Are you looking for a quick and easy solution to bulk modify Active Directory user attributes?

Then you are in the right place.

In this post, I’m going to show you the AD Bulk User Update Tool that makes it easy to bulk update active directory user attributes.

This is a GUI tool that updates AD user attributes from a CSV.

Let’s jump right into some examples:

    1. Bulk Modify Users Office Attribute
    2. Bulk Modify User Department and Title
    3. Bulk Update User Employee ID and Employee Number
    4. Bulk Remove User Attributes
    5. Understanding LDAP Attributes (Cheat Sheet)

Example 1: Bulk Modify Users Office Attribute

In this example, I’m going to mass update the department attribute for 100 users. If there is a value already present it will get updated.

The AD Bulk User Modify tool uses a CSV file to bulk modify Active Directory user accounts.  All you need is the users sAMAccountName and the LDAP attribute you want to modify.

If you are not familiar with LDAP attributes you may want to jump to the LDAP attributes section for a quick overview. I’ve created an LDAP cheat sheet to quickly find the correct LDAP values.

Step 1: Setup the CSV File

The first column of the CSV file needs to be the sAmAccountName followed by the list of users you want to modify.  The next column needs to be the attribute you want to modify followed by the value.

TIP: The Active Directory names do not always match the LDAP attribute name. This is how Microsoft designed it. This can be confusing and is why I created a cheat sheet showing the most common Active Directory names to LDAP attribute names. See the end of this post for the cheat sheet.

Looking at the cheat sheet the LDAP attribute for office is physicalDeliveryOffice.

You can see below I have my CSV file setup and ready to import. I’ll just save it to my computer and move to step 2. (You can name the file whatever you want it just needs to be a CSV file).

Step 2: Run AD Bulk User Modify Tool

Now the easy part.

Open the AD User Bulk Update tool, select the CSV file and click run.

As the tool runs through the CSV it displays the progress in the output box.

It’s really fast! It took about 10 seconds to update the office field for 100 users.

Step 3: Verify the changes

This is optional but to verify the change just add the office column to Active Directory Users and Computers.

Now you can easily see your user accounts and the office field.

You can use PowerShell to verify the changes with this command.

Get-ADUser -filter * -Properties * | select name, office

Looks great!

I can see the test users account office attribute has been updated to the value I set in the CSV file.

Example 2: Bulk Update User Department and Job Title

In this example, I will update the department and title attribute at the same time. You can modify as many attributes at once as you wish.

Again, if a value is already set it will be overwritten.

I look at the LDAP cheat sheet and see I need attributes department and title.

Now, I’ll setup the CSV file.

Ready to go, I’ll open the tool, select the CSV file and click run.

The tool runs and makes the changes set by the CSV file.

Now I’ll verify the changes in ADUC.

To verify with PowerShell use this command

Get-ADUser -filter * -Properties * | select department, title

Perfect!

I just modified the department and job title for 100 users in 15 seconds.

Example 3: Bulk Update User Employee ID & Employee Number

In this example, I’ll update the Employee ID & Employee Number values for my 100 test accounts.

These two values only show up in the attribute editor, the values do not show up on any of the tabs in Active Directory Users and Computers.

The LDAP attribute names are employeeID and employeeNumber.

I’ll update my CSV with the LDAP attribute name and set the values I want.

Now I’ll run the tool to update the attributes.

These two attributes are not available to add as a column in ADUC. So you will need to use PowerShell to mass verify the changes.

Get-ADUser -filter * -Properties * | select name, employeeid, employeenumber | sort name

Looks good. I can scroll down the list and see the 100 test accounts have been updated.

In about a minutes worth of work, I just updated the employeeid and employeenumber on 100 accounts.

Example 4: Bulk Remove User Attributes

The first three examples I showed you how to mass update user attributes but what if you want to bulk remove user attributes?

No problem.

The process is almost the same, just add the LDAP attribute to the CSV and for the value put remove.

I’ll remove the department and job title values for my 100 test accounts.

Now just run the tool, select the CSV and click run.

I’ll verify the changes in ADUC

Looks good the values have been removed.

To verify with PowerShell use this command.

Get-ADUser -filter * -Properties * | select department, title

Bonus! You can remove and update values at the same time.

Understanding the LDAP Attribute Names (LDAP Cheat Sheet)

Active Directory stores details about objects such as users into LDAP attributes. These attributes are basically a key value pair for example:

givenName = Robert

GiveName is the attribute name and Robert is the value.

This is the method Active Directory uses to store details about objects.

Here is where it gets a little confusing and is why I created the LDAP cheat sheet.

The fields names you see in Active Directory Users and computers do not always match the LDAP attribute name.

For example, in ADUC the First Name field has an LDAP attribute value of giveName

Below is a table of the most commonly used ADUC fields and the LDAP attribute mappings. I’ve grouped them based on the ADUC tabs General, Address, Profile, Telephones, and Organization.

You can use this to quickly lookup what LDAP attribute name to setup in the CSV file.

LDAP Attribute Cheat Sheet

This is a downloadable PDF.

The AD Bulk modify tool is not limited to the table above, again those are just common fields. The AD Bulk Modify tool will update any LDAP attribute.

You can use the attribute editor on any account to find other attributes you may need to bulk update.

Screenshot of the attribute editor on an account, this lets you see all the attributes.

You can also use PowerShell to view the LDAP attributes.

Change username to the account you want to view

Get-ADUser username -Properties *

Final Thoughts

There comes a time when every administrator faces the need to make bulk changes to Active Directory user accounts. I have faced this challenge several times and have struggled with it in the past. With the AD User Bulk Update Tool this is no longer a problem myself or my team has to deal with. This tool makes it very easy and saves a great amount of time when dealing with modifying user accounts.

This tool is included in the AD Pro Toolkit. You can download a free trial here. 

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7 Comments

  1. mario on April 2, 2019 at 8:52 am

    by me:
    The term ‘set-adattribute’ is not recognized as the name of a cmdlet, function, script file, or opera
    ble program. Check the spelling of the name, or if a path was included, verify that the path is correct and try again.
    At line:1 char:1
    + set-adattribute

  2. Colin Mackinlay on April 18, 2020 at 11:25 am

    Thanks great tools. All work fine except for two feature I’d have liked with Bulk Update

    Is there anyway to update the samaccountname? A number of ours were incorrectly created with uppercase names and we’d like them to conform to our organisation policy of all lower case – this feeds on to email addresses and other things. I know that the value doesn’t affect logging in and even bulk user update gets the right account if I use the new lower case only value but it doesn’t attempt to update it (no reason why it should). I tried adding it as a second column hoping it would recognise that as meaning I wanted a new value but it didn’t work of course – wishful thinking!

    • Robert Allen on April 18, 2020 at 2:40 pm

      Hi Colin,

      Currently my bulk user update tool does not have the option to update the samaccountname. I’ll try to add that in a future release.

      Another option is to use PowerShell. Take a look at this example
      https://stackoverflow.com/questions/20220616/powershell-set-aduser-modify-samaccountname/20222212

      • Colin Mackinlay on April 18, 2020 at 6:09 pm

        Thanks – I’ve found another little issue, part of which is about my setup which you might have an idea on but part of which needs a small correction in ythe template you provide for bulk update 🙂

        When updating givenName and userPrincipalName on one DC, everything works fine. But on another (completely different network neither will update:
        [18:55:31] INFO: Processing: z.hunt
        [18:55:31] INFO: Looping through properties for z.hunt
        [18:55:31] INFO: givenName property detected
        [18:55:32] INFO: Actioning all property updates
        [18:55:32] INFO: Unable to set property: givenName
        [18:55:32] INFO: Looping through properties for z.hunt
        [18:55:32] INFO: userPrincipalName property detected
        [18:55:32] INFO: Actioning all property updates
        [18:55:33] INFO: Unable to set property: userPrincipalName
        [18:55:33] INFO: Done Processing z.hunt

        The template file you give suggests using givename for the attribute but it should be givenName.

        givenName works on one of my servers but not on the other – same problem with userPrincipalName

        Any thoughts?

        • Robert Allen on April 19, 2020 at 1:39 pm

          Colin,

          Let me send you an updated version of the tool to see if that resolves the issue.

  3. Colin Mackinlay on April 18, 2020 at 3:14 pm

    Great – thanks!

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