How to Join a Windows 11 PC to a Domain

Would you like to join your Windows 11 PC to an existing Active Directory domain? This guide will show you how.

A Windows 11 PC is designed for all types of environments. It can work perfectly as a standalone machine, but you can also manage it as part of a larger network.

If you manage multiple devices on Windows 11, you’ll probably want to join it to a domain. A domain makes it easy to manage and secure PCs from a single server (or multiple servers). You can then use a single user account to log in to multiple devices and access different server resources on any PC.

However, you don’t need to be a network administrator to do this. You may want to attach your laptop to an office or educational area, if you have permission to do so. If you don’t know how to join a Windows 11 PC to a domain, follow the steps given below.

What you need to join a Windows 11 PC to a domain

If you want to join a domain, the following is required:

  • A Windows 11 PC running Windows 11 Professional, Enterprise, or Education.
  • An appropriate account on a Active Directory domain (with a username and password).
  • The device is on the same network (it works through a VPN connection) as the domain that has access to the domain controller.

Joining a Windows 11 PC to a domain isn’t an easy step for beginners, and we’ll be using industry-specific terms in this article. If you are unsure, be sure to consult a network administrator before you begin.

How to Join a Windows 11 PC to a Domain

If you think you’re ready to join your Windows 11 PC to a domain and you’re on the same network, you can start now.

To join a Windows 11 PC to a domain:

  1. Open the To start up menu and press Settings.
  2. In Settings, tap Accounts > Work or school access and click on the Relate button.
  3. Select the Join this device to an on-premises Active Directory domain option.
  4. Type it domain name when educated.
    • There are two different types of domain names that we can use here. We use the unique legacy name or more extended name separated by dots, similar to a web address. In our image below, the legacy domain name is “bryntze” and the longer DNS (also known as FQDN) domain name is “ad.bryntze.cloud”. You can use either name given by your network administrator.
  5. Joining the device to the domain requires the appropriate permissions. If your network administrator has granted access to your account, you can enter your credentials. If not, ask your network administrator to enter their administrator credentials to join the device for you.
  6. We might see an additional dialog for Add an account. However, this is not necessary to join the device to the domain, so press the button To jump button.
  7. At this point, your account should be configured in Active Directory. You will need to restart your PC when prompted.
  8. After restarting the Windows 11 device, we can now log in with our domain user. To do this, type DomainUsername or the User principal name (often the same as our email address).
  9. Once you are logged in, we can access Settings > Accounts > Work or school access again and verify that our domain appears.

How to Leave a Domain on Windows 11

If you want to remove a PC from a local domain, you can do so from Settings. However, before doing this, make sure you have a local or Microsoft account with access to your PC on the device already.

If you don’t, you can lock yourself out of your PC once you remove it from the domain. If you have administrator access on your PC, you can set up a new local user account before following these steps. You can also enable the built-in administrator account instead.

To leave a domain on Windows 11:

  1. Open the To start up menu and press Settings.
  2. In Settingshurry Accounts > Work or school access.
  3. Click on the small arrow at the bottom right of the domain name, then press the Disconnect button.
  4. You will need to confirm that you want to leave the domain. Follow the steps to do this by pressing Yes > Disconnect or cancel the process by pressing Cancel.
  5. Follow any other additional steps (when prompted) to complete the process, then restart your PC.

Once you restart, your PC will be back in workgroup mode. You will lose shared access to domain resources and you will not be able to use the same login credentials on your PC.

Use a Windows 11 PC on a domain

If you followed the steps above, you should join a Windows 11 PC to a domain in just a few minutes. If you need to remove the device, you can quickly disconnect it through settings. You can reconnect the device at any time, but only if the network administrator allows you to do so.

If you are still using Windows 10, you can quickly join a Windows 10 PC to a domain by following similar steps. Remote users may also consider using Remote Desktop on Windows 11 to connect to a desktop server or PC instead.

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