Skip Domain Join on WS 2012 Essentials with a Registry Key

Skip Domain Join on WS 2012 Essentials with a Registry Key

If you are running Windows Server 2012 Essentials then any connected PC which is running Pro/Enterprise/Ultimate SKUs of Windows 7/8 will automatically be joined to the domain. Not so good for us previous Home Server users – But there is now a temporary workaround thanks to a registry key.

Before we continue remember this only affects the following versions of Windows:

  • Windows 7 Professional
  • Windows 7 Enterprise
  • Windows 7 Ultimate 
  • Windows 8 Pro
  • Windows 8 Enterprise

You will not need to perform this task for versions of Windows below these versions (e.g. Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 8 Core), as these versions will not be domain joined automatically during the client install process.

On the client PC you do NOT want to be domain joined:

  1. Go to Start and search for cmd
  2. In the search results, find cmd.exe and run as administrator.
  3. Type the following command prompt:
    reg add "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Server\ClientDeployment" /v SkipDomainJoin /t REG_DWORD /d 1
  4. Complete the steps on the Connect Computers to the Server Help topic.

Info from the Windows Server 2012 Essentials forums.

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  1. Bob Crook says:

    Perhaps a better article would be to get an answer from Microsoft as to why they feel domain joining should be automatic. Otherwise don’t mess.

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