Server 2012 Join Windows 8 to Domain

How to join Windows 8 to domain (Windows Server 2012).

Joining a client computer to a domain is a fairly simple process. However, I have received quiet a few questions from viewers asking for help.

Towards the bottom of this tutorial will be a Troubleshooting section that can assist if you run into troubles.

Here in this tutorial, our goal is to join Windows 8 to a Windows Server 2012 domain.

Join Windows 8 to Windows 2012 Server Domain

Let’s Get Started

Log into the Windows 8 client computer you want to join to the domain.

Use the hot-key Win+W to open up the Settings Search and type domain. Press Enter.

Windows 8 Settings Search Hotkey

Select Change.

Windows 8 System Properties

Select the Domain radio button, and type in the domain name.

For this tutorial, I will be typing in notcreative.internal

Windows 8 Join to Domain

Press OK.

You will be prompted to enter domain credentials that have access to join computers to the domain. I will be using my Domain Admin account cdavis.admin I created in a previous video since this user is part of the Domain Admins group.

If there were no problems with your credentials, follow the prompts to reboot.

Once rebooted, you should be at the log in prompt.

The default is to log into the local computer. You can see this by looking at the current username CLIENT-PC\LOCAL-USER.

Windows 8 Login Local User

Press the left arrow to switch users. Select Other User.

Windows 8 Switch Users

We need to log in using notcreative\cdavis.

Windows 8 Domain Login

At this point, you are on the domain.

Don’t forget to jump on your server and move the newly joined computer object from the default Computers OU to the proper OU within Active Directory Users and Computers.

Server 2012 AD Move Computer


The main problem people have is that the client cannot find the domain. This is most likely due to the DNS server setting on the client computer not pointing to the server’s IP address (specifically the DNS server’s IP address).

If the client computer cannot ping the domain name (in this case, notcreative.internal), then how is the computer going to be able to join the domain?

From the client computer, open up command prompt or PowerShell and try to ping your domain name.

ping notcreative.internal

If you cannot ping your domain name, run ipconfig /all

ipconfig /all

Make sure that the DNS server is set to the IP Address of your DNS server (in this case happens to be our server’s IP address).

About Chris Davis

Computer / Technology enthusiast. Very passionate about Systems Administration. I enjoy helping others try and reach their goals. You can follow Chris on if you'd like.


  1. Hello chris,

    First off id just like to say a massive thankyou for your videos on youtube, without them i would still be scratching my head while using windows server 2008.

    I have a problem with adding users to domain that hopefully you will have an answer to, we have 4 current work laptops that have been in use for the past few month, so all the work docs, email settings etc are on the work laptops already, when i put them into the domain the laptop splits away from the current user, and when we log into the domain account its like a separate user with nothing installed,

    Is there anyway to make it so the current laptop user is connected straight to the domain without having to move everything over to the new user?

    • Thank you for the comments! I’m glad the videos have helped you out.

      The problem you describe is one of those problems that I wish Microsoft had made a more simple process for. I personally don’t know of a better way to do it but years ago I had this problem and from what I recall I had to go into the ‘profiles’ section and then copy over the local account’s profile to the domain profile. I don’t remember the exact process but I do remember it was a pain. The good news is you only have 4 laptops (and hopefully 4 users).

      If I find a better solution I will be sure to post it here for you.

  2. Hello I have create user in in windows server 2012 I have to give the access of user to client pc. how can I do ?

  3. my client pc has win XP and is in network but application I install in windows server 2012
    is not accesible to client I create new user on server but how can login from new user?

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