We've compiled a MASSIVE List of the Best (and Free) Active Directory Tools (Update for 2023) for Windows admins that will help with any of your Auditing, Reporting and Management needs. We've gone through this list and will update it as more tools become available or become obsolete, as not every software manufacturer updates their tools for the latest version of Active Directory (2003, 2012 & 2016).
Here is our list of the Top-10 Active Directory Tools:
- SolarWinds Permissions Analyzer for Active Directory – EDITOR'S CHOICE This excellent tool will give you insights into both the user account structure and the device permissions that are currently laid out in your AD implementations. Runs on Windows Server. Download this free tool.
- SolarWinds Admin Bundle – FREE TOOL this free user account management tool lets you upload accounts in bulk into AD and helps you spot inactive users, together with network management tools. Runs on Windows Server.
- ManageEngine ADManager Plus – FREE TRIAL A package of AD management tools with functions that can interface with Microsoft 360 as well as your Azure, AWS, and on-premises AD implementations. Available for installation on Windows Server or as Azure and AWS services.
- ManageEngine ADAudit Plus – FREE TRIAL A package that provides analysis of AD implementations and can also be used to track user activity. Available for Windows Server or as a service in Azure and AWS.
- ManageEngine ADSelfService Plus A package that provides single sign-on, multi-factor authentication, and self-service password management. Available for Windows Server or as services on Azure and AWS.
- MaxPowerSoft Active Directory Reports Lite Available in free and paid versions, this tool helps you manage user accounts and device permissions in multiple AD implementations. Runs on Windows.
- AD Tidy An Active Directory user management tool that spots inactive and abandoned accounts and has a free version. Runs on Windows.
- SpecOps Gpupdate A package of remote endpoint management tools that includes Active Directory interfacing to support its operations. Runs on Windows.
- Specops Command This is a user and device management package that uses AD data in its processes. Runs on Windows.
Many of the tools below have very basic and limited functionality, as some, if not all, Are Completely FREE!
Yes, you won't need to buy a majority of the software below unless you want some premium features that some of them require payment for, but they work nonetheless without Upgrading.
The Top Active Directory Tools of 2023
What should you look for in an Active Directory tool?
We reviewed the market for Active Directory management systems and analyzed options based on the following criteria:
- Features to assist with permissions tightening
- Identification of abandoned accounts
- Options to bulk upload new records or updates
- Data export functions
- Credentials for controlled access to the sensitive data in AD
- A free trial for a no-obligation assessment opportunity or a free tool
- A tool that provides useful AD management systems at a fair price or a free tool
With these selection criteria in mind, we looked for useful systems that will save you time and enable you to tighten system security by tightening access rights.
SolarWinds Permissions Analyzer for Active Directory – FREE TOOL
SolarWinds offers a Truly Free Active Directory Users and Computers permissions analyzer, allowing you to browse and identify with groups and users have which permissions. Also, you can see the breakdown of inherited permissions of each user by their group membership.
- Free to use
- Inheritance management
- Group membership analysis
- Permissions browser
- Provides a simple yet powerful way to gain insight into your access controls and account security
- Offers a great visual way to see inherited permissions and permission groups
- Supports continuous permission monitoring
- Great for audits, detecting inside threats, and ATO attack prevention
- Is completely free
- Ideal for larger more complex environments
SolarWinds Permissions Analyzer for Active Directory is our top pick for an Active Directory tool because it is easy to install, easy to use, and speeds up the analysis of how resource permissions are implemented. Quickly look at how users and groups are granted permissions to pools of resources across file systems and keep your business compliant with data protection standards. Not only will this tool save you time but it will save you money as well because it is completely free of charge.
Download this tool free of charge: https://www.solarwinds.com/free-tools/permissions-analyzer-for-active-directory/registration
Operating system: Windows Server
SolarWinds Admin Bundle – FREE TOOL
The Admin Bundle for Active Directory from SolarWinds Consists of 3 separate software utilities that will assist in daily, weekly and monthly Administrative Tasks of AD. This includes the following utilities:
- Inactive User Account Removal Tool
- Import User in Bulk
- Inactive Computer Removal Utility
Each utility has its own function which allow you to quickly Remove Inactive Active Directory USER Accounts and Computer accounts. They each have a friendly and easy to use Graphical Interface and come in very handy without having to log into your Domain Controller.
- Free package
- Spots abandoned accounts
- Bulk upload
- A small suite of tools that add additional features to the default access control in AD
- Helps speed up routine access management tasks when on/offboarding users
- Is completely free – great for smaller environments
- Great for bulk AD tasks
- Completely free
- Larger networks may require more features
100% FREE Download: http://www.solarwinds.com/free-tools/active-directory-admin-tools-bundle/
ManageEngine ADManager Plus – FREE TRIAL
ADManager Plus gives you the ability to manage AD Objects, users, Groups and much more from a Centralized GUI, along with options of generating extensive reports of Active Directory.
- Abandoned account detection
- Bulk upload
- Mass updates
Features include not only Active Directory user management, but Real Last Logon Time Reports, Bulk User management and Group & Computer Management capabilities.
- Detailed reporting, can generate compliance reports for all major standards (PCI, HIPAA, etc)
- Supports multiple domains
- Supports delegation for NOC or helpdesk teams
- Allows you to visually view share permissions and the details of security groups
- Has a steeper learning curve than similar tools
Price: You can download a 30-day free trial.
ManageEngine ADAudit Plus – FREE TRIAL
ADAudit Plus offers Real-time monitoring, user and entity behavior analytics, and change audit reports that help you keep your AD and IT infrastructure secure and compliant.
- Track all changes to Windows AD objects including users, groups, computers, GPOs, and OUs.
- Achieve hybrid AD monitoring with a single, correlated view of all the activities happening across both on-premises AD and Azure AD.
- Monitor every user's logon and logoff activity, including every successful and failed logon attempt across network workstations.
- Audit Windows file servers, failover clusters, NetApp, and EMC storage to document changes to files and folders.
- Monitor system configurations, program files, and folder changes to ensure file integrity.
- Track changes across Windows servers, printers, and USB devices with a summary of events.
- Leverage advanced statistical analysis and machine learning techniques to detect anomalous behavior and defend against cyber attacks.
- File integrity management
- Sensitive data protection
- Detects AD tampering
- Focused heavily on compliance requirements, making it a good option for maintaining industry compliance
- Preconfigured compliance reports allow you to see where you stand in just a few clicks
- Features insider threat detection – can detect snooping staff members or blatant malicious actors who have infiltrated the LAN
- Supports automation and scripting
- Great user interface
- Better suited for larger environments
Official Site: https://www.manageengine.com/products/active-directory-audit/
Download: Register and download the 30-day free trial.
ManageEngine ADSelfService Plus
ADSelfService Plus offers password self-service reset/unlock, password expiration reminders, a self-service directory updater, a multiplatform password synchronizer, and single sign-on for cloud applications.
- User portal
- Reduces technician workload
- Mobile apps
Use the ADSelfServicePlus Android and iPhone mobile apps to facilitate self-service for end users anywhere at any time.
ADSelfService Plus supports the IT help desk by reducing password reset tickets and spares end users the frustration caused by computer downtime.
- Empowers users to change their own passwords – eliminating extra tickets
- Offers a variety of password policy enforcement options
- Supports multi-factor authentication
- Syncs passwords in real-time across the cloud and on-premises AD
- Best suited for small to medium-sized helpdesk teams
Official Site: https://www.manageengine.com/products/self-service-password/
AD360 is an integrated solution for Identity and Access Management (IAM) needs in Windows environment.
- Package of four tools
- Exchange Server reporting
This web-based software portfolio unifies all the functionalities needed for an enterprise: from user provisioning, self-service to risk governance and offers it with a simple, easy to use interface.
AD360 is the right solution for bridging the gap between technology and the complex business needs.
AD360 automates all the routine Identity and Access Management tasks like provisioning/de-provisioning bulk user accounts and other AD objects, secure management of account passwords, modifying multiple attributes of user accounts, managing user mailboxes and their email traffic.
- Dramatically improves the usability of Active Directory, making routine tasks easier to perform and automate
- Can monitor changes across both local and cloud-based AD environments
- Supports SSO and MFA, great for securing your access management with multiple layers of authentication
- Extensive 60-day trial period
- Only runs on Windows Server in an Active Directory environment
Official Site: https://www.manageengine.com/active-directory-360/index.html
MaxPowerSoft Active Directory Reports Lite
MaxPowerSofts' Free offering allows you to load up to 200 objects from Active Directory, along with User Reports, Group and OU Reports, Computer Reports and GPO reports from within their program.
- Free tool
- Bulk upload
- Permissions assessment
- Available as both a free and paid tool
- Includes bulk management features
- Supports up to 200 different objects at once
- Great for sorting GPOs at scale
- Can take time to fully explore all features and tools
Official Site and Download: http://www.maxpowersoft.com/adreportslite.php
AD Tidy helps your search and find Inactive Users from ADUC as well as Dormant and Inactive Computer Accounts as well to minimize any possibly security issues.
- Abandoned account detection
- Removes accounts for retired devices
- Bulk actions
- Includes a free version of the tool
- Can identify and group abandoned AD objects
- Simple interface
- Focuses mostly on clearing up old AD objects
Official Site and Download: http://www.cjwdev.com/Software/ADTidy/Info.html
SpecOps GPUPDATE software gives you the power to remotely administer a Single Computer or Multiple Computer accounts from Active Directory. Options include Refresh Group Policy Remotely, use WSUS to confirm Updates Remotely, Remotely Wake-Up Computer using WOL (Wake-On Lan) features and Remotely Shutdown/Restart PC.
- Remote administration
- Includes WSUS
- Group policy management
- Simple and easy-to-use interface
- Includes remote admin tools
- Can manage group policy
- Includes WSUS management
- Better suited for smaller AD environments
Official Site and Download: https://specopssoft.com/product/specops-gpupdate/
SpecOps Command utility allows you to administrate Computers and Users within your network and run VBScripts or PowerShell scripts using Group Policy quickly and ensure all feedback is received at the utility.
- Update script management
- Edit and launch scripts
- AD management library
Features include Scheduling scripts to run at certain times and how often to run as well as web-based Reporting of feedback from scripts that have run.
- Powerful script management tools
- Features a robust management library
- Ideal for larger AD environments
- Simple and easy-to-use interface
- Better suited for environments that heavily rely on scripts
Official Site and Download: https://specopssoft.com/product/specops-command/
AD PHOTO EDIT
AD Photo Edit allows you to import and Upload images to an AD attribute that Outlook 2010 Displays, as well as Lync and Sharepoint.
Free version allows you to view existing images for Users and Contacts in active directory, Export Images, Remove Existing Images, Upload New images, Rotate/Resize/Adjust Quality of Images and much more.
Official Site and Download: http://www.cjwdev.com/Software/ADPhotoEdit/Info.html
AD info tool comes with 190 different pre-built reports that allows you to query a large number of attributes including Users, Computers, Contacts, Organization Units, GPO's, Printers and more! One of the benefits of this is you can run this program without Domain Admin privileges.
Export your query results to CSV and query any domain you have access to.
Official Site and Download: http://www.cjwdev.com/Software/ADReportingTool/Info.html
Ad Query is a Free executable tool (no install required) that can be used to easily and quickly search Active Directory for information regarding a User or Computer for specific information.
You can search ALL data from Schema, LDAP and Exchange mail-enabled objects within your AD.
Official Site and Download: https://www.sysoptools.com/ad-query/
Recovery Manager for Active Directory
Recovery Manager for AD from Quest gives you the ability to recover any objects from AD without having to restart the Domain Controller.
This includes restoring objects from Users, Attributes, OUs, Computers, Subnets, Group Policy Objects, and more.
Official Site and Download: https://www.quest.com/products/recovery-manager-for-active-directory/
SysadminAnywhere is a great Active Directory Tool for Windows 10 that has a long list of features for AD Administration and Management.
Some features include Resetting Users password, Add/Edit/Delete Objects in AD, Add Photos, Restart/Shutdown Computers remotely in AD, Check for Updates and Monitoring Hardware and Computers (CPU, Drive, Memory, HTTP, ping, Services, Events).
Official Site and Download: https://sysadminanywhere.com/sysadmin
BeyondTrust PowerBroker Auditor
PowerBroker is an all encompassing tool for Active Directory that allows admins and organizations to keep their AD locked down tight and have a firm grasp of whats going on inside their AD environment in order to meet PCI, SOX and HIPAA compliance.
This is done through audits and alerting of AD configuration and changes in Real-time so you know exactly what is changing and how it effects your compliance and whether your at risk or not.
Official Site and Download: https://www.beyondtrust.com/products/powerbroker-auditor-for-active-directory/
Managed Service Accounts GUI
This little utility helps you configure Managed Service Accounts using a easy GUI interface and without the need of Powershell or any PS commands.
This utility cuts out the need to run 3 separate commands via Powershell and helps you create/delete new and Old Managed Service accounts with the click of a button.
Official Site and Download: http://www.cjwdev.com/Software/MSAGUI/Info.html
Microsoft Active Directory Topology Diagrammer
This topology mapper/diagram tool reads AD configurations and automatically Creates a Visio file of your AD topology using LDAP and maps out your entire Active Directory and Exchange Server Topology automatically within a easy to read Visio Diagram.
Official Site and Download: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=13380
ManageEngine Free Active Directory Tools
ManageEngine offers several Great utilities for managing Active Directory – including the following tools that can be found at the URL below: AD Query Tool, CSV Generator (generate a csv file from any AD Attributes), Last Logon Reporter, Active Directory Replication Manager and Many more! Check out their Full list of tools at the link below.
Official Site and Download: https://www.manageengine.com/products/free-windows-active-directory-tools/free-active-directory-tools-index.html
This tool allows a user that is assigned as a Manager of a group to manage members and settings of that given group including adding and removing other users and exporting group member to a CSV file.
You additional configuration is required, the utility will automatically detect which groups you are a Manager of and allow you to make changes as necessary.
Official Site and Download: http://www.cjwdev.co.uk/Software/GroupMan/Info.html
Softerra LDAP Browser
This LDAP Browser is lightweight tool that supports Read-Only of your LDAP infrastructure and allows you to View, Browse, Search and Export information from LDAP.
Official Site and Download: http://www.ldapadministrator.com/download.htm
IT Environment Health Scanner
This Health Scanner from Microsoft is specifically targeted towards Admins and Engineers who want to get an Overview of their current Active Directory Health by scanning it for Problems and inconsistencies.
This tool is great for scanning your network infrastructure and pinpointing issues that could cause your AD from functioning correctly. You must be a member of the Domain Admins group to run this utility.
Official Site and Download: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=10116
NetWrix Restore Deleted AD Users, Groups, Etc
Netwrix Restore tool helps your recover and restore deleted Active Directory objects with 3 Steps – Identify the Day/Time that you want to Restore back to – Select the Recovery/Rollback Source (either AD Tombstone or Netwrix Snapshot) – and Lastly choose the Changes you want to Revert back.
You have the ability to restore AD Deleted objects and if necessary, revert back to previous time periods if you made the wrong changes.
Official Site and Download: https://www.netwrix.com/active_directory_recovery_software.html
AdRestore.NET is a GUI version of the ADRestore command line utility. AdRestore enumerates all Tombstoned objects in your Domain and gives you the option to restore them individually as needed per your selections.
This was all done through the command-line, until recently Guy Teverovsky created a GUI version of the program for those not comfortable or familiar with the command-line version.
Official Site and Download: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/adrestore
GUI Edition: Information: https://dani3lr.wordpress.com/2009/06/22/tombsone-reanimation-using-adrestore-exe-and-adrestore-net/
Direct Download: http://blogs.microsoft.co.il/files/folders/guyt/entry40811.aspx
Active Directory Explorer
AD Explorer is an Advanced Viewer for searching, editing and viewing Active Directory objects and properties quickly and easily without having to drill down into each object individually. You can even create snapshots of AD to view offline if you would like to work off a snapshot rather than AD live.
Official Site and Download: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/adexplorer
ADMX Migrator is a Easy to Use GUI that comes in the form of a MMC Snap-in for converting your existing GPO ADM templates to the new ADMX file format.
Official Site and Download: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=15058
BeyondTrust Privilege Explorer
Privilege Explorer is a utility that automates the process of Active Directory file permissions by analyzing and reporting on permissions levels. This program brings automation to permission analysis and reporting to one central location and assists with compliance and intrusion detection, as well verifying that all permissions are tight and minimizing excessive permissions for unauthorized users.
Official Site and Download: https://www.beyondtrust.com/products/powerbroker-privilege-explorer-for-active-directory-and-file-systems/
Netwrix Account Lockout Examiner
Netwrix Account Lockout Examiner does just what it says in the name – It is a Freeware utility that alerts IT personnel when an account has been locked out of Active Directory and allows you to unlock the account from within the GUI of the tool or your mobile device quickly.
Official Site and Download: https://www.netwrix.com/account_lockout_examiner.html
NetWrix Inactive or Stale Users Finder
This tool also does exactly what it says – automates that process of finding and locking down Stale or Inactive accounts in ADUC and helps you mitigate any risk of those accounts becoming compromised and being used for malicious activities.
Official Site and Download: https://www.netwrix.com/netwrix_inactive_user_tracker.html
Active Directory Replication Status utility is a tool that helps your analyze the Replication of Domain Controllers in your network to ensure that replication is actually replicating. This tool helps you pinpoint with domain controller has errors and which ones are not replicating correctly.
Official Site and Download: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30005
AD Permissions Reporter
AD permissions reporter is used for extracting all permissions from within your domain for every object. You can additionally filter down certain objects or permissions you would like to analyze to get an understanding of their permission levels.
Official Site and Download: http://www.cjwdev.com/Software/ADPermissionsReporter/Info.html
Bulk Password Control
As the name of the software implies, this utility allows you to change passwords on Multiple/Bulk accounts at the same time using their Password generator feature. You can also use the same password for every account if needed as well. Additional features of this utility include enabling and disable active directory accounts in bulk, as well as Unlocking them in bulk.
Official Site and Download: http://www.wisesoft.co.uk/software/passwordcontrol/bulk_password_control.aspx
Lepide Active Directory Bulk Image Editor
Bulk Image Editor gives you the flexibility of uploading and managing images for Active Directory “thumbnailPhoto” and “jpegPhoto” attributes on the fly – and FREE!
You can also display images from all accounts, export existing images, upload images in bulk using the SAM or common name of accounts as well.
Official Site and Download: https://www.lepide.com/freetools/ad-bulk-image-editor.html
Lepide Last Login Report
Extracting Last Login information for Active Directory Users is Easier than ever with Lepide's Last Login Report tool – you can easily display information about users and their last Login time in bulk and export if necessary to CSV or HTML format for further processing.
You can also search individual login times and dates by searching any column for specific information.
Official Site and Download: https://www.lepide.com/freetools/last-logon-reporter.html
Lepide Active Directory Query
Easily query Active Directory to get detailed information about users and objects with Active Directory through this easy, GUI based utility. You can further export data to a CSV file and get individual reports as necessary.
Official Site and Download: https://www.lepide.com/freetools/active-directory-query.html
Specops Password Auditor
Specops Password Auditor is a free tool that scans Active Directory to detect password and privileged account security vulnerabilities. These insights can be used to reduce attack surface or maintain compliance.
The tool scans Active Directory to identify accounts that are utilizing leaked passwords against a list of close to billion previously leaked passwords, in addition to gauging password policy strength against brute force attacksand compliance requirements such as NIST and PCI.The tool can also pin-point stale or inactive admin accounts in addition to the following:
- Accounts with identical passwords
- Accounts that don't require passwords
- Accounts that don't have password complexity requirements
- Accounts with expired passwords
- Accounts that have password expiration approaching
The collected information will be used to display multiple interactive reports depicting the aforementioned vulnerabilities. The reports are exportable to csv files and some useful display features include:
- Sliding timeline to track days since last login for stale admin accounts
- Sliding timeline to track days until password expiration
Specops Password Auditor will only read information from Active Directory, it will not make any changes. It will compare password hashes against password hashes in the blacklist and read the Default Domain Password Policy and any Fine-Grained Password Policies if it’s run by a user with administrative privileges in Active Directory.
It will read the Default Domain Password Policy and any Fine-Grained Password Policies if it’s run by a user with administrative privileges in Active Directory.
Official Site and Download: specopssoft.com/product/specops-password-auditor/
AD FastReporter by Albusbit is a tools that assists you with Generating reports on your AD infrastructure.
You have the option to choose from several report categories including the following:
- Group Policy Objects
- Organizational Units (OU)
They have pre-built reports that allow you to quickly run a report without much effort and output information that your looking for fairly quickly. Ad FastReporter utilizes a built-in Local database so there is no overhead or stress on your AD infrastructure when running reports and storing them.
Features that Ad FastReporter includes are as follows:
- Compile and Export AD Reports
- Email Reports directly from within Program
- Custom Reports using Filters and Granular Options (Pro Version only)
- Compatible from Windows XP Sp3 to 2003 Server
- Over 200 Pre-Built Reports
They also give you the option to export reports to CSV, XLSX, and HTML and send reports via Email as well!
This Program has a FREE Version and a Paid version that allows for added Features and Automation (Windows Task Schedular, etc)
Official Site and Download: https://albusbit.com/ADFastReporter.php
AD Photo Editor
AD Photo Editor from Albusbit.com allows you import/upload custom images for Active Directory User and Contacts as either thumbnailPhoto or jpegPhoto attribute.
These Photos can then be used within the following programs that integrate with AD:
- Outlook Emails
- Outlook Contacts
- Global Address List Photos (GAL)
- Skype for Business
- and other other 3rd Party App
There are 2 Version of this software – a FREE Version and a Paid version.
The Free Version allows you to Find Accounts and Upload/Edit Photos within AD and the Pro Version allows you to Bulk Import/Export Photos to and from Active Directory!
You can Find/Import photos into Active using:
- common name (cn),
- username (sAMAccountName),
- ambiguous name resolution (anr),
- email address (mail),
- employee ID (employeeID),
- or add additional custom attributes
On top of all those benefits, you can also adjust and modify images at upload, including Changing Dimensions, Rotate AD Images, Change Quality (compression) of Images and Add Watermarks to AD images as well.
This program really does have a quite a few features that should Cost something, but in all reality is FREE! We definitely like the value in this AD tool!
Official Site and Download: https://albusbit.com/ADPhotoEditor.php
AD Administrator from AlbusBit
AD Administrator tools from AlbusBit was built with the sole purpose for quickly managing AD Users/Computers for a single interface.
This tool has the following features for Managing Active Directory:
- Manage, Search, View and Edit AD Accounts/Users and Computers
- 16 Built-In Functions for that can be Run against AD, including:
- Move to OU
- Set description
- Set expiry date
- Add to group
- Remove from group
- Remove from all groups
- Hide from GAL
- Set random password
- Set password never expire
- Delete home drive
- Run external script
- Clear custom LDAP attribute
- Disable OWA
- Find Inactive Users/Computer Accts that are Dormant
- Manage Multiple Active Directory Domains from Single Interface
- Export Reports to Excel, CSV and HTML
This is great all-in-one tool for managing AD Users and Accounts from a centralized location and gives you the ability to manage multi-domain environments as well!
Official Site and Download: https://albusbit.com/ADAdministrator.php
Sysmalogic AD Reporter Builder
We recently reviewed Symalogic AD Report builder here and wanted to add this software on this post as well, as they have a FREE Version that gives you some great features to use without having to upgrade to the full version.
To see a Full list of their Features, have a look at the link below – We'll highlight the features of their Free Versions here:
- Full result view (no row limit)
- No expiration date
- Multi-domain use
- All Built-in reports
- Add or remove columns
- Non-replicated reports
- Set any search target
- Grid text filters/column
- Export report to CSV
This tool helps you audit Active Directory for Compliance as well as give you insights and reports into your AD infrastructure, Computers/Users and OU's!
Grab a Free Download from the site below to get started!
Official Site and Download: http://www.sysmalogic.com