Active Directory: Joining a Workstation

Create a workstation account and join a Windows or Mac workstation to Active Directory. For Active Directory support, create a request at Active Directory training is also available upon request at

Creating a Workstation Account

Using a domain account that is a member of your OU Admin group, launch "Active Directory Users and Computers," and perform the following steps:

  1. Open the Start menu and search for Active Directory Users and Computers. Press Enter.

  2. Navigate to your OU. Click Action, New, Computer. 

  3. Enter the NetBIOS name of the workstation in the Computer name field.
    Note: IT Services recommends that computer names start with the four-letter department code followed by a dash and the Dell ID tag or other unique description. 

  4. (Optional) Click Change to add the user who will join the domain.

  5. Click OK.

Joining a Windows Workstation

The workstation's NetBIOS name must be the same as the machine account created in the above steps prior to following these instructions. To change a computer name, leave it in a workgroup and reboot prior to joining the Active Directory.

To join a workstation to Active Directory in Windows:

  1. Log into the workstation as the local administrator.

  2. Open the Start menu and search for File Explorer. Press Enter.

  3. Right-click "This PC" and select Properties.

  4. Click Change settings. Click Change.

  5. Select Domain and enter Click OK.

  6. Enter your UARK email address and password. Click OK.

  7. When prompted, restart the computer. 

  8. Log in as the local administrator and add domain users to the appropriate local groups.

Joining a Mac Workstation

Mac workstations joined to Active Directory may experience authentication issues when connected to older or misconfigured multi-port switches. The Mac's computer name must match the name used in the Creating a Workstation Account section.

To join a workstation to Active Directory using Mac OS X:

  1. Log into the workstation as the administrator.

  2. Open System Preferences. Click the User & Groups icon.

  3. Click the lock icon at the bottom left to allow changes. Enter the administrator password and click Unlock.

  4. Click Login Options. Make sure the following settings are selected:

    • Automatic login: Off
    • Display login window as: List of users
    • Show fast user switching menu as: Account Name (this box must be checked)
  5. Click Join. Click Open Directory Utility.

  6. Click the lock icon at the bottom to allow changes. Enter the administrator password and click Modify Configuration.

  7. Double-click Active Directory.

  8. In the Active Directory Domain field, enter

  9. In the Computer ID field, enter the computer name that was used when creating the workstation account.

  10. Expand Show Advanced Options.

  11. In the User Experience tab, make sure the box "Force local home directory on startup disk" is checked. Click Bind.

  12. Enter your UARK username and password. Click OK.

  13. When prompted to join an existing account, click OK.

  14. Restart the computer. At the login screen, select Other to log in with UARK credentials.

Last Reviewed:



  1. 01/31/2011
    10:48 am

    OS 10.6 - if you have difficulty logging in try preceding the UARK username with the domain, e.g. gacl/UARKusername, followed by the network password.

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