How do I bind OS X Mavericks to Active Directory?

This guide was written for OS X Mavericks (10.9), but the steps outlined here are similar enough on other versions of OS X. It is recommended to upgrade to 10.9 or 10.10 if your Mac supports it. This can be done via the Mac App Store.

1. Prestage object for the Mac in AD.

2. Login to the Mac as an administrator.

3. Open System Preferences > Users & Groups

4. Click the lock in the lower left and authenticate. 

5. Click Login Options

6. Click “Join…”

7. Click “Open Directory Utility…”

8. Click the lock in the lower left again. 

9. Double click “Active Directory”.

10. For Active Directory Domain, type "". For Computer ID, type the name of the prestaged object you created earlier. 

11. Click Show Advanced Options.

12. Make sure “Force local home directory on startup disk” is checked. The other options on this tab can be ignored unless you want to allow users in certain groups administrative privileges. That can be changed in the Mappings tab.

13. Click Bind. You will be prompted for domain credentials, as well as a path to the object. The default “CN=Computers,DC=ad,DC=uic,DC=edu” is normally sufficient. Click OK.

14. Since you prestaged the object, it will ask you if you want to join an existing account. Click OK. Note: If Directory Utility gives you an error at this point, you might need to specify the distinguished name/full path of the object.

15. Click OK again to get back to the main Directory Utility window, and then close Directory Utility.

16. At this point the Mac is bound, but the behavior of the login window might need to be changed.

17. Back in System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login Options, disable Automatic Login.

18. There are two options for the login window display styles. List of Users displays the icons of local users as well as an “Other” icon, which will allow users to login with their NetID and common password. The name and password option will just display two text boxes with no icons.


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Last updated: 

September 20, 2016

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