Active Directory Recycle Bin

by | Oct 19, 2021 | Active Directory

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Each system is equipped with software processes that allow the user to recover any items deleted from the system by mistake. Similarly, for active directories, any AD object removed from a domain can be recovered. This is where the Active Directory Recycle Bin comes into play.

When there was no AD recycle bin, users had to back up their active directories continuously. The users stored these backups in external storage to recover applications or AD objects once they were deleted and in the tombstone phase. To avoid backups and managing storage, the AD recycle bin was introduced.


An Active Directory(AD) is a vivid database. It is a package of services and tools that host devices to connect to a particular network. They get their work done using the network resources allocated to them by the administrator.

An AD recycle bin has a function similar to the regular recycle bin. It stores the attributes and data of all deleted AD objects and applications until it is recovered. The admin can also set a timer in the AD recycle to delete all removed items after a certain period automatically. Windows Server 2008 R2 introduced this software.

Steps to restore items from the AD recycle bin

Active Directory Recycle Bin

As the AD recycle bin is a part of the Active Directory Administrative Control (ADAC), when an AD object is deleted from the active directory, it shows in the ADAC portal. The user can easily tap on the deleted application and select ‘restore’ to restore the selected application.


  1. Recycling through the AD recycle bin does not require backup storage, mainly consisting of deleted application residues and their attributes. This process is often expensive since the admin will have to purchase external drives to store data that might not even be necessary. In such a situation, AD recycle bins are highly advantageous as they completely remove the concept of backing up.
  2. AD recycle bin does not host faulty recoveries. When applications are recovered from the recycle bin, they appear with all their attributes.
  3. AD recycle bin also restricts users from restarting domain controllers during restoring applications. This could potentially make these controllers glitchy and unworkable.


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