Active Directory Search for Clients


Hello everyone. Today I discovered that there is a way to give non-admin users the possibility to search the Active Directory for information. It is pretty simple. All you need to do is to create this Shortcut on your users Desktops :

%SystemRoot%\System32\rundll32.exe dsquery,OpenQueryWindow

That´s it. That is all you need to do to make it work.

If you want to publish this Shortcut to a larger group of people you might consider using Group Policies.

The first step is to create a new Shortcut item. I called mine “Active Directory Search”.

ActiveDirectorySearch_GPO_Shortcut

Then I applied the following settings:

  • Target path: %SystemRoot%\System32\rundll32.exe
  • Arguments: dsquery,OpenQueryWindow
  • Location: Desktop

ActiveDirectorySearch_GPO_Shortcut_Properties_General

I would also recommend to apply the setting “Remove this item when it is no longer applied” to make sure the Shortcut will be removed when you want to retract this solution.

ActiveDirectorySearch_GPO_Shortcut_Properties_Common

If you configured everything correctly your Shortcut will appear on your users Desktops.

ActiveDirectorySearch_Shortcut

Now every time your users use this Shortcut this window will open allowing them to search your Active Directory.

ActiveDirectorySearch_AD_Users_and_Computers

Here is a screenshot of an example search:

ActiveDirectorySearch_AD_Users_and_Computers_Search_Result

Info: Don´t worry about users editing your Active Directory system. If they do not have the appropriate permissions to change things they will only be able to read information.

That´s it for today. I hope my post was useful for you.

Sources:

http://anandthearchitect.com/2010/05/08/windows-7-how-to-search-active-directory/

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