How to Enable Recycle Bin in Active Directory

How to Enable Recycle Bin in Active Directory

Managing Active Directory (AD) effectively involves not only user and group management but also ensuring robust data protection mechanisms are in place. One such crucial feature is the Recycle Bin, which allows administrators to recover deleted objects and their attributes without resorting to traditional backup methods. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to enable the Recycle Bin in Active Directory.

Why Enable the Recycle Bin?


Enabling the Recycle Bin in Active Directory provides several benefits:

  • Simplified Recovery: Easily restore deleted objects with their attributes intact.
  • Reduced Downtime: Minimize downtime associated with accidental deletions.
  • Enhanced Data Integrity: Maintain data consistency and avoid data loss.
  • Improved Administrative Efficiency: Streamline management by eliminating the need for authoritative restores.


Before enabling the Recycle Bin, ensure the following:

  • Active Directory Functional Level: Your domain functional level must be at least Windows Server 2008 R2 or higher.
  • Permissions: You must be a member of the Enterprise Admins group or have specific permissions to modify the AD schema.


Steps to Enable Recycle Bin in Active Directory

  1. Check Current Forest Functional Level:
    • Open Active Directory Domains and Trusts from Administrative Tools.
    • Right-click on your domain name and select Raise Forest Functional Level.
    • Ensure the forest functional level is at least Windows Server 2008 R2 or higher.


  • You can check if the AD Recycle Bin is enabled with the below command.
  • Found forest name

    • Check Recycle bin feature is enable or not

    Get-ADOptionalFeature -Filter 'Name -like "Recycle Bin Feature"'

    1. Modify AD Schema:
      • Log in to a server with the Active Directory Schema Admin role.
      • Open Windows PowerShell as an administrator.
      • Run the following command to enable the Recycle Bin feature:

    Enable-ADOptionalFeature 'Recycle Bin Feature' -Scope ForestOrConfigurationSet -Target ''

    Replace with the name of your forest.


    1. Verify Recycle Bin Enablement:
      • Open Active Directory Administrative Center (ADAC) from Administrative Tools.
      • Navigate to Your Forest > Properties.
      • Ensure the Recycle Bin Feature is enabled and operational.


    1. Restore Deleted Objects:
      • Once enabled, deleted objects can be restored using ADAC or PowerShell:
        • In ADAC, navigate to Deleted Objects container, find the deleted object, and select Restore.
        • Using PowerShell, you can use the Restore-ADObject cmdlet.
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