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PowerShell as an AD bulk user management tool

Bulk user management can be quite a challenge for Active Directory (AD) administrators day in, day out. Many administrators use Microsoft's PowerShell technology to perform basic AD user management tasks. Below are some key PowerShell scripts and commands for working with AD users in bulk. Further below, you'll find a tool that makes AD bulk user management even easier by helping you carryout those AD tasks in a cinch with an intuitive, unified web-console.

Creating users in bulk with CSV import

Import-CSV test.csv | foreach {New-ADUser -SamAccountName $_.SamAccountName -Name $_.Name -Surname $_.Surname -GivenName $_.GivenName -Path "OU=Finance,OU=UserAccounts,DC=FABRIKAM,DC=COM" -AccountPassword (ConvertTo-SecureString -AsPlainText $_.password -Force) -Enabled $true

Adding users to a group in bulk

Import-CSVtest.csv | foreach {Add-ADGroupMember -Identity "Domain guests"-Members $_.sAMAccountName}

Modifying users in bulk

Import-CSVtest.csv | foreach {Set-ADUser -Identity $_.sAMAccountName -Description"testing description"}

Disabling users in bulk

Import-CsvC:\Users\administrator.AUTOMATION\Desktop\Sample.csv | foreach{Disable-ADAccount -Identity $_.sAMAccountName}

The ADManager Plus way

In organizations, it's a rarity that we come across such simple, straightforward scenarios like the ones listed above. Real-life use cases involve a multitude of things. Often, administrators need to program extensively in PowerShell, research syntax, and iterate multiple times for correctness; all these tasks can turn into a nightmare for administrators. PowerShell sure is empowering, but at what cost? Often, the cost of extensive scripting is prolonged work hours.

You might be one of those administrators for whom working with PowerShell scripts is more like child's play. Even so, you'd still definitely agree that copy-pasting the same code with different values a hundred times over gets old. You might argue that you can create a script to bulk import users from a CSV. That's innovative! But what about when you need to change multiple attributes for hundreds of users all at once. That's a daunting task, even for an expert PowerShell programmer.

Here's how you can save yourself from the burden and monotony of creating, testing, and executing unending lines of PowerShell scripts to provision AD user accounts in bulk.

With ADManager Plus, provisioning a bulk of user accounts in Active Directory—and Office 365, Skype for Business, Exchange, and G Suite simultaneously—is a cinch. The very idea of it gets you excited, doesn't it? These features make ADManager Plus the obvious choice:

  • A 360 degree approach that doesn't require strenuous and redundant scripting.
  • A self-explanatory and straightforward user interface.
  • An unending list of user-centric features, including template-based user provisioning, secure AD delegation, and review based workflow management for AD routines.

Template-based user provisioning

One might need nothing further than smart user creation templates, preconfigured to set up things like group membership, email addresses, and account passwords right when you need them. Handling user attributes through one application is a huge bonus for administrators.

PowerShell often requires sophisticated programming to import data from a CSV file. ADManager Plus gives the administrator a quick overview of the user accounts that will be created and their corresponding user attributes included in the CSV file. Simply import the CSV file into ADManager Plus, then review user attributes before the accounts are created. This ensures fewer errors and failures during the bulk users creation process.

Rule-based user provisioning

User creation templates also include 'user creation rules' which allow you to auto-populate the desired fields of the user accounts that are being created, conditionally or unconditionally, even before the user accounts are actually created in Active Directory.

Bulk AD cleanup

Taking things up by a notch, automate AD cleanup using ADManager Plus's intelligent automation module. Now, you can create an elaborate set of rules that apply to specific user accounts and automatically perform cleanup actions in bulk. This will create a stable, secure, and compliant environment for all user accounts.

If you prefer to manually review AD user account updates then don't worry, we have a solution for you too. Our smart, request-based workflow management module solves this very problem. Stay in control of user provisioning even after delegating, by implementing a smart review and approval process.


AD administrators can assign user creation templates to help desk technicians or even HR executives to delegate the task of creating new user accounts.

Thus ADManager Plus rightly fills the void left behind by PowerShell.

There's more from ManageEngine that can help you carry out user management with ease. Our CSV generator tool helps you generate a CSV file that contains a customized array of user-specified attributes and the corresponding AD values, all ready for any AD user management task.

This free tool takes a simple CSV file with basic attributes like sAMAccountName, and generates a full-fledged CSV file containing a comprehensive attribute list. This saves admins and other staff associated with AD management considerable time and effort.

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