How Do I Register a DNS Server in Active Directory?


Angela Bailey

Registering a DNS server in Active Directory is an essential step in ensuring smooth communication and efficient name resolution within a network. By integrating DNS with Active Directory, you can simplify management and enhance the overall functionality of your network infrastructure.

What is DNS?

DNS, which stands for Domain Name System, is a hierarchical decentralized naming system that translates domain names (e.g., into IP addresses (e., It acts as the backbone of the internet by providing a standardized method for identifying and locating resources.

Why Register a DNS Server in Active Directory?

When you register a DNS server in Active Directory, it becomes an integral part of the domain infrastructure. This integration allows for seamless name resolution between computers, servers, and other network resources within the Active Directory domain.

Bold text: Registering a DNS server in Active Directory is crucial because it enables domain-based name resolution and simplifies administrative tasks.

Steps to Register a DNS Server in Active Directory

Step 1: Install the DNS Server Role

The first step is to install the DNS Server role on the server that will become your DNS server. This can be done through the Server Manager interface or using PowerShell commands.

  • Underlined text: Launch Server Manager on your Windows Server.
  • Select “Add Roles and Features” from the Tools menu.
  • In the Roles section, select “DNS Server” and proceed with the installation.

Step 2: Configure Forward and Reverse Lookup Zones

Bold text: Once the DNS role is installed, you need to configure forward and reverse lookup zones on your DNS server.

To configure a forward lookup zone, follow these steps:

  1. Open the DNS Manager console.
  2. Right-click on “Forward Lookup Zones” and select “New Zone”.
  3. Follow the wizard to create a new primary zone, specifying the zone name and zone file storage location.
  4. Add appropriate resource records (A, CNAME, MX, etc.) to the zone as needed.

To configure a reverse lookup zone, follow these steps:

  1. In the DNS Manager console, right-click on “Reverse Lookup Zones” and select “New Zone”.
  2. Choose the appropriate reverse lookup zone type (IPv4 or IPv6) and proceed with the wizard.
  3. Specify the network ID for which you want to create a reverse lookup zone.
  4. Add PTR records for your network devices within the reverse lookup zone as necessary.

Step 3: Join DNS Server to Active Directory Domain

To integrate your DNS server with Active Directory, you need to join it to the domain. Follow these steps:

  • Underlined text: Open Server Manager on your DNS server.
  • Navigate to “Local Server” and click on “Workgroup” next to Computer Name.
  • Select “Change” and enter the domain name to join the server to Active Directory.

Step 4: Verify DNS Registration in Active Directory

Bold text: After joining your DNS server to Active Directory, it’s crucial to verify its registration. To do so:

  1. Open Command Prompt or PowerShell with administrative privileges on your DNS server.
  2. Type nslookup, followed by the DNS server’s fully qualified domain name (FQDN).
  3. Ensure that the DNS server’s IP address is correctly resolved.
  4. Test name resolution by querying other domain resources using the DNS server.


In conclusion, registering a DNS server in Active Directory is a vital step in optimizing network performance and ensuring efficient name resolution. By following the steps outlined above, you can integrate your DNS server seamlessly into your Active Directory domain, simplifying management and enhancing overall network functionality.

Bold text: Remember to regularly monitor and maintain your DNS infrastructure to ensure its reliability and accuracy.

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