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How to Join a Windows 10 PC to a Domain

A Domain based network provides centralized administration of an entire network from a single computer called a server. Domains provide single user log on from any networked computer within the network perimeter. Users are able to access resources for which they have appropriate permission. While I do not want to go into the complexities of Domain networks, you can find out more by contacting your Network Administrator if you have difficulties connecting to your workplace domain.

To join a Domain, you must first ensure you have the following information and resources:

  • a User Account on the Domain, this information you can get from your Network Administrator.
  • Name of Domain.
  • Computer running Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise/Education editions
  • Domain Controller must be running Windows Server 2003 (functional level or later).
  • I discovered during testing that Windows 10 does not support Windows 2000 Server Domain Controllers.

Join a Windows 10 PC or Device to a Domain

On the Windows 10 PC go to Settings > System > About then click Join a domain.

Join Domain 0

Enter the Domain name and click Next. You should have the correct domain info, but if not, contact your Network Administrator.

Domain 1

Enter account information which is used to authenticate on the Domain then click OK.

Domain 2

Wait while your computer is authenticated on the Domain.

Domain 3

Click Next when you see this screen.

Domain 4

And then you’ll need to restart to complete the process.

Domain 5

When the sign in screen appears, you will notice the DOMAIN\User account is displayed. Enter your password and you will now be logged onto your Domain.

Domain 6

You will notice that once you are connected to the Domain, your About setting no longer list options that were presented before. This is because your computer is centrally managed by the server.

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Domain 7

Leaving the Domain or log into your local account

If a need arises where you need to leave the domain or log into your local account, you can easily do so. Log into your local account while your computer is joined to a Domain. Sign out of your machine at the sign in screen, select Other user.

Domain 8

Enter the machine name followed by a backslash and then your local user account as shown below.

Domain 9

Leave a Domain

To leave the Domain, sign into your Local Account, click Start > Settings > System > About and then select Disconnect from organization.

Domain 10

Please note, when you join a domain, your might be required to change your password on first log in.

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9 Responses to How to Join a Windows 10 PC to a Domain

  1. Michael Mast February 13, 2016 at 9:50 am #

    “On the Windows 10 PC go to Settings > System > About then click Join a domain.”

    There is no “Join a domain” button.

    • Raymond February 16, 2016 at 10:37 pm #

      Must be Windows 10 Professional or Enterprise

  2. Frank Dmuchowski April 16, 2016 at 6:39 am #

    running win10 pro. The domain does not show under networks in explorer. PC cannot connect to the domain when trying to join. Server running Server2008 with 2003 functional level. Are any changes required on the firewall required? PC’s running XP join the domain without any problem. Any ideas?

  3. Mark April 19, 2016 at 6:15 am #

    change the dns settings on the client machine to point at the server. Once connected you can change them back again if required.

    • Carl July 10, 2016 at 7:01 pm #

      Frustratingly couldn’t connect to the domain but this suggestion worked for me, went into the network settings, clicked on the ipv4 connection and clicked properties and changed automatically accept DNS address and entered the servers DNS address manually. Once updated, the laptop connected straight away. Once connected and logged in I reverted the DNS settings to automatic. Thanks a bunch for this suggest @Mark.

  4. Edu July 5, 2016 at 1:51 pm #

    I can access to domain, and I can access to shared server resources, but every time I log into domain, I log in with a temporary profile.
    In windows register there aren’t any .bak entry. I’ve tried to remove users, create again, remove entries in register, but always the same problem.
    Do ypu hace any idea how to solve this?

  5. Ben July 7, 2016 at 1:30 pm #

    Any idea why my registered workstation windows 10 machines are registered as Operating System MAC OS in my Active Directory console ? Even in my network asset inventory tool is registered as MAC OS operating system.

    I appreciate any help.


  6. Joshua September 3, 2016 at 6:40 am #

    How can I remove the other user choice in lock screen?

  7. Ahmed October 5, 2016 at 11:25 pm #

    The moment I connect with my organization’s domain, my win 10 apps, start menu and task bar does not open anymore. Any idea how to resolve it?

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