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How to Move FSMO Roles on Windows Server 2016

In this blog post, I’ll show you How to Move FSMO Roles on Windows Server 2016.


“Flexible Single Master Operation” (FSMO) is a Microsoft Active Directory feature that is a specialized domain controller task used when standard data transfer and update methods are inadequate. Tasks that do not suit multi-master replication are only viable as flexible single-master operations.

Multi-master models have a number of operators, which are held by a single master. This problem is solved by applying a number of operations to a single domain controller. A single domain controller holds the role for a particular operation and is the single master for that operation. These operation masters are called flexible single-master operations.

The FSMO roles are logical Server roles that control the management and operation of an Active Directory Domain, the roles are listed below:

  • Schema master
  • Domain naming master
  • RID master
  • PDC emulator
  • Infrastructure master
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In most Active Directory environments the roles are located on the first deployed Domain Controller and In most places, the roles are always kept together for simplicity reasons.

When upgrading a Domain or retiring a Server we must move the roles before decommissioning the old Domain Controller.


FSMO Transfer

The move operation is done using 3 consoles as you will see below.

To get started, Open Active Directory Users and Computer and right-click on the domain and select Change domain Controller to the new Domain Controller


How to Move FSMO Roles on Windows Server 2016

Once connected to the new DC, Right click again on the Domain and select “Operations Masters”.

From here I’ll change 3 roles as you will see below

To move the role, Click change


Next, I’ll change the Domain Naming roles, by opening Active Directory Domains and Trusts and again right click on Operations Master


Once again, Click change

How to Move FSMO Roles on Windows Server 2016

Next, I’ll move the scheme Master Role, for that I’ll need to register Schema master MMC Console for the run task bar: Regsvr32 schmmgmt.dll

Once the MMC registered, Open the MMC and the “Active Directory Schema” snap-in

Once again, right click and select “Change Domain Controller”.


Select the New DC from the menu and click OK

Right Click again select Operations Master

Click Change


Finally, To verify that FSMO roles have moved to the new Server, type the cmdlet:

netdom query fsmo


Felicitation, you have done a great job. Now you can securely remove the old Domain Controller.

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