Enable Azure Active Directory Domain Services using the Azure classic portal

This article describes and walks through the configuration tasks that are required for you to enable Azure Active Directory Domain Services (Azure AD DS) for your Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) tenant.

Task 1: create the Azure AD DC administrators group

The first task is to create an administrative group in your Azure AD tenant. This special administrative group is called AAD DC Administrators. Members of this group are granted administrative permissions on machines that are domain-joined to the Azure Active Directory Domain Services-managed domain. On domain-joined machines, this group is added to the administrators group. Additionally, members of this group can use Remote Desktop to connect remotely to domain-joined machines.


You do not have Domain Administrator or Enterprise Administrator permissions on the managed domain that you created by using Azure Active Directory Domain Services. On managed domains, these permissions are reserved by the service and are not made available to users within the tenant. However, you can use the special administrative group created in this configuration task to perform some privileged operations. These operations include joining computers to the domain, belonging to the administration group on domain-joined machines, and configuring Group Policy.

In this configuration task, you create the administrative group and add one or more users in your directory to the group. To create the administrative group for Azure Active Directory Domain Services, do the following:

  1. Go to the Azure classic portal.
  2. In the left pane, select the Active Directory button.
  3. Select the Azure AD tenant (directory) for which you want to enable Azure Active Directory Domain Services. You can create only one domain for each Azure AD directory.

    Select Azure AD directory

  4. On the preview directory page, click the Groups tab.
  5. To add a group to your Azure AD tenant, on the task pane at the bottom of the window, click Add Group.

    The Add Group button

  6. In the Add Group dialog box, create a group named AAD DC Administrators, and then set Group Type to Security.


    To enable access within your Azure Active Directory Domain Services-managed domain, create a group with this exact name.

    The Add Group dialog box

  7. In the Description box, enter a description that enables others to understand that this group grants administrative permissions within Azure Active Directory Domain Services.
  8. After you've created the group, click the group name to view its properties.
  9. To add users as members of the group, at the bottom of the window, click the Add Members button.

    Add group members button

  10. In the Add members dialog box, select the users who should be members of this group, and then click the checkmark icon at the lower right.

    Add users to administrators group

Next step

Task 2: create or select an Azure virtual network