Activate the AD Recycle Bin

You’ve finally got rid of those Windows Server 2003, you’re ready to upgrade your AD DS Functional Levels to either 2008 or 2012. Now you finally can and want to activate the recycle bin feature in AD (it wasn’t possible while you still had 2003 R2 DC’s running). The recycle bin feature is stored in the Configuration Partition of your Forest:

CN=Optional Features,CN=Directory Service,CN=Windows NT,CN=Services,CN=Configuration,DC=domain,DC=tld

This is presumably a location for storing any new features to come. Ok, first it’s nice to check to see if the AD Recycle Bin is already enabled or not, type in:

Get-ADOptionalFeature -filter *

Return the AD Optional Features





Note how there is nothing between the {} for ‘Enabled Scopes’ – this means it is NOT enabled. IF it was you would have an entry in here just as it shows in the 2nd screenshot below. To enable it, is is simply this command:

Enable-ADOptionalFeature -Identity “CN=Recycle Bin Feature,CN=Optional Features,CN=Directory Services, CN=Windows NT,CN=Services,CN=Configuration,DC=domain,DC=tld

Enable AD Recycle Bin
Enable AD Recycle Bin




Click Y to confirm and the change is made. Now check the Optional Features setting again, type in:

Get-ADOptionalFeature -filter *

AD Recycle Bin enabled
AD Recycle Bin enabled





Test it out. Go on, you know you want to. Delete some objects & recover them (not in Production of course, cause that would be plain silly!). See what attributes are recovered and report back if you wish.

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