Remove a domain

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

To remove a domain

  1. On the last domain controller in the domain, click Start, and then click Run.

  2. In Open, type dcpromo to open the Active Directory Installation Wizard, and then click Next.

  3. On the Remove Active Directory page, select the This server is the last domain controller in the domain check box, and then continue to follow the wizard.


  • Removing a domain will result in the permanent loss of any data contained in that domain. This includes all user, group, and computer accounts.


  • To perform this procedure, you must be a member of the Domain Admins group (in the forest root domain) or the Enterprise Admins group in Active Directory, or you must have been delegated the appropriate authority. As a security best practice, consider using Run as to perform this procedure. For more information, see Default local groups, Default groups, and Using Run as.

  • To remove an Active Directory domain, you must first demote all other domain controllers associated with the domain. For information about demoting domain controllers, see Related Topics.

  • If the domain has child domains, it cannot be deleted.

  • If this is the last domain in the forest, demoting this domain controller will also delete the forest.

  • If the domain controller currently holds the domain naming master or schema master operations roles, transfer the role to domain controller in a different domain before removing the domain. For information about locating operations masters and transferring operations master roles, see Related Topics.

  • If the domain controller holds the last replica of one or more application directory partitions, you must first remove the last application directory partition replicas from the domain controller before you can delete the domain. You can use the Active Directory Installation Wizard to remove all application directory partition replicas from the domain controller or you can manually remove the partitions using the Ntdsutil command-line tool. For information about application directory partitions, see Related Topics.

Information about functional differences

  • Your server might function differently based on the version and edition of the operating system that is installed, your account permissions, and your menu settings. For more information, see Viewing Help on the Web.

See Also


Enable or disable a global catalog
Operations master roles
Domain controllers
Application directory partitions
Add or remove an application directory partition replica
Identify operations master roles
Transfer operations master roles