Identify or Transfer the Schema Master Role

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

Each Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS) instance that belongs to a given configuration set operates with equal authority. However, certain activities that are performed with a given configuration set should only be performed by a single AD LDS instance. One of these activities is schema management, which prevents conflicting schema changes. An AD LDS instance that is responsible for schema management is called the schema master. AD LDS assigns the schema master role automatically. However, you can also reassign these roles, which may be required; for example, if an AD LDS instance that holds the operations master role stops responding or goes offline.

The schema master instance controls all updates and modifications to the schema within a given configuration set. To update the schema, you must be a member of the AD LDS Administrators group on the configuration set. You must also be able to connect successfully to the schema master. Each configuration set can contain only one schema master.

Membership in the AD LDS Administrators group, or equivalent, is the minimum required to complete this procedure. Review details about using the appropriate accounts and group memberships at Local and Domain Default Groups (

To identify or transfer the schema master role

  1. Open the Active Directory Schema snap-in and connect to the AD LDS instance in which you want to deactivate classes or attributes. For more information, see Use the Active Directory Schema Snap-in to Administer AD LDS Instances.

  2. In the console tree, right-click Active Directory Schema, and then click Operations Master.

  3. In the Change Schema Master dialog box, do one of the following:

    • To identify the current schema master, note the AD LDS instance that is listed in Current schema master.

    • To transfer the schema master role to the currently targeted AD LDS instance, click Change.


Each configuration set has only one schema master. To identify the schema master in a different configuration set, target the appropriate configuration set before you click Operations Master.