What is Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT)?
RSAT (Remote Server Administration Tools) is a set of Windows packages available for server management. It was originally released by Microsoft for Windows Vista SP1 users.
Prior to RSAT, If you wanted to manage Windows servers with your client, you were able to with some hacks. But all in all it was a very painful process and a lot of administrators had to run a virtual machine or have a second box to do server administrative tasks.
What is included in RSAT?
Below is an overview of the RSAT packages. You can find a complete list and details on Microsoft’s website.
- Active Directory Certificate Services (AD CS) tools
- Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) tools and Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS) tools
- Best Practices Analyzer
- BitLocker Drive Encryption Administration Utilities
- DHCP Server tools
- DirectAccess, Routing, and Remote Access
- DNS Server tools
- Failover Clustering tools
- File Services tools
- Group Policy Management tools
- Hyper-V tools
- IP Address Management (IPAM) Management tools
- Network Adapter Teaming, or NIC Teaming
- Network Load Balancing tools
- Remote Desktop Services tools
- Server for NIS tools
- Server Manager
- Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) Server tools
- Storage Explorer tools
- Storage Manager for Storage Area Network (SAN) tools
- Volume Activation
- Windows System Resource Manager tools
- Windows Server Update Services tools
Two types of RSAT tools
RSAT has two main types of packages: tools for roles and tools for features. Tools for roles allows you to manage access to your server. It includes features like the Active Directory Certificate Services Tools, which incorporates the Certification Authority snap-in, the Certificate Templates snap-in, the Enterprise PKI snap-in, and the Online Responder Management snap-in. The Active Directory Certification Authority Tools, NIS Server tools, DHCP Server Tools, DNS Server Tools, and File service tools are all tools for roles.
Tools for features allows you to control the other features on your server that don’t clearly fall into the “roles” category. This includes BitLocker Drive Encryption Tools, Failover Clustering Tools, Group Policy Management Tools, Network Load Balancing Tools, Server Tools, Storage Manager for SANs Tools, and Windows System Resource Manager Tools.
How to install RSAT on Windows 10 or 11
Gone are the days of having to download and install RSAT onto your system. If you’re operating on Windows 10 or 11, RSAT is already available, and you can install it by navigating to “Settings” and “Apps & Features.” Just follow these instructions:
- Visits Apps from your “Settings” menu
- Select Apps & Features.
- Choose Optional features
- Next, click on Add a feature.
- Type or scroll down to find “RSAT”
- Choose Install to add the tools to your device
How to install RSAT via PowerShell
- Check what RSAT tools you installed using this command:
Get-WindowsCapability -Name RSAT* -Online | Select-Object -Property Name, State.
- If you only need select tools, then use Add-WindowsCapability followed by the name of that tool you’re interested in
Windows 10: Add-WindowsCapability -Name Rsat.FileServices.Tools~~~~0.0.1.0
Windows 11: Add-WindowsCapability –online –Name Rsat.ActiveDirectory.DS-LDS.Tools~~~~0.0.1.0
Example: Add-WindowsCapability -Online -Name Rsat.FileServices.Tools~~~~0.0.1.0
To install only the missing tools, use
Get-WindowsCapability -Name RSAT* -Online | where State -EQ NotPresent | Add-WindowsCapability –Online
To install all tools, run this command:
Get-WindowsCapability -Name RSAT* -Online | Add-WindowsCapability –Online.
After installation, your RSAT tools will appear under Manage Optional Features.
Want to learn more?
If you need a deeper dive into server management, check out this course from Pluralsight: