Why can I only demote a Domain controller by forcing an error

Copper Contributor

In the past when demoting a DC one would first start DCPromo and if you did not but tried to remove the role you would get a warning you needed to demote it first. Now DCPromo is gone in favour of a link to a wizzard. But why do I need to create and error by removing a role that cannot be removed yet before I get the link to the new wizzard?

I just had to remove a Windows 2022 server DC and, as far as I have been able to find out, still the only way to get the demote link is first act as an ignorant server manager who does not know what to do. :(

Am I missing something? What is the proper way to demote a DC before removing the role?


4 Replies
best response confirmed by Bonno_Bloksma (Copper Contributor)
The wizard is just a GUI hiding a set of Powershell cmdlets. Try Uninstall-ADDSDomainController by example.

You can remove the active directory domain services role from Server manager or also via PowerShell

Demoting Domain Controllers and Domains (Level 200) | Microsoft Learn  

if the domain controller cannot be removed by these methods, then you can power off the failed one, then remove the remnants of failed one from active directory.  

Clean up AD DS server metadata | Microsoft Learn  

Step-By-Step: Manually Removing A Domain Controller Server (  



Thanks, this gives even more info than I asked. But the Uninstall-ADDSDomaqinController was wat I needed. Uninstalling / demoting a DC is straightforward, installing/promoting a DC takes a bit more effort when not all parameters are the default. But, as I learned, I can get a copy of the powershell command just after finishing all the questions in the wizzard. :)

Glad to hear it helps. Please don't forget to mark my reply as best response.