Verified and Tested 03/24/2015


In this article, we will be going over the process of joining a Windows Server 2012 to an Active Directory Domain. Before you can complete, this process keep in mind that the server must first be able to communicate with the domain. This means that the server’s IP address configuration must reference the domains DNS server. Here we will demonstrate how to complete this process.


– A Server with Windows Server 2012. If you do not have a server already, you can visit our Windows Cloud Hosting page and spin up a server in under 30 seconds.

Joining A Windows Server 2012 To A Domain

To join the server to a domain, move your mouse to the lower left corner of the screen and then right-click on the Start tile. Select the System Command from the Start tile’s menu. When the System dialog box appears, click the Change Settings link, shown below.

Screenshot of the "System" dialogue box in Windows Server 2012

Screenshot of the “System” dialog box in Windows Server 2012

The server should now display the System Properties sheet. Make sure that the Computer Name tab is selected, and then click the Change button. When Windows displays the Computer Name/Domain Changes dialog box shown below, enter your domain name and click OK. Windows will locate the domain and then prompt you for a set of administrative credentials. When the domain join completes, you will then be prompted to restart the server.

Screenshot of the "Computer name/Domain changes" window in Windows server 2012

Screenshot of the “Computer name/Domain changes” window in Windows Server 2012


The process of joining a domain to a Windows Server 2012 is relatively straightforward. With just a few clicks, you can assign an active domain to your Windows server without issue.