Oct 132009

Windows Server 2008 R2 reached RTM.  Among the many cool new features provided with that release, Microsoft has now added a recycle bin feature to Active Directory.  The management interface provided by Microsoft for this feature is the command line, or more specifically, PowerShell.  That’s great if you’re like me and you love to manage your infrastructure using PowerShell, but what if you prefer a GUI?  Fortunately there is a solution for you too.


PowerGUI or later

PowerShell 2.0 or later

Microsoft Active Directory module 1.0 or later

A forest running in Windows Server 2008 R2 Native mode (the PowerPack will prompt you to change the mode if it is not the required mode)

The Active Directory recycle bin feature must be enabled (the PowerPack will prompt you to do this if it is not enabled)


• View the contents of the recycle bin, including hierarchies

• Restore individual items in the recycle bin (recursively or not) to their original location

• Restore individual items in the recycle bin (recursively or not) to a specified location

• Permanently delete objects in the recycle bin (recursively or not)

• Empty the contents of the recycle bin

• Modify the number of days that the recycle bin is configured to retain objects and the number of days that objects are to be kept in a tombstone state before permanent deletion

Download AD Recycle Bin PowerPack from here

How to install

1. Download the ActiveDirectoryRecycleBin.powerpack file that is attached to this article.

2. Open the PowerGUI admin console.

3. Select File | PowerPack Management to open the PowerPack Management dialog.

4. Click on the Import button to import the PowerPack.

5. Using the dialog that just opened, browse to the location where you downloaded the ActiveDirectoryRecycleBin.powerpack file and select that file. Click on the Open button to import the Active Directory Recycle Bin PowerPack into PowerGUI.

6. At this point the PowerPack is imported and you will have an “Active Directory Recycle Bin” node in the Admin Console. Continue reading the Getting Started section if you want to know how to get started using this PowerPack.



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  2 Responses to “Recover deleted Active Directory objects with the AD Recycle Bin PowerPack”

  1. Hi There,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts – quite helpful and appreciated.

    On a related note, thought you might like to know that at our organization we use a nifty FREE Microsoft-endorsed tool called Gold Finger for all our AD reporting needs. We first came across it on http://www.activedirsec.com and have been using it for 3 months now.

    Gold Finger is developed by a Microsoft partner called Paramount Defenses, and has 300+ inbuilt Active Directory security reports covering 12 management categories, from account management to Trust management. Oh, and its backed by FREE US based technical support.

    You can get (download) your own free copy from – http://www.paramountdefenses.com/goldfinger.php.

    If you’re into Active Directory, Gold Finger is a must have.


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