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Copy members from one AD group to another

AD groups are great for managing users, computers, groups, and other AD objects. This time you created a new AD group in Active Directory, and you want to copy members from one AD group to the new group. How to copy members from security group to distribution groups or the other way around? This article will teach you how to copy members from one AD group to another with PowerShell.

Information

If you have a couple of members, you can search and select them in Active Directory Users and Computers (ADUC). But what if you have many members, let’s say a thousand. Or, what if you want to be precise with copying members.

By reading another group from a list and adding them to another group is not bulletproof. You can miss a member, and that’s not what you want. That’s when you want to use PowerShell.

In our example, we like to copy the users from the AD group SG_Azure_A to another AD group SG_Azure_B.

  • Source: SG_Azure_A
  • Target: SG_Azure_B
Copy members from one AD group to another

AD members that we can copy

To copy members from one AD group to another will work for all group scopes and group types:

  • Group scope: Domain local / Global / Universal
  • Group type: Security / Distribution

Copy members will work criss-cross between the AD groups. For example, you have members in a Global Security, and you want to copy members to another Universal Distribution group, it works excellent.

In our example, we will copy members from a Universal Security group to another Universal Security group.

Copy members from one AD group to another group scope group type

Good to know is that it will copy the users, groups, and computers from the members group.

Copy members from one AD group to another copy objects

Copy members from one AD group to another with PowerShell

Run PowerShell as administrator. List the members in the source AD group. Make use of Get-AdGroupMember cmdlet.

PS C:\> Get-ADGroupMember -Identity "SG_Azure_A" | Select-Object Name | Sort-Object Name

Name
----
Ali Tajran
Amanda Morgan
Amelia Nash
Benetiz Anees
Boris Campbell
Christopher Payne
Grace Rees
Irene Springer
Jasmina Teneres
Jonathan Fisher
Kylie Davidson
Leonard Clark
Madeleine Fisher
Mary Walsh
Max Fraser
Melanie Scott
Nicholas Murray
Piers Bower
Richard Grant
Ruth Dickens
Sebastian Nolan
Zoë Rees

Note: Suppose you get the PowerShell output error that the size limit for this request was exceeded. Read the solution in the article Get-ADGroupMember : The size limit for this request was exceeded.

Get the target group and use the ForEach-Object cmdlet to add the members to the source AD group.

PS C:\> Get-ADGroupMember -Identity "SG_Azure_A" | ForEach-Object {Add-ADGroupMember -Identity "SG_Azure_B" -Members $_.distinguishedName}

Do you want to copy members from one distribution group to another AD group? You only need to change the source and target AD groups.

Verify target AD group members

With the previous cmdlet, we did copy members from one AD group to another. It’s good to list the target AD group and verify that the copy did go successfully.

PS C:\> Get-ADGroupMember -Identity "SG_Azure_B" | Select-Object Name | Sort-Object Name

Name
----
Ali Tajran
Amanda Morgan
Amelia Nash
Benetiz Anees
Boris Campbell
Christopher Payne
Grace Rees
Irene Springer
Jasmina Teneres
Jonathan Fisher
Kylie Davidson
Leonard Clark
Madeleine Fisher
Mary Walsh
Max Fraser
Melanie Scott
Nicholas Murray
Piers Bower
Richard Grant
Ruth Dickens
Sebastian Nolan
Zoë Rees

Verify the target AD group in ADUC.

Copy members from one AD group to another after

We did successfully copy AD members from one AD group to another AD group. In our example, we did copy the members from a Universal Security group to another Universal Security group that is empty.

Read more: Convert Global to Universal Security Group with PowerShell »

Conclusion

You learned how to copy members from one AD group to another with PowerShell. If you have a couple of members, you can use Active Directory Users and Computers and add members to the AD group. If you have many members and want to speed up your work, your best way is PowerShell.

Did you enjoy this article? You may also like List all users in a Security Group through PowerShell. Don’t forget to follow us and share this article.

ALI TAJRAN

ALI TAJRAN

ALI TAJRAN is a passionate IT Architect, IT Consultant, and Microsoft Certified Trainer. He started Information Technology at a very young age, and his goal is to teach and inspire others. Read more »

This Post Has 20 Comments

  1. I have the following situation:

    Group A is in domain A.local
    Group B is also in the domain A.local

    But my users are distributed in different subdomains A.A.local, B.A.local, etc.

    When I run the command it searches for users in A.local and not in the subdomains.

  2. Much better is

    Add-ADGroupMember -Identity "New Group" -Members (Get-ADGroupMember -Identity "Old Group")
  3. Hi Ali

    When i try and run the code with my group names i get an error:

    PS C:\Windows\system32> PS C:\> Get-ADGroupMember -Identity “Staff” | ForEach-Object {Add-ADGroupMember -Identity “Duo Accounts” -Members $_
    .distinguishedName}
    Get-Process : A positional parameter cannot be found that accepts argument ‘Get-ADGroupMember’.
    At line:1 char:1
    + PS C:\> Get-ADGroupMember -Identity “Staff” | ForEach-Object {Add-ADG …
    + ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo : InvalidArgument: (:) [Get-Process], ParameterBindingException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : PositionalParameterNotFound,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.GetProcessCommand

  4. How about showing how to do this when the group you are trying to copy exceeds the 5000 limit in AD.

  5. Unfortunately, this results in many errors in PS. Looks like this might not work when you have hundreds of AD sites and such.

  6. Hi Ali,

    Just, I found something maybe it can help later to make people sure about the comparing the member lists.

    diff (Get-ADGroupMember "SG_Azure_A") (Get-ADGroupMember "SG_Azure_B") -Property 'SamAccountName' -IncludeEqual
  7. This was exactly what I was looking for! You walkthrough is very detailed and easy to follow. Thank you so much!

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