Audit directory service access

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

Audit directory service access


This security setting determines whether to audit the event of a user accessing an Active Directory object that has its own system access control list (SACL) specified.

By default, this value is set to no auditing in the Default Domain Controller Group Policy object (GPO), and it remains undefined for workstations and servers where it has no meaning.

If you define this policy setting, you can specify whether to audit successes, audit failures, or not audit the event type at all. Success audits generate an audit entry when a user successfully accesses an Active Directory object that has a SACL specified. Failure audits generate an audit entry when a user unsuccessfully attempts to access an Active Directory object that has a SACL specified. To set this value to No auditing, in the Properties dialog box for this policy setting, select the Define these policy settings check box and clear the Success and Failure check boxes.

Note that you can set a SACL on an Active Directory object by using the Security tab in that object's Properties dialog box. This is the same as Audit object access, except that it applies only to Active Directory objects and not to file system and registry objects.


  • Success on domain controllers.

  • Undefined for a member computer.

Configuring this security setting

You can configure this security setting by opening the appropriate policy and expanding the console tree as such: Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Policies\Audit Policy\

For specific instructions about how to configure auditing policy settings, see Define or modify auditing policy settings for an event category.

There is only one directory service access event, which is identical to the Object Access security event messageĀ 566.

Directory service access events



A generic object operation took place.

For more information about security events, see Security Events on the Microsoft Windows Resource Kits Web site.

For more information, see: