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How to search a different Active Directory Domain with Powershell Get-ADGroupMember

22 June,2018 by Tom Collins

Question: I'm using the Powershell Get-ADGroupMember  to  iterate through various  Groups and return the members. This is working OK - as long as I'm searching  in AD groups which are on the same domain server as the server I'm currently logged on.

For example - I've logged onto the domain : . I have authority to check AD groups in this domain. But if I then attempt to do a search on another domain e.g , even though the domain is in the same AD farm , the Get-ADGroupMember will not find the group.

To make things more confusing - if there is a  mydomain2 AD group nested in a mydomain1 AD groups and I use Get-ADGroupMember than the Powershell cmdlet will return all the members , including the nested group. 

Yet , If I attempt to search only the mydomain2 group - NO GO!


Is there a way to search directly on another domain using Get-ADGroupMember?

Answer: The behaviour you've outlined is the way it works. Now, if you want to access the other domain directly but within the same Active Directory , than this can be completed by using Get-ADGroupMember and the -server switch. 

This is an example of how you would use the -server switch . This assumes your current logon is resolved on but then you need to check the AD group on 


Get-ADGroupMember -server ''  -identity 'DBASupport' -Recursive


Once you access the data there are all sorts of usages - commonly I use  the Powershell Get-ADGroupMember  method to get base data for SQL Server security audits , it audit, certification , 

How to get DOMAIN login name with Powershell Get-ADGroupMember

How to Export Active Directory Group Members with Powershell Get-ADGroupMember 


Author: Tom Collins (


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