Step By Step Guide To Downgrade AD Domain And Forest Functional Level


In Our recent post we have discussed about Windows Server 2016 Installation Procedures and the Benefits and Best New Features of Windows Server 2016 Technical preview.

Since we have already seen about complete details of Active Directory including

Installation and Deployment of:

Now will see about the Step By Step Guide To Downgrade Active Directory Domain And Forest Functional Level

In Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2012, you can lower the Forest and Domain functional level from 2012 to 2008 R2, or from 2008 R2 to 2008. But you cannot lower it beyond 2008.

Also, this is not possible by GUI, you have to use PowerShell for doing this.

In this demo I am using domain controller with forest and domain function level set to windows 2012 R2.

Let’s see how you can do it in the following steps:

Initially , log in to the domain controller as domain admin / Enterprise admin.

Then load PowerShell or Command Prompt with Admin rights.


Next we need to import the AD module.

To do that type Import-Module -Name ActiveDirectory


Before proceed as confirmation here my domain and forest function levels are set to windows server 2012 R2.



First of all now I am going to set forest function level to windows server 2008.

To do that,

Set-ADForestMode –Identity “” –ForestMode Windows2008Forest

Here my FQDN is you can replace it with your domain name.

Once After running the command it will ask for the confirmation, type Y or A to confirm the change.


Now I am going tois to downgrade the domain function level to windows server 2008.
To do that,

Set-ADDomainMode –Identity “” –DomainMode Windows2008Domain



Now both Forest and Domain Functional Level has been Downgraded to Windows Server 2008

To confirm the same using the Below Commands.


From the above fig we can confirm that both Forest and Domain Functional Level has been Downgraded from Windows Server 2012 R2 to Windows Server 2008

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