How can I enroll a Windows 8 PC into an existing domain?

  1. From the Start page, select Control Panel.
  2. In the left sidebar, scroll all the way to the bottom and select More settings. Now you see the Control Panel much like it was in Windows 7.
  3. Select System and Security, then System.
  4. In the Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings section, select Change settings.
  5. Do what you would have done in Windows 7.

Note: You must have Windows 8 Pro or Enterprise

  • I'm trying this. The domain field is grayed and not selectable.... any tips? – Jason94 Sep 7 '12 at 14:19
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    @Jason94 Any chance you've got Windows RT and not 8? RT can't join a domain. Also it appears only the Pro version of 8 can. – Josh Jan 4 '13 at 18:21
  • Quicker way: Right click in lower left hand corner, Click on system. Follow four and five above. – Jeff F. Jan 4 '13 at 21:00
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    Damn Microsoft, why can't RT devices join a domain. Other than that downside they can be ideal for business users. – Coops May 30 '13 at 14:18
  • I think the RT limitation is because they want business users to use the Surface Pro, and not the cheaper Surface RT. Most desktop computers with W8 have Pro anyway. – Nzall Jan 22 '14 at 15:58

If you are not afraid of the command line, PowerShell offers an easy way to script / automate this through the JoinDomainOrWorkgroup WMI method:

# Acquire credentials for a domain account that has permission to join
$admin = Get-Credential

# these two variables are for convenience in shortening the command line
$user = $admin.UserName
$pw = $admin.GetNetworkCredential().Password

$CS = Get-WmiObject Win32_ComputerSystem

Important Note: you will need Windows 8 Pro or Enterprise to join a domain. The regular version of Windows 8 and Windows 8 RT are not able to join domains. You can see your version with the following PowerShell command:

(Get-WmiObject -class Win32_OperatingSystem).Caption



You can attempt to use X-Setup to join a 'non'-Pro Windows client to a domain. The software is out of date, but it was used for Windows XP Home Edition to do what you are asking.

I have not attempted it with Windows 8.

  • According to the X-Setup website, X-Setup is not compatible with Windows 8 and all operations regarding X-Setup have been shut down. As usual in a case like this, the X-Setup website doesn't offer any information about the possibility of running X-Setup in Windows 8 in compatibility mode. – karel Oct 22 '15 at 14:56

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