Using ADModify to Change Exchange Specific AD User Attributes in Bulk

ADModify is a tool that originally was developed and used by the Microsoft Product Support Services (PSS) group, the guys who created the tool were, more specifically, Dan Winter & Marc Nivens. Through the years ADModify has evolved and is not only a tool used internally by Microsoft PSS anymore, but also by Exchange admins all around the world. ADModify can be used to modify all sorts of user attributes, but in this article we’ll focus on the Exchange related ones.

Downloading and Running ADModify

You can download ADModify.NET (2.0) or ADModify (1.6) from the Microsoft Product Support Services FTP site or download ADModify.NET (2.0) directly from the ADModify workspace. As the version number indicates ADModify.NET is the latest edition and is, as the name implies, based on the .NET Framework, meaning the client or server on which you run the tool must have the .NET Framework package installed.

When you have downloaded a copy of the tool you don’t have to install it or anything, you simply extract the files and execute ADModify.exe and you’re rolling (See Figure 1 below).

The zipped ADModify files includes ADModcmd.exe which can be used to modify attributes via a command prompt console or by using scripts.

Figure 1: Executing ADModify.exe

When the tool is executed we have three options, we can choose to Modify Attributes, Undo Changes or Import Mailbox Rights as can be seen in Figure 2.

Figure 2: ADModify Options

As we, for the purpose of this article, are going to modify just a few AD user objects manually, we will select the first option which brings us to Figure 3.

Figure 3: And the AD Users whose attributes are to be modified

As you can see in Figure 3 this is where we specify the AD domain and Domain Controller holding the objects we wish to modify. As you can see you’re not limited to selecting AD user objects, you can also add Groups, Contacts and Public Folders.

In Figure 3 we selected 20 AD user objects in the Domain Tree List, we did this simply by left-clicking the Users Organizational Unit (OU) then hitting the Add To List button. Now that we have added the users we want to modify we can click Next, which brings us to the tabs holding all the object attributes etc.

The Four Exchange Tabs

As I mentioned earlier, this article is focusing only on the Exchange related object attributes, so let’s move on by clicking the first Exchange related tab which is E-Mail Addresses (shown in Figure 4). As this tab is pretty much self-explanatory it shouldn’t need any closer description.

Figure 4: E-Mail Addresses Tab

The next tab is Exchange Features (see Figure 5) and this is the place where we can enable and disable the different Exchange protocols (POP3, IMAP4, HTTP also known as OWA). This is also the tab where it’s possible to add AD user objects to a Mailbox Manager Policy as well as specify both message and storage limits, all stuff you should be familiar with via the Exchange System Manager and the Active Directory User and Computers (ADUC) snap-in.

Figure 5: Exchange Features Tab

The Mailbox Rights tab contains options that let us grant different mailbox rights to the selected AD user objects as well as specify an AD user object whom should have access to the selected AD user objects mailboxes (see Figure 6).

Figure 6: Mailbox Rights Tab

It’s also possible to export specific Mailbox Rights which later can be used for Exchange migration purposes etc.

In order to modify the Mailbox rights of a user the client or server on which ADModify is executed must have the Exchange System Manager Tools installed, the reason being that Mailbox Rights modifications utilize CDOEXM’s Mailbox Rights interface. For further details it’s suggested you check out the ADModify Help file. To find instructions on how you install the Exchange System Manager on a workstation see the below two blog posts over at You Had Me At EHLO (aka MS Exchange team blog):

What does it take to install admin only?:
Installing Exchange System Manager on Windows XP – Part II:

The last Exchange related tab is General Exchange and as you can see this is the place where you have the possibility of specifying the homeMTA, homeMDB, msExchOAB, msExchQueryBaseDN of the AD user objects. You can also hide the AD user objects from the Address Lists and set an alternate recipient (message forwarding).

Figure 7: Exchange General Tab


We only touched the Exchange related attributes available in ADModify very briefly in this article, but hopefully enough to make you see how much more efficient you can be as an Exchange Administrator (especially in large Exchange environments).

Hey what are you waiting for? Hurry up and start your virtual machines so you can start testing the ADModify tool immediately!
Happy modifying!
Related Links
ADModify.NET: Workspace Home:

ADModify.NET is here!:

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3 thoughts on “Using ADModify to Change Exchange Specific AD User Attributes in Bulk”

  1. What’s the code for setting the UPN to firstname + firstletter of last name?

    For this program if I wanted to use Firstname+Lastname the value would be: %’givenName’% %’sn’%

    but I dont want the full SN just the first letter. I have tried a multitude of combos for SN with no luck. I know the solution is simple, but I can’t figure it out.

    %’givenName’% %’sn(0)’%
    %’givenName’% %’sn'(0)%
    %’givenName’% %(0)’sn’%

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