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Selecting AD properties

Posted by: | December 17, 2014 Comments Off on Selecting AD properties |

Saw a question on the forums about selecting name properties using the Microsoft AD cmdlets.  By default Get-AdUser returns a limited subset of properties:

£> Get-ADUser -identity richard

DistinguishedName : CN=Richard,CN=Users,DC=Manticore,DC=org
Enabled           : True
GivenName         :
Name              : Richard
ObjectClass       : user
ObjectGUID        : 7c42be70-c6b2-401f-8296-46de9ee7446c
SamAccountName    : Richard
SID               : S-1-5-21-195014076-723736408-1406369008-1104
Surname           :
UserPrincipalName : Richard@Manticore.org


Given name = first name


if you want other properties you have to explicitly aske for them using the –Properties parameter. You can use a wildcard * but if you have a big AD that could be a lot of unrequired data you are pulling back. On the other hand if you want a lot of properties its often simpler to use the wildcard. As with most PowerShell related things there is no answer that is right all of the time.


The user asking the question wanted the first name, last name and department for all users in a given OU.  Use the OU as the –SearchBase.  The property you need to explicitly ask for is Department:

£> Get-ADUser -Filter *  -SearchBase ‘OU=Testing,DC=Manticore,DC=org’ -Properties Department | select GivenName, SurName, Department | fl *

GivenName  : Dave
SurName    : Green
Department : Testing


Selecting AD properties can be a little bit awkward if you forget that the default set is limited.  If in doubt of a property name – display them all for one user:

Get-ADUser -identity richard -Properties *

under: PowerShell and Active Directory

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