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Get Members of Active Directory Group and Export to CSV using PowerShell. The Windows PowerShell AD module is one of the most used modules for managing Active Directory (AD) domains and objects and retrieving data about users and computers. The AD module gathers several cmdlets used to control various objects, obtain AD group members, and export AD group members.

We can retrieve the AD group members from AD and export these to CSV or a file using the Get-ADGroupMember cmdlet. In this article, we discuss the Get-ADGroupMember command, its syntax, frequently encountered problems, and how to export these results in a CSV format.

Shall we start with article Get Members of Active Directory Group and Export to CSV using PowerShell.

Get Members of an AD Group and Export to CSV Using PowerShell

The Get-ADGroupMember cmdlet in PowerShell allows users to retrieve a list of members in an Active Directory group. However, we must meet particular prerequisites to use this cmdlet effectively.


Before using the AD cmdlets, our system needs to have the following requirement:

  1. Install the PowerShell AD module
  2. User accounts with administrator access or enough access to read AD group information.

Once installed, import the AD module with the Import-Module command below:

					Import-Module ActiveDirectory

By fulfilling these prerequisites, you use the Get-ADGroupMember cmdlet to efficiently manage and analyse membership information in Active Directory groups. We discuss it in the next section of the article.

Note: To know which PowerShell modules are available in our system, run the Get-Module command in PowerShell.

					Get-Module -ListAvailable

Overview of the Get-ADGroupMember Command

The Get-ADGroupMember command in PowerShell is a powerful tool for retrieving members of an AD group. It is part of the PowerShell AD module, and we used the command to manage and administer AD environments. With Get-ADGroupMember, we easily retrieve a list of users, computers, and other groups that belong to a specific group and perform actions such as filtering and sorting the results.

This command is essential for IT professionals who manage large AD environments with many groups and users. By using Get-ADGroupMember, they quickly and easily view the members of a group and take appropriate actions, such as adding or removing members or changing group permissions. The command also helps to troubleshoot group membership and access control issues.

Let’s look at the basic syntax structure of the Get-ADGroupMember command:

 [-AuthType ]
 [-Credential ]
 [-Partition ]
 [-Server ]
 [Common Parameters]

Now, let’s understand the Get-ADGroupMember cmdlet parameters below:

Get-ADGroupMember Specific Parameters

Identity: Specifies the identity of the group. This parameter is either the group’s distinguished name or its GUID.
Server: Specifies the domain controller to use for the query.
Recursive: Indicates whether to retrieve members recursively from nested groups.
Partition: With this parameter, we specify the naming context partition on the AD group’s location.
AuthType: Dictates the type of authentication to use when making the query.
Credential: Specifies the credentials to use when making the query.

Common Parameters

Common parameters in PowerShell are a set of parameters we use with any cmdlet or advanced function in PowerShell. These parameters provide a common syntax and functionality used across different commands. Making it easier for users to work with PowerShell commands consistently.

Properties: Specifies the properties of the group members to retrieve.
ErrorAction: Action to take if an error occurs.
ErrorVariable: Variable to use to store error information.
WarningAction: Action to take if a warning occurs.
WarningVariable: Variable to use to store warning information.
InformationAction: Action to take generated informational messages.
InformationVariable: Variable to use to store informational messages.

Get AD Group Member of Group

To obtain a list of every AD group member, use the PowerShell cmdlet Get-ADGroupMember. Users, groups, or machines can all be members. Use the Identity argument in PowerShell to list the members of an ad group we provide. AD groups, can be located using their display name, SAM account name, GUID, differentiated name, or security identifier.

In the example below, the Select-Object cmdlet in PowerShell allows us to select and manipulate specific properties of objects in a PowerShell pipeline. Commonly used to filter the output of a command and select only the relevant information we need.

					Get-ADGroupMember -Identity  | Select-Object name

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We have arrived to the main part of the article Get Members of Active Directory Group and Export to CSV using PowerShell. Please keep on reading. 

Get AD Group Members Export to CSV File

Exporting group membership to a CSV (Comma Separated Values) file is helpful in many scenarios. Auditing group membership, reviewing user access permissions, or generating reports. For example, use the command below to retrieve AD group members and export the AD group members list to a CSV file:

					Get-ADGroupMember -Identity 'Administrators' | Export-CSV -Path C:\PS\groupmembers.csv -NoTypeInformation

The Get-ADGroupMember command in the PowerShell script above retrieves the members of the Administrators AD group supplied by the Identity parameter. The Administrators AD group is retrieved, and the script exports all members’ information to a CSV file using the Export-CSV command.

Importance of the Export-CSV Command

The Export-CSV command is a crucial PowerShell cmdlet allowing you to export data from PowerShell to a CSV file.
Here are a few reasons why the Export-CSV command is essential:

  1. Data Backup: Use the Export-CSV command to back up data in PowerShell. This command helps to recover data in case of loss or corruption.
  2. Data Analysis: The Export-CSV command exports data to a CSV file, which we open in Microsoft Excel or other spreadsheet software for data analysis. This command is helpful in data visualization, trend analysis, and other data driven tasks.
  3. Data Exchange: We widely use the CSV format for data exchange between software applications. The Export-CSV command allows you to share data with other systems or applications easily.
  4. Automation: The Export-CSV command is used in PowerShell scripts to automate data export tasks. This command helps to save time and improve efficiency.

Frequently Asked Questions

This section of article title Get Members of Active Directory Group and Export to CSV using PowerShell talks about often asked questions. While using the Get-ADGroupMember command in PowerShell to retrieve members of an AD group, we may encounter some issues. They prevent us from getting the desired results. This section of the article highlights some of the most common problems users face when using Get-ADGroupMember and provides solutions to help us resolve them. By addressing these issues, we improve the performance and accuracy of our PowerShell scripts when working with AD groups.

Unrecognized Command

If we receive an error like the message below, it is a big possibility that we have not imported the AD module correctly.

					The term ‘Get-ADGroupMember’ is not recognized as the name of a cmdlet, function, script file, or operable program. Check the spelling of the name, or if a path was included, verify that the path is correct and try again.

Refer back to the prerequisites section on importing the AD module.

Access Denied Errors

If we receive an Access is denied error when running Get-ADGroupMember, ensure we have the necessary permissions to access the group and its members. For example, we may need to run PowerShell as an administrator or use alternate credentials.

It may also be possible that we have saved the script, which now has become an untrusted script from an unknown publisher. In these cases, we would need to change the Execution Policy to Unrestricted with the Set-ExecutionPolicy command so that the scripts can be run.

					Set-ExecutionPolicy -Scope CurrentUser -ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted

It’s important to note that changing the Execution Policy to Unrestricted poses a security risk. Any script can be run on the system without any restrictions. Therefore, it’s recommended only to change the Execution Policy to Unrestricted temporarily and to change it back to a more restrictive setting when the scripts have been run.

Slow Performance

When using PowerShell to perform operations on Active Directory objects, such as creating or modifying user accounts, the PowerShell cmdlets rely on communication with a domain controller. By default, PowerShell uses a method called DC Locator to find a domain controller for these operations. DC Locator uses several criteria to select a domain controller, such as the site and subnet of the computer running PowerShell, the availability and load of domain controllers, and so on.

However, in some cases, using DC Locator results in slower performance. Especially, if the selected domain controller is not in the same site as the computer running PowerShell, or if the domain controller is heavily loaded.

By specifying the -Server parameter in your PowerShell cmdlets to target a specific domain controller, you bypass DC Locator and directly connect to the selected domain controller. This improves performance in a script because you choose a domain controller that is on the same site as the computer running the script or has better performance characteristics.

					Get-ADGroupMember -Identity "GroupName" -Server "dc1.sample.com"


Nested Groups Not Included

By default, the Get-ADGroupMember does not include members of nested groups. To retrieve all group members, use the -Recursive parameter like the example below.

					Get-ADGroupMember -Identity "GroupName" -Recursive

Thank you for reading Get Members of Active Directory Group and Export to CSV using PowerShell. We shall conclude the article now. 

Get Members of AD Group and Export to CSV Using PowerShell Conclusion

In conclusion, PowerShell provides a powerful and efficient way to manage AD groups and their members. By using PowerShell cmdlets, IT administrators easily retrieve the members of a specific AD group and export them to a CSV file. This is useful for generating reports, auditing group membership, or managing access to network resources. Following the steps and examples outlined in this article, organizations streamline their AD management tasks and ensure their network remains secure and well managed.


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Marion Mendoza

Marion Mendoza

Windows Server and VMware SME. Powershell Guru. Currently working with Fortune 500 companies responsible for participating in 3rd level systems support across the enterprise. Acting as a Windows Server engineer and VMware Specialist.

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