How To Join A Domain In Windows 7

To implement Domain policies for Active Directory users, it is first necessary for the client operating system to join a Domain. The policies are implemented after the client computer comes under the umbrella of the Domain itself and logs in from the Domain credentials. In this post I will tell you the two basic methods that can be used for joining a Domain from a Windows 7 client operating system.

Method 1: This is perhaps the most commonly used method by system and network administrators to make a system join a Domain. The same process more or less applies to pre-Windows 7 operating systems, such as Windows Vista and Windows XP.

Step 1: To add a Windows 7 system to a Domain, right click on Computer (My Computer) and select Properties.

Computer Properties

Step 2: From there, choose Advanced System Settings, go to the Computer Name tab and click Change.

My Computer Properties

Step 3: Once done, click on the Domain checkbox, type the name of the Domain aka the Netbios name (e.g. and click OK. The system will prompt for a reboot, after which you will be able to login from Active Directory accounts on the client computer.

Enter Domain Name

Method 2: This is an alternative method and can be used to join a Domain or Workgroup.

Step 1: Click on the Network ID button (above the Change button in the Computer Name tab).

Network ID

Step 2: Now, select a criteria i,.e., home or business network. You will probably be joining a Domain in a corporate environment, therefore, the first option will be more suitable in most cases i.e., “This computer is part of a business network, I use it to connect to other computers at work”.

Join a Domain or Workgroup

Step 3: Select “My Computer Uses a network with a domain” from the wizard, to proceed further.

My Company uses a network with a Domain

Step 4: The next step will alert you that you will need to enter your username, logon password for the Domain administrator’s account, perhaps the computer name, and the NetBIOS name (Domain name). These instructions are for non-administrators as they are advised to contact the system administrator to gather these credentials to successfully complete the process in the next step. Click Next to proceed further.

Credentials Will be Needed

Step 5: Finally, enter your username, password and Domain name. The system will prompt you to  restart your computer, after which the process will be complete. Please bear in mind that you should enter login credentials only for a user with administrative privileges to be able to join the Domain. Once the client operating system has joined the Domain, you can login from any sort of username from the Active Directory, including a user with limited privilege’s.


For more Windows Server related guides, see the links given below or click here.

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