ADUC Tip – Easily edit Object Attributes directly from Search in Users and Computers

 The problem

One of the bizarre pain-points of administering Active Directory Users and Computers is that you cannot edit Object attributes directly from Search.  What do I mean about this?  Here is an example.  I’m searching for myself here.

ADUC - Workaround - 01

I can see my object, but when I open it, I only see a subset of the available properties for the object.  Notable missing is the ‘Attribute Editor’ tab.

ADUC - Workaround - 02

Normally the next step is to look at the object path and browse out to it in AD, which wastes a lot of time.  However, we’ll never waste that time again, once you’re armed with this tip!

ADUC - Workaround - 03
I normally shudder more and more as I see how deep I have to search to find this object I need to edit.
ADUC - Workaround - 04
Slogging all the way down into a deep or complex tree is one of those minor things that can make you hate your life.


The Fix


We’ll not do it the old way again.  So, from the Search window, find your user or computer you’d like to alter, then click Member Of.  Open one of the groups the object is in and then close the original object window.

ADUC - Workaround - 05
Click ‘Member Of’ for the object you’d like to edit, then pick a group that contains them.
ADUC - Workaround - 06
Be sure to Close the original Object once the group has loaded. This will prompt ADUC to redraw the object from the groups window, forcing more properties to appear

Now, go to the Members tab for this group and find the object you’d like to edit.  Double-click it and…

ADUC - Workaround - 07
You’ll never do it the old way again!

Enjoy this workaround!  I’ve got no idea why you can’t just edit Attributes directly from Search without these extra steps, but it so much faster than manually browsing to objects that I’d wager you’ll never go back to the old way again.

All credit for finding this work around goes to my colleague and friend Mark Wuerslin for his detective work in discovering this workaround.

5 thoughts on “ADUC Tip – Easily edit Object Attributes directly from Search in Users and Computers

  1. Someone May 30, 2014 / 6:26 pm

    Just use the newer Active Directory Administrative Center for this.
    You can search and do the attribute edit there without any hassle (looks a bit different but works so much better these days, also supports AD recyle bin if you use it on Win2012+).


    • FoxDeploy May 30, 2014 / 8:51 pm

      Since most of my clients have old installs of AD anyway, it has never come up. Thanks for the tip, I’ll give it a try!


  2. triple5iks December 13, 2014 / 4:55 am

    hahaha tricky one thankyou


  3. SBandit1200 April 13, 2016 / 5:52 pm

    Very helpful, well done


  4. Lalit May 16, 2016 / 4:30 am

    Interesting, Is there any facility in attribute editor to add manager to user?


Have a code issue? Share your code by going to and pasting your code there, then post the link here!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.