Active Directory Functional Levels Technical Reference

Updated: November 19, 2014

Applies To: Windows Server 2000, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2

Active Directory Functional Levels Technical Reference

Domain and forest functional levels provide a way to enable advanced Active Directory features that are appropriate to the Microsoft Windows Server operating systems running on domain controllers on your network. Different functional levels exist for both domains and forests so that your organization can maximize the capabilities of Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) within each domain or forest that you maintain.

This subject explains the advanced features that are provided at each domain and forest functional level and how to use Active Directory administration tools to raise the functional level.

In Windows 2000 Server and Windows Server 2003, the directory service is named Active Directory. In Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2, the directory service is named Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS). The rest of this topic refers to AD DS, but the information is also applicable to Active Directory.

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