Active Directory (AD) tasks like enabling users and resetting passwords can get pretty monotonous, especially for busy admins. Delegating these tasks can go a long way toward making your day more productive, as well as making the tasks themselves more efficient. One way to do this is to create custom taskpad views from the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) to pass specific tasks off to others on your team. In this article, I'd like to show you how you can create a taskpad view to delegate AD tasks for a specific Organizational Unit (OU) to another user.


Creating a Custom Taskpad View

The following procedure requires basic knowledge about the MMC and membership to the domain for which you want to delegate the task. To read a bit about the basics of the MMC before you get started, check out my blog post, Get all of your Windows management tools in a single pane of glass.


To create a custom taskpad for AD tasks on a specific OU:


  1. Open a new MMC: Click Start > Run, and then enter mmc.exe.
  2. Click the File menu, and then click Add/Remove Snap-in.
  3. Click Active Directory Users and Computers, and then click Add.
  4. Click OK.
  5. In the left pane of the MMC, expand the domain tree until you find the OU for which you want to delegate tasks.
  6. Select the OU, and then click Action > New Taskpad View.
  7. On the Welcome screen, click Next.
  8. On the Taskpad Style screen, customize the taskpad view layout, and then click Next. For this example, I used the default settings.
  9. On the Taskpad Reuse screen, select Selected tree item, and then click Next.
  10. On the Name and Description screen, enter the name and description (optional) you want to display on the taskpad view, and then click Next. For example, enter the name of the OU.
  11. On the Success screen, leave Add new tasks to this taskpad after the wizard closes option selected, and then click Finish.
  12. Complete the New Task wizard for each task you want to add:
    1. On the Welcome screen, click Next.
    2. On the Command Type screen, select the type of command you want to add, and then click Next.
      Note: For this example, I only used Menu command; however, you can also use the Shell command option to add command-line tasks to the taskpad view.
    3. In the right pane of the Menu Command screen, select the command you want to add, and then click Next. For this example, I started with Reset Password.
      Note: The options in this pane are the same options you would see if you clicked the Actions menu for the selected object in the MMC. Different options may appear depending on the object you selected in the left pane.
    4. On the Name and Description screen, change the name or description for the command if you want, and then click Next.
    5. On the Task Icon screen, select an icon for the command, and then click Next.
    6. If you want to add another task, select When I click Finish, run this wizard again on the Success screen.
    7. Click Finish.
    8. Repeat these steps for all of the tasks you want to include in the taskpad view.
  13. Customize the view so the user sees only the menu and navigation options you want them to:
    1. Click the View menu, and then select Customize.
    2. Select or clear the options as appropriate. For this example, I cleared all of the options.
    3. Click OK.
  14. Finalize the taskpad by applying restrictions:
    1. Click the File menu, and then select Options.
    2. In the Options window, select the console mode and customization options.
    3. Click OK.
  15. Save the taskpad view to send it to the appropriate user(s):
    1. Click the File menu, and then select Save As.
    2. Enter a name for the taskpad file, and then click Save.


After you finish customizing your new taskpad, you should end up with something like this:

A custom taskpad view to delegate Active Directory tasks

For even more control and flexibility to manage Active Directory in your enterprise, check out DameWare Remote Support. Manage multiple Active Directory sites from a single window, and even remotely control your domain controllers when necessary with DameWare Mini Remote Control, included with every DRS installation.