Saturday, August 9, 2008

Renaming a user account in AD

This post contains a few methods to rename an account in Active Directory - the end result is moving the account to the same container with a new name, and then typically updating other attributes such as the sAMAccountName.

The same results can generally be achieved serveral ways:

  1. Use the 'dsmove -newname' command, and possibly the 'dsmod user -upn' command
  2. Run the VBScript below
  3. Use ldifde to modify the relevant attributes
  4. use dsa.msc to rename the account through the GUI


  1. This does not modify the mailNickname, the userPrincipalName or the primary or proxy e-mail attributes, which you may also want to do as part of renaming an account.
  2. The RDN attribute has the LDAP display name of 'Name', automatically updated when you modify the CN/DN of an object

' -- RenameAccount.vbs -- '
If WScript.Arguments.UnNamed.Count = 3 Then
 sOU = WScript.Arguments.UnNamed(0)
 sExistingCN = WScript.Arguments.UnNamed(1)
 sNewCN = WScript.Arguments.UnNamed(2)
 WScript.Echo "Please supply an OU, and the old and new CN, eg RenameAccount.vbs ""CN=Users,DC=domain,DC=com"" AccountOld AccountNew"
End If

If sExistingCN = "" OR sOU = "" OR sNewCN = "" Then
 wscript.echo "Moving " & "LDAP://cn=" & sExistingCN & "," & sOU & ", to " & sNewCN
End If

Set objOU = GetObject("LDAP://" & sOU)
objOU.MoveHere "LDAP://cn=" & sExistingCN & "," & sOU, "cn=" & sNewCN   ' Rename the account

sUserADsPath = "LDAP://cn=" & sNewCN & "," & sOU
Set oUser = GetObject(sUserADsPath)       ' Get the newly renamed object

wscript.echo "Current SAM account name: " & oUser.sAMAccountName
oUser.sAMAccountName = sNewCN        ' Update the sAMAccountName attribute
oUser.SetInfo          ' Write the object
wscript.echo "New SAM account name: " & oUser.sAMAccountName


References: RDN attribute on MSDN:
Wayne's World of IT (WWoIT), Copyright 2008 Wayne Martin.

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I’ve worked in IT for over 20 years, and I know just about enough to realise that I don’t know very much.