Configure Client Computers to Trust the Account Federation Server

Updated: May 5, 2010

Applies To: Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) 2.0

So that client computers can successfully access federated applications using Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) 2.0, you must first configure the Internet Explorer settings on each client computer so that the browser trusts the account federation server. You can do this manually or through Group Policy, depending on your administrative preference, by completing one of the following procedures.

You can use the following procedure to manually configure each user's Internet Explorer settings to support federation through AD FS 2.0. If multiple users use a single computer, complete this procedure multiple times—once for each user profile.

To perform this procedure, log on as the user who will be accessing federated applications. This is a profile-specific setting. Therefore, it requires that you manually add this setting for each profile that exists on a specific computer.

  1. On the client computer, start Internet Explorer.

  2. On the Tools menu, click Internet Options.

  3. On the Security tab, click the Local intranet icon, and then click Sites.

  4. Click Advanced, and in Add this Web site to the zone, type the full Domain Name System (DNS) name of the account federation server (for example,, and then click Add.

  5. Click OK three times.

For most deployments, we recommend that you use Group Policy to push the appropriate Internet Explorer settings to each client computer.

Membership in Domain Admins or Enterprise Admins, or equivalent, in Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) is the minimum required to complete this procedure. Review details about using the appropriate accounts and group memberships at Local and Domain Default Groups (

  1. On a domain controller in the forest of the account partner organization, click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Group Policy Management.

  2. Find the appropriate Group Policy object (GPO), right-click it, and then click Edit.

  3. In the console tree, open User Configuration\Preferences\Windows Settings\Internet Explorer Maintenance, and then click Security.

  4. In the details pane, double-click Security Zones and Content Ratings.

  5. Under Security Zones and Privacy, click Import the current security zones and privacy settings, and then click Modify Settings.

  6. Click Local intranet, and then click Sites.

  7. In Add this Web site to the zone, type the full DNS name of the account federation server (for example,, click Add, and then click Close.

  8. Click OK two times to apply these changes to Group Policy.

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