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Bulk creation of Active Directory User accounts via Powershell v2

·378 words·2 mins
system-administration tech active-directory powershell sysadmin technology
James Pettigrove
James Pettigrove
Cloud Engineer with a focus on Microsoft Azure
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Most system administrators that I know has the burden (or the joy if you like a challenge) of creating and managing large quantities of users in Active Directory. I, myself face creating 150+ at the start of every year and I for the most part we have developed a new way to do it every year.

This year I chose to taken it upon myself to come up with the method and couldn’t think of a better solution than Powershell. Considering all the work Microsoft seems to be putting behind this scripting & command engine it couldn’t hurt to try.

The script I cobbled together is VERY basic (as I have practically zero knowledge of PS) but worked for me, hopefully it can be of use to anyone else.


  • Powershell v2
  • Active Directory Module for Powershell (installed by default on WK8R2 Domain Controllers or available in the latest RSAT tools)


import-csv .\import.csv | %{new-aduser -Name $_.Name -DisplayName $_.DisplayName -GivenName $_.GivenName -SamAccountName $_.SamAccountName -UserPrincipalName $_.UserPrincipalName -Description $_.Description -Surname $_.Surname -Path OU=example,DC=domain,DC=com' -CannotChangePassword $false -ChangePasswordAtLogon $false ; Set-ADAccountPassword -identity $_.SamAccountName -NewPassword (ConvertTo-SecureString -AsPlainText $_.AccountPassword -Force) -Reset ; Enable-ADAccount -identity $_.SamAccountName}

Save the above code, paste into your favourite text editor and save as a .ps1 (Powershell Script).

Next, create import.csv in the same directory as the script file and open it up in Excel. Now lets get the following headers inserted:

Name DisplayName GivenName SamAccountName UserPrincipleName Description Surname AccountPassword

All that is left is to fill in the csv with your data from where-ever that may be and run the script.

If I ever get around to it I hope to improve the script so that all that is required is GivenName, Surname & SamAccountName as the rest should either be generated from the 3 listed or grabbed from the environment (UserPrincipleName). Currently I perform a bit of Excel formula magic to do this but it adds time and that’s what we are trying to cut down right? I would also like to be able to add group memberships in the future but one thing at a time.

Hopefully that saves any SysAdmin’s a day on trying to workout their own solution, if not, it certainly was a fun experience and a achievement for the day!