Security | Vulnerability Scans and Assessment Windows Server

Active Directory Contact and a User Account Object Differences

Learn the distinctions between an Active Directory contact and a user account object. Understand their roles and functionalities.

In the Active Directory (AD) environment, both the user accounts and contact objects are used to manage and organize information about individuals or entities. But they serve different purposes and have distinct characteristics. See this article on how to create a contact in Active Directory. In this short piece, we shall be discussing the differences between an AD contact and a user account object. Please see Set up and configure Route 53 for your Domain in AWS, and Concept of Active Directory Computer Account.

What are the dissimilarities between an AD Contact and a User Account?

Here is the difference between an Active Directory contact and a user account object. Kindly see how to restore accidentally deleted calendars, bookmarks, files, or contacts from iCloud, and how to Check Windows Activation Status and troubleshoot activation errors.

Active Directory User Object

A user account object represents an actual user or a service account that can log in to the domain environment.

It is used for authentication and access control within the domain.

User account objects have associated security identifiers (SIDs) and this enables users to log in and have permissions assigned.

They can be members of security groups. A User object is used for real users in a company, so permissions can be applied to them. Using user objects can log in on some network, access some resources, etc.

Active Directory Contact

A contact object represents a person, group, or entity outside of the domain environment. It is typically used to store contact information for entities that do not have user accounts in Active Directory.

Contains contact info about any person associated with the organization. Creating and managing AD contacts is vital for organizations, as contacts can be listed in a Global Address List (GAL) or another address list, allowing users to access contact information and send messages.

Active Directory contacts include information about a person or business, such as phone numbers, email addresses, and fax numbers.

Note: Contacts do not have SIDs, nor login credentials or SIDs, and they cannot log in to the domain.

FAQ Active Directory Contact and a User Account Object

Can a contact object authenticate to the domain like a user account object?

No, contact objects cannot be used to authenticate and log in to the domain. Contact objects are primarily used for email routing and addressing. They do not have login information associated. Therefore, they cannot be used for user authentication. User account objects, on the other hand, have login credentials and can authenticate and access the domain resources.

How can I create an AD contact object?

The steps are pretty straightforward. First, you will need to access Active Directory Users and Computers (ADUC)
– Navigate to the Organizational Unit (OU) where you want to create the contact object.
– Right-click on the OU and select “New” and then “Contact.”
– Provide the contact details as shown in the wizard such as an external email address etc.

Want to read more on some exciting topics, here are some related links to this topic.

That’s the major difference between an Active Directory contact and a user account object. I hope you found this blog post informative. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comment session.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x