely remove an Active Directory group, run:

Remove-ADGroup -Identity RemoteAccessUsers

When you delete a group, you will be asked to confirm the deletion. To disable removal confirmation, add the Confirm parameter:

Remove-ADGroup -Identity RemoteAccessUsers –Confirm:$false

To get all the information about the specified group, use the Get-ADGroup cmdlet:

get-adgroup 'domain administrators'

Types of Active Directory Groups – TheITBros (12)

DistinguishedName : CN=Domain Admins,CN=Users,DC=theitbros,DC=com

Group Category: Security

GroupScope : Global

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Name: Domain Admins

ObjectClass : group

ObjectGUID : f04fbf5d-c917-43fb-9235-b214f6ea4156

SamAccountName: Domain Administrators

SID : S-1-5-21-3243688314-1360023605-3291231821-512

You can calculate the total number of users in the group:

(Get-ADGroupMember -Identity 'Domain Admin').Number

You can list (extract) Active Directory group members using the Get-ADGroupMember cmdlet.

To list the AD groups that the user account belongs to (inclAD nested groups), run the command:

Get-ADUser jbrion -properties memberof | select memberof -expandproperty memberof

Types of Active Directory Groups – TheITBros (13)

Sometimes a user's copy job occursparticipation in a large number of AD groups. If the user is a member of a large number of groups, doing this manually is very tedious. To copy all security groups from one domain user and add them to another user account, use the following PowerShell script:

$SourceADUser= “j.brion"$TargetADUser=”b.semenov”$SourceADGroups = Get-ADPrincipalGroupMembership -Identity $SourceADUserAdd-ADPrincipalGroupMembership -Ταυτότητα $TargetADUser -MemberOf$our

Another useful example. Let's try to find all adgroups that contain *Admin* in the name and display users who are members of those groups (to display only unique accounts, use -Uniqueparameter):

Get-ADGroup -filter 'SamAccountName -like "*Administrator*"' | Get-ADGroupMember -recursive|Select-Object -Unique

If the group includes users from other forests, the Get-ADGroupMember cmdlet will throw an error:

Get-ADGroupMember : The specified directory service attribute or value does not exist

Trace. The Get-ADGroupMember cmdlet does not support cross-AD forest users.

If you want to get a Primary group ID, use the following PowerShell script:

$ADdomainSID = Λήψη-ADDomain | Select-Object -ExpandProperty DomainSID | Select-Object -ExpandProperty ValueGet-ADGroup -Identity $($ADdomainSID + "-" + $primaryGroupID)

Active Directory Functional Layersof Windows Server 2012 R2 and later supportTime-based group subscription. This feature allows administrators to assign temporary group membership, which is expressed as a Time to Live (TTL) value. This value will be added to the Kerberos ticket. This is also called the expiring links feature.

You can add a user to a group temporarily using PowerShell. For example, you want to add a user to a security group for only 2 days to grant temporary permissions. Run the following PowerShell command:

Add-ADGroupMember -Identity g_CA_Sales -Members b.jackson -MemberTimeToLive (New-TimeSpan -Days 2)

After two days, the user account will be automatically removed from the group. To see the remaining time (in seconds) that a user will remain in a group, run:

Get-ADGroup g_CA_Sales -Property Member -ShowMemberTimeToLive

Types of Active Directory Groups – TheITBros (14)

In this article, you learned about groups in Active Directory. We covered the types of groups in Active Directory and scope, how to create and manage groups using the ADUC GUI and the Windows PowerShell Management Shell.

Active file

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What are the different types of groups in Active Directory? ›

Active Directory has two types of groups:
  • Security groups: Use to assign permissions to shared resources.
  • Distribution groups: Use to create email distribution lists.
Apr 10, 2023

What are the three types of groups in a domain? ›

There are three types of group scopes which are domain local, global and universal group scopes. Adding a group as a member of another group is called nesting which consists of native and mixed mode nesting.

What are the two categories of domain groups? ›

Domain Groups

Windows Server operating system, has two main group types: Security and Distribution group. Each group have three group scopes. Security groups are more complex and assign permissions to shared resources, whereas the Distribution group is simpler and helps create e-mail distribution lists.

How do I know what Active Directory group I am in? ›

Using the Command Line
  1. Open up a command promt (cmd.exe or PowerShell)
  2. Run: gpresult /V.
Jun 30, 2022

What are the four types of groups? ›

Four basic types of groups have traditionally been recognized: primary groups, secondary groups, collective groups, and categories.

What are the 4 types of Microsoft Active Directory? ›

What are the 4 types of Microsoft Active Directory?
  • Active Directory (AD) Microsoft Active Directory (most often referred to as a domain controller) is the de facto directory system used today in most organizations. ...
  • Azure Active Directory (AAD) ...
  • Hybrid Azure AD (Hybrid AAD) ...
  • Azure Active Directory Domain Services (AAD DS)
Aug 25, 2019

What is the difference between a local group and a global group? ›

The difference between domain local and global groups is that user accounts, global groups, and universal groups from any domain can be added to a domain local group. Because of its limited scope, however, members can only be assigned permissions within the domain in which this group is created.

What are the different types of groups in LDAP? ›

The two main types of groups in LDAP are groupOfNames and groupOfUniqueNames . At minimum they have a cn (common name) attribute and can have membership attributes member or uniqueMember , respectively. As an example, the below LDIF creates two groups: developers and senior-developers .

What is the difference between Global group and Universal group? ›

The primary difference is that global groups can contain members from the same domain only, while universal groups can contain objects from any domain in the same Windows forest.

What does ad group mean? ›

An ad group contains one or more ads that share similar targets. Each of your campaigns is made up of one or more ad groups. Use ad groups to organize your ads by a common theme. For example, try separating ad groups into the different product or service types you offer.

Where is Active Directory users and groups? ›

To open Active Directory Users and Computers, log into a domain controller, and open Server Manager from the Start menu. Now, in the Tools menu in Server Manager, click Active Directory Users and Computers.

How do I see who is in LDAP group? ›

  1. The lists for every group can be read using the following CLI command : > show user group list. cn=sales,cn=users,dc=al,dc=com. cn=it_development,cn=users,dc=al,dc=com. ...
  2. To use the needed group in the previous step: > show user group name "cn=it_operations,cn=users,dc=al,dc=com" source type: service.
Sep 25, 2018

What are the 8 types of groups? ›

Types of Groups
  • Formal Groups.
  • Informal Groups.
  • Managed Group.
  • Process Group.
  • Semi-Formal Groups.
  • Goal Group.
  • Learning Group.
  • Problem-Solving Group.

What are the different levels of groups? ›

These stages are commonly known as: Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning.

What are the 5 characteristics of a group? ›

Characteristics of an Effective Group
  • The goals of the group are clearly understood.
  • People in the group work well together.
  • There is a feeling of “belonging” to the group.
  • There is a shared sense of responsibility for making the group work.
  • Members of the group are able to communicate openly.
May 15, 2023

What is the difference between Active Directory group and LDAP group? ›

Nevertheless, they are not the same thing. Whereas Active Directory is a directory server that stores user information such as usernames, phone numbers, and email addresses, LDAP is a protocol that allows reading and modifying that information. You can also use LDAP to authenticate users using the Bind operation.

What is LDAP group vs AD group? ›

AD and LDAP Takeaways

AD is a directory service for Microsoft that makes important information about individuals available on a limited basis within a certain entity. Meanwhile, LDAP is a protocol not exclusive to Microsoft that allows users to query an AD and authenticate access to it.

What is a LDAP group? ›

LDAP is the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol. It's a hierarchical organization of Users, Groups, and Organisational Units - which are containers for users and groups. Every object has it's own unique path to it's place in the directory - called a Distinguished Name, or DN. Product.

What is difference between OU and group? ›

The difference between an OU and a group is that OUs can contain different kinds of objects rather than being limited to accounts or groups, whereas groups can only contain accounts and other groups.

What is difference between security group and distribution group? ›

Distribution groups are used for sending email notifications to a group of people. Security groups are used for granting access to resources such as SharePoint sites. Mail-enabled security groups are used for granting access to resources such as SharePoint, and emailing notifications to those users.

What is a GPO Active Directory? ›

A Group Policy Object (GPO) is a virtual collection of policy settings. A GPO has a unique name, such as a GUID. Group Policy settings are contained in a GPO. A GPO can represent policy settings in the file system and in the Active Directory.

How many types of groups are there in Azure AD? ›

Okay, before delving further, let's expound on the types of Azure memberships allowed for these groups. There are 3 types of memberships for these groups: assigned, dynamic user, and dynamic membership.

How many groups can Active Directory have? ›

Azure Active directory

A non-admin user can create a maximum of 250 groups in an Azure AD organization. Any Azure AD admin who can manage groups in the organization can also create unlimited number of groups (up to the Azure AD object limit).

What are the different types of group functions? ›

The types of group functions (also called aggregate functions) are:
  • AVG, that calculates the average of the specified columns in a set of rows,
  • COUNT, calculating the number of rows in a set.
  • MAX, calculating the maximum,
  • MIN, calculating the minimum,
  • STDDEV, calculating the standard deviation,
  • SUM, calculating the sum,

What is a global group in Active Directory? ›

A global group can be used to assign permissions for access to resources in any domain. The global scope can contain user accounts and global groups from the same domain, and can be a member of universal and domain local groups in any domain.

What is Local Group and domain group? ›

Domain local groups: These groups can contain members from any trusted domain, but are granted permissions only to resources in their own domain.

Which are the two types of Azure AD groups? ›

Specifically, the group types that originate from these other sources, but which can appear in Azure AD include the following types: Security (synced from AD) Mail enabled Security (from AD/Exchange or Exchange Online)

What are 2 types of Azure AD dynamic groups? ›

The group type can be Security or Microsoft 365, and the membership type can be set to Dynamic User or Dynamic Device. Select Add dynamic query. MemberOf isn't yet supported in the rule builder.

What are the three types of Azure AD? ›

Azure Active Directory comes in four editions—Free, Office 365 apps, Premium P1, and Premium P2.

What are the most powerful groups in Active Directory? ›

Within Active Directory, there are three built-in groups that comprise the highest privilege groups in the directory: the Enterprise Admins (EA) group, the Domain Admins (DA) group, and the built-in Administrators (BA) group.

Which AD group has the largest scope? ›

Types of groups based on their scope

There are three types of groups in AD based on their scope, which are as follows: Domain local groups: Domain local groups are the groups where permissions are assigned. This is because these groups have the highest scope in terms of who can be members of this group.


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