Active Directory Auditing Tools Comparison

Active Directory is at the heart of most Enterprise networks, and along with that comes the expectation that this heart must beat. Although the capabilities built-in to Active Directory are supreme, they’re also crude and cumbersome, lacking automation, role-based security and web-based administration, often consuming more time than you have to give. Auditing an Active Directory environment using the native tools is next to impossible.

If users are complaining about performance issues such as slow logons, or accounts being frequently locked out, you need a means to quickly diagnose and remediate.

  1. Inconsistent group policies or roaming profiles can be the result of replication issues. Manually sifting through event logs makes security investigations daunting.
  2. Basic user creation and object manipulation become tiresomely tedious. Maintaining Active Directory domains shouldn’t have to be this challenging.
  3. Moreover, picking an enterprise-level Active Directory tool shouldn’t be either. IT Admins desire auditing, reporting, real-time alerts, easy-to-use interfaces, automation, role-based access with delegation, and bulk operations.
  4. Thankfully, a variety of companies offer administrative software to help you get the most out of Active Directory with these desires in mind.
  5. The list below provides a brief overview of the top companies providing these types of supplemental services, guaranteed to save you time and energy, and give you that peace of mind come audit season.
  6. As a long-time user of SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor (SAM), I can vouch for its efficacy with monitoring Active Directory environments.
  7. This is not necessarily your one-stop-shop for Active Directory monitoring, but in many cases you’d be surprised with the robust capabilities.
  8. SolarWinds SAM prides itself with adequate visibility and a suite of analytics to identify performance issues within Active Directory, such as Domain controller issues, replication failures, and user account lockouts.
  9. Each which are configurable for alerting and reporting. SolarWinds SAM tool gives you insight into Active Directory issues, performance, and general compliance.

4. Account Lockout Examiner

Verify policies and services, ensuring compliance. Monitor LDAP sessions to build metrics relating to server load, bind time, client session, binds/sec and searches/sec.

Don’t stop here with just Active Directory, SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor provides you a single interface to monitor multiple platforms: Linux, Solaris, AIX, Windows, and VMware, with over 200+ built-in templates to help you get started.

Adaxes is aimed at providing simple and efficient means for managing your Active Directory environment.

  • This is accomplished by giving you two interfaces to work from – a GUI that is very similar to Active Directory [only it includes all of those missing features you wish were already built into AD], and a console where you can perform some impressive bulk operations, or automate repetitive tasks.
  • Workflows can be configured to automate user provisioning or triggered changes.
  • For example, you can have mailboxes, home drives, groups, etc., automatically created and assigned when a new user is configured, including a welcome email sent to that user.
  • When users are added to OUs, Adaxes can automatically update group memberships, other properties, and even execute PowerShell scripts to sync changes with that OU’s applications.
  • OU management can be a nightmare, especially in large domains and forests where users in the same department can be spread across multiple OUs.
  • Adaxes solves this complexity with virtual OUs, which allow you to collectively manage objects regardless of their location in Active Directory.
  • Incredible flexibility. Tracking changes is a no-brainer in Adaxes with easy-to-read outputs, reports and scheduled notifications.

Scheduled tasks ease daily operations. Delegation of administrative tasks through role-based access-control (RBAC) provides another tiered layer of effective, transparent and traceable management. Free trial

The Best Tools for Active Directory Monitoring

A well-known tool by LDAP Administrators is LDAP Administrator. As you can see, the name says it all. Visually and intuitively modify your LDAP directory without using command line utilities. Use this single tool to access OpenLDAP, Netscape/iPlanet, Novell eDirectory, Oracle Internet Directory, Lotus Domino, and of course, Microsoft Active Directory.

Directory size and hierarchical complexity is no feat for LDAP Administrator, providing you quick and efficient means to manage your Active Directory objects.

  • Free trial
  • ADManager Plus is an Active Directory Management and Reporting Solution that helps AD Administrators and Help Desk Technicians with their day-to-day activities.
  • The software handles a variety of tasks, such as: management, automation, delegation, reporting, bulk changes and workflows, in a centralized and intuitive web-based UI.
  • Role-based access ensures proper authorization for changes.
  • ADManager Plus also offers mobile AD apps for continued visibility and administration on the go.

Eliminate repetitive tasks, schedule routine activities, facilitate bulk operations and report on analytics and compliance, all within the same tool. Free edition When it comes to Active Directory auditing, ManageEngine’s ADAudit Plus gets the gold star.

Best Active Directory Management Tools

  • Speaking from experiences, it’s a breeze to use and has saved me hours during audit seasons.
  • The reporting engine is spectacular, detailed while not compromising intuitivism. Real-time services provide that pulse of security expected by enterprise solution.
  • Monitor and report live on changes to AD objects – Users, Groups, GPO, Computer, OU, DNS, AD Schema and Configuration.
  • Free edition
  • AutoMate, by HelpSystems, is all about automating without having to code.

The Final Say on Best AD Tools

  • They are pioneers in the field of server and desktop automation with a massive portfolio of customers raking in the benefits.

Integrating with not only in-house environments, but also virtual and cloud-based environments truly opens the door for widespread automation of applications and systems such as SharePoint, AWS, VMware, Microsoft, FTP, Excel, DB, legacy terminals, and more.

The Top Active Directory Tools of 2022:

Their software is dynamic with easy to deploy drag-and-drop tasks. Again, all without writing a single line of code. Regarding Active Directory, currently 15 features are bundled in this automation platform, all surrounding user and group object manipulation.

The breadth for AD changes may not be wide at the moment, but the value add sure is nice.

Free trial

Top 9 Active Directory Security Tools

XIA Automation Server is a simple and straightforward directory management software for common bulk operations surrounding user accounts and group configurations. CSV-based, XIA has the ability to create or update Active Directory users or group settings in a scripted fashion. Free trial

In an average enterprise domain you’ll have several applications that require user account creation or synchronization: Active Directory, Exchange, Lync, Salesforce, to name a few.

  • Zohno Z-Hire was built with a single purpose – automating the user account creation process.
  • With just the click of a button, your Exchange mailbox, and Active directory user, Lync account and SalesForce User account will be created simultaneously.
  • Z-Hire allows auto-creation of major IT accounts with the option for custom scripts, enabling you to get in touch with your creative side.
  • Z-hire is incredibly user-friendly and takes minimal time to setup.

Z-Term is the counterpart to Z-Hire, being that it’s all about employee termination, automating common tasks when an employee leaves the company. Automate tasks in Active Directory (disabling accounts, resetting passwords, changing group membership, setting notes), automate Exchange, Lync, Office 365, Salesforce and even automate file operations like relocating home folders or exporting user settings.

Again, all with the single click operations to save you countless hours in repetitive tasks while eliminating errors.Download:. Free trial Anturis stands out from the bunch in an interesting way in that it offers a fully cloud-based monitoring application.

8. SekChek Security Auditing

  • All of the tasks you would expect in an Active Directory monitor without the requirement for on-site application provisioning and maintenance.
  • Similar to other monitoring solutions, it can alert you of concerning errors through email or SMS, and unlike other solution: voice call notifications.
  • (cool!) Anturis builds performance baselines, calculating the data into trends so you can stay ahead of potential issues in the environment.
  • With Anturis you can monitor: server and client sessions, CPU usage, bind time, authentications/sec, searches/sec, DS threads and replication.

6. Active Directory Last Logon Checker

  • Active Directory monitoring is one small solution in the wealth of services offered by Anturis, so check them and see if collectively their suite would meet some of your other needs as well.

Free trial Lepide offers a suite of Active Directory tools that are certainly worth looking at. Their solutions are easy to install, simple to use and realistically priced, with a nice interface to boot.

Lepide’s Auditor for Active Directory provides a scalable means to instantly see who/what/where/when changes are made.

1. SolarWinds Permissions Analyzer

Cool thing is, you cannot only see what was change, but you can contextualize by easily viewing what is was changed from. This is important when auditing, and something that should be confirmed with any such solution. Real time alerts keep your finger on the pulse with continuous monitoring for NT Directory services (NDTS), DNS Serves, disk space, CPU, memory, services and replication activity.

Detailed reports help with all manner of security, system management and security challenges pertaining to your Active Directory.

  • Lepide’s single-click rollback feature to rollback changes made in error is quite convenient.
  • It also offers integrated HealthCheck monitoring of Active Directory, Group Policy and Exchange, and provides a simple way of tracking and managing inactive user accounts.
  • The solution includes a powerful search functionality via an intuitive interface where you can search based on object path, user, and resource as needed and create custom searches and filters which you can save for future use.

Something I always look for in such a solution. Lastly, for the obsessive compulsive, Lepide introduced a mobile app that enables IT teams to keep track fo group policy changes while on the go. Take a live feed with you on your Apple or Android device, and stay ontop of changes as the happen in real time. They also provide a separate solution (not included in the Auditor Suite) that also allows users to reset their passwords without having to call the helpdesk (Active Directory self service).

3. Netwrix Auditor for Active Directory

  • Free trial Netwrix Auditor for Active Directory is auditing software that presents Active Directory and Group Policy information in actionable format, improving visibility by giving you a comparable glimpse at your infrastructure between any two points in time.
  • Easily identify when changes were made, and by whom. Track inactive issues and password expirations, triggered to alarm before they expire.
  • Rollback changes without impacting production domains. What I like most about this particular tool is the clean, elegant interface, out-of-the-box compliance reports (PCI, HIPPA, SOX, FISMA, ISO), real-time alerting, and the sleek searching capabilities.
  • Free trial
  • We've compiled a MASSIVE List of the Best (and Free) Active Directory Tools (Update for 2022) for Windows admins that will help with any of your Auditing, Reporting and Management needs.

5. Semperis DS Protector

  • We've gone through this list and will update it as more tools become available or become obsolete, as not every software manufacturer updates their tools for the latest version of Active Directory (2003, 2012 & 2016).
  • Here is our list of the Top-10 Active Directory Tools:.

SolarWinds Permissions Analyzer for Active Directory – FREE TOOL This excellent tool will give you insights into both the user account structure and the device permissions that are currently laid out in your AD implementations. Runs on Windows Server. SolarWinds Admin Bundle – FREE TOOL this free user account management tool lets you upload accounts in bulk into AD and helps you spot inactive users, together with network management tools.

9. Quest Change Auditor for Active Directory

Runs on Windows Server. ManageEngine ADManager Plus – FREE TRIAL A package of AD management tools with functions that can interface with Microsoft 360 as well as your Azure, AWS, and on-premises AD implementations. Available for installation on Windows Server or as Azure and AWS services.

ManageEngine ADAudit Plus – FREE TRIAL A package that provides analysis of AD implementations and can also be used to track user activity.

  • Available for Windows Server or as a service in Azure and AWS.
  • ManageEngine ADSelfService Plus A package that provides single sign-on, multi-factor authentication, and self-service password management.
  • Available for Windows Server or as services on Azure and AWS.

ManageEngine AD360 This service monitors system activities in terms of user actions and file and device access events. Offered for Windows Server or as a service in Azure and AWS. MaxPowerSoft Active Directory Reports Lite Available in free and paid versions, this tool helps you manage user accounts and device permissions in multiple AD implementations.

Runs on Windows. AD Tidy An Active Directory user management tool that spots inactive and abandoned accounts and has a free version. Runs on Windows. SpecOps Gpupdate A package of remote endpoint management tools that includes Active Directory interfacing to support its operations.

2. Active Directory Health Profiler

  • Runs on Windows. Specops Command This is a user and device management package that uses AD data in its processes.
  • Runs on Windows. Many of the tools below have very basic and limited functionality, as some, if not all, Are Completely FREE!
  • Yes, you won't need to buy a majority of the software below unless you want some premium features that some of them require payment for, but they work nonetheless without Upgrading.
  • SolarWinds offers a Truly Free Active Directory Users and Computers permissions analyzer, allowing you to browse and identify with groups and users have which permissions.

Here’s the Best Active Directory Monitoring Tools & Software 2022:

  • Also, you can see the breakdown of inherited permissions of each user by their group membership.
  • Price:100% FREE Download.
  • Official Site and Download:
  • The Admin Bundle for Active Directory from SolarWinds Consists of 3 separate software utilities that will assist in daily, weekly and monthly Administrative Tasks of AD.

This include the following utilities:. Inactive User Account Removal Tool. Import User in Bulk. Inactive Computer Removal Utility. Each utility has its own function which allow you to quickly Remove Inactive Active Directory USER Accounts and Computer accounts.

Why Active Directory Management Tools?

They each have a friendly and easy to use Graphical Interface and come in very handy without having to log into your Domain Controller. 100% FREE Download: via Official Website. ADManager Plus gives you the ability to manage AD Objects, users, Groups and much more from a Centralized GUI, along with options of generating extensive reports of Active Directory.

Features include not only Active Directory user management, but Real Last Logon Time Reports, Bulk User management and Group & Computer Management capabilities.

  • Price: You can download a 30-day free trial.
  • ADAudit Plus offers Real-time monitoring, user and entity behavior analytics, and change audit reports that help you keep your AD and IT infrastructure secure and compliant.
  • Track all changes to Windows AD objects including users, groups, computers, GPOs, and OUs.

Achieve hybrid AD monitoring with a single, correlated view of all the activities happening across both on-premises AD and Azure AD. Monitor every user's logon and logoff activity, including every successful and failed logon attempt across network workstations.

Audit Windows file servers, failover clusters, NetApp, and EMC storage to document changes to files and folders. Monitor system configurations, program files, and folder changes to ensure file integrity. Track changes across Windows servers, printers, and USB devices with a summary of events. Leverage advanced statistical analysis and machine learning techniques to detect anomalous behavior and defend against cyber attacks.

Official Site: Download: Register and download the 30-day free trial. ADSelfService Plus offers password self-service reset/unlock, password expiration reminders, a self-service directory updater, a multiplatform password synchronizer, and single sign-on for cloud applications.

Here’s the Active Directory tools I think you should consider:

  • Use the ADSelfServicePlus Android and iPhone mobile apps to facilitate self-service for end users anywhere at any time.
  • ADSelfService Plus supports the IT help desk by reducing password reset tickets and spares end users the frustration caused by computer downtime.
  • Official Site:
  • Download:


  • AD360 is an integrated solution for Identity and Access Management (IAM) needs in Windows environment.
  • This web-based software portfolio unifies all the functionalities needed for an enterprise: from user provisioning, self-service to risk governance and offers it with a simple, easy to use interface.

AD360 is the right solution for bridging the gap between technology and the complex business needs. AD360 automates all the routine Identity and Access Management tasks like provisioning/de-provisioning bulk user accounts and other AD objects, secure management of account passwords, modifying multiple attributes of user accounts, managing user mailboxes and their email traffic.

7. Administrative Security Groups Checker Tool

Official Site: Download: MaxPowerSofts' Free offering allows you to load up to 200 objects from Active Directory, along with User Reports, Group and OU Reports, Computer Reports and GPO reports from within their program.

Official Site and Download:

  • AD Tidy helps your search and find Inactive Users from ADUC as well as Dormant and Inactive Computer Accounts as well to minimize any possibly security issues.
  • Official Site and Download:
  • SpecOps GPUPDATE software gives you the power to remotely administer a Single Computer or Multiple Computer accounts from Active Directory.

Options include Refresh Group Policy Remotely, use WSUS to confirm Updates Remotely, Remotely Wake-Up Computer using WOL (Wake-On Lan) features and Remotely Shutdown/Restart PC. Official Site and Download: SpecOps Command utility allows you to administrate Computers and Users within your network and run VBScripts or PowerShell scripts using Group Policy quickly and ensure all feedback is received at the utility.

Features include Scheduling scripts to run at certain times and how often to run as well as web-based Reporting of feedback from scripts that have run. Official Site and Download: AD Photo Edit allows you to import and Upload images to an AD attribute that Outlook 2010 Displays, as well as Lync and Sharepoint.

How to Monitor Active Directory?

  • Free version allows you to view existing images for Users and Contacts in active directory, Export Images, Remove Existing Images, Upload New images, Rotate/Resize/Adjust Quality of Images and much more.
  • Official Site and Download:
  • AD info tool comes with 190 different pre-built reports that allows you to query a large number of attributes including Users, Computers, Contacts, Organization Units, GPO's, Printers and more!
  • One of the benefits of this is you can run this program without Domain Admin privileges.
  • Export your query results to CSV and query any domain you have access to.


  • Official Site and Download: Ad Query is a Free executable tool (no install required) that can be used to easily and quickly search Active Directory for information regarding a User or Computer for specific information.
  • You can search ALL data from Schema, LDAP and Exchange mail-enabled objects within your AD.

Official Site and Download: Recovery Manager for AD from Quest gives you the ability to recover any objects from AD without having to restart the Domain Controller. This includes restoring objects from Users, Attributes, OUs, Computers, Subnets, Group Policy Objects, and more.

SysAdmin Anywhere

Official Site and Download: SysadminAnywhere is a great Active Directory Tool for Windows 10 that has a long list of features for AD Administration and Management. Some features include Resetting Users password, Add/Edit/Delete Objects in AD, Add Photos, Restart/Shutdown Computers remotely in AD, Check for Updates and Monitoring Hardware and Computers (CPU, Drive, Memory, HTTP, ping, Services, Events).

Official Site and Download:

  • PowerBroker is an all encompassing tool for Active Directory that allows admins and organizations to keep their AD locked down tight and have a firm grasp of whats going on inside their AD environment in order to meet PCI, SOX and HIPAA compliance.
  • This is done through audits and alerting of AD configuration and changes in Real-time so you know exactly what is changing and how it effects your compliance and whether your at risk or not.
  • Official Site and Download:

This little utility helps you configure Managed Service Accounts using a easy GUI interface and without the need of Powershell or any PS commands. This utility cuts out the need to run 3 separate commands via Powershell and helps you create/delete new and Old Managed Service accounts with the click of a button.

Official Site and Download: This topology mapper/diagram tool reads AD configurations and automatically Creates a Visio file of your AD topology using LDAP and maps out your entire Active Directory and Exchange Server Topology automatically within a easy to read Visio Diagram.

6. XIA Automation Server (Centrel Solutions)

  • Official Site and Download:
  • ManageEngine offers several Great utilities for managing Active Directory – including the following tools that can be found at the URL below: AD Query Tool, CSV Generator (generate a csv file from any AD Attributes), Last Logon Reporter, Active Directory Replication Manager and Many more!
  • Check out their Full list of tools at the link below.
  • Official Site and Download:

ADMX Migrator

  • This tool allows a user that is assigned as a Manager of a group to manage members and settings of that given group including adding and removing other users and exporting group member to a CSV file.
  • You additional configuration is required, the utility will automatically detect which groups you are a Manager of and allow you to make changes as necessary.

Official Site and Download: This LDAP Browser is lightweight tool that supports Read-Only of your LDAP infrastructure and allows you to View, Browse, Search and Export information from LDAP.

Group Manager

Official Site and Download: This Health Scanner from Microsoft is specifically targeted towards Admins and Engineers who want to get an Overview of their current Active Directory Health by scanning it for Problems and inconsistencies. This tool is great for scanning your network infrastructure and pinpointing issues that could cause your AD from functioning correctly.

You must be a member of the Domain Admins group to run this utility.

  • Official Site and Download:
  • Netwrix Restore tool helps your recover and restore deleted Active Directory objects with 3 Steps – Identify the Day/Time that you want to Restore back to – Select the Recovery/Rollback Source (either AD Tombstone or Netwrix Snapshot) – and Lastly choose the Changes you want to Revert back.
  • You have the ability to restore AD Deleted objects and if necessary, revert back to previous time periods if you made the wrong changes.

Official Site and Download: AdRestore.NET is a GUI version of the ADRestore command line utility. AdRestore enumerates all Tombstoned objects in your Domain and gives you the option to restore them individually as needed per your selections.

9. Lepide Active Directory Auditor

  • This was all done through the command-line, until recently Guy Teverovsky created a GUI version of the program for those not comfortable or familiar with the command-line version.
  • Official Site and Download: .
  • GUI Edition: Information:
  • Direct Download:

AD Photo Editor

  • AD Explorer is an Advanced Viewer for searching, editing and viewing Active Directory objects and properties quickly and easily without having to drill down into each object individually.

You can even create snapshots of AD to view offline if you would like to work off a snapshot rather than AD live. Official Site and Download:

AD FastReporter

ADMX Migrator is a Easy to Use GUI that comes in the form of a MMC Snap-in for converting your existing GPO ADM templates to the new ADMX file format. Official Site and Download: Privilege Explorer is a utility that automates the process of Active Directory file permissions by analyzing and reporting on permissions levels.

This program brings automation to permission analysis and reporting to one central location and assists with compliance and intrusion detection, as well verifying that all permissions are tight and minimizing excessive permissions for unauthorized users.

  • Official Site and Download:
  • Netwrix Account Lockout Examiner does just what it says in the name – It is a Freeware utility that alerts IT personnel when an account has been locked out of Active Directory and allows you to unlock the account from within the GUI of the tool or your mobile device quickly.
  • Official Site and Download:

This tool also does exactly what it says – automates that process of finding and locking down Stale or Inactive accounts in ADUC and helps you mitigate any risk of those accounts becoming compromised and being used for malicious activities. Official Site and Download:


  • Active Directory Replication Status utility is a tool that helps your analyze the Replication of Domain Controllers in your network to ensure that replication is actually replicating.
  • This tool helps you pinpoint with domain controller has errors and which ones are not replicating correctly.
  • Official Site and Download:

AD permissions reporter is used for extracting all permissions from within your domain for every object. You can additionally filter down certain objects or permissions you would like to analyze to get an understanding of their permission levels. Official Site and Download:

11. Splunk

As the name of the software implies, this utility allows you to change passwords on Multiple/Bulk accounts at the same time using their Password generator feature. You can also use the same password for every account if needed as well. Additional features of this utility include enabling and disable active directory accounts in bulk, as well as Unlocking them in bulk.

Official Site and Download: Bulk Image Editor gives you the flexibility of uploading and managing images for Active Directory “thumbnailPhoto” and “jpegPhoto” attributes on the fly – and FREE! You can also display images from all accounts, export existing images, upload images in bulk using the SAM or common name of accounts as well.

Official Site and Download: Extracting Last Login information for Active Directory Users is Easier than ever with Lepide's Last Login Report tool – you can easily display information about users and their last Login time in bulk and export if necessary to CSV or HTML format for further processing.

You can also search individual login times and dates by searching any column for specific information.

Lepide Active Directory Query

ManageEngine ADSelfService Plus

Official Site and Download: Easily query Active Directory to get detailed information about users and objects with Active Directory through this easy, GUI based utility. You can further export data to a CSV file and get individual reports as necessary.

BeyondTrust Privilege Explorer

Official Site and Download: Specops Password Auditor is a free tool that scans Active Directory to detect password and privileged account security vulnerabilities.

SolarWinds Permissions Analyzer for Active Directory – FREE TOOL

These insights can be used to reduce attack surface or maintain compliance.

  1. The tool scans Active Directory to identify accounts that are utilizing leaked passwords against a list of close to billion previously leaked passwords, in addition to gauging password policy strength against brute force attacksand compliance requirements such as NIST and PCI.The tool can also pin-point stale or inactive admin accounts in addition to the following:.
  2. Accounts with identical passwords. Accounts that don't require passwords.
  3. Accounts that don't have password complexity requirements. Accounts with expired passwords.
  4. Accounts that have password expiration approaching.
  5. Password Policy relative strength.

2. ManageEngine ADAudit Plus – FREE TRIAL

The collected information will be used to display multiple interactive reports depicting the aforementioned vulnerabilities.

  1. The reports are exportable to csv files and some useful display features include:.
  2. Sliding timeline to track days since last login for stale admin accounts.
  3. Sliding timeline to track days until password expiration. Compliance rating. Specops Password Auditor will only read information from Active Directory, it will not make any changes.
  4. It will compare password hashes against password hashes in the blacklist and read the Default Domain Password Policy and any Fine-Grained Password Policies if it’s run by a user with administrative privileges in Active Directory.
  5. It will read the Default Domain Password Policy and any Fine-Grained Password Policies if it’s run by a user with administrative privileges in Active Directory.
  6. Official Site and AD FastReporter by Albusbit is a tools that assists you with Generating reports on your AD infrastructure.
  7. You have the option to choose from several report categories including the following:.
  8. Group Policy Objects. Organizational Units (OU). They have pre-built reports that allow you to quickly run a report without much effort and output information that your looking for fairly quickly.
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