Digital Communication


Digital Communication

RSAT for Windows 11: Remote Server Administration Tools


Microsoft has brought together the tools allowing remote access to different Windows systems under a single acronym, RSAT (Remote Server Administration Tools). These tools allow you to manage servers and carry out routine administration tasks remotely, via a central interface; you just need to have the corresponding administrator rights.

What are the features of RSAT tools for Windows 11?

The RSATs correspond to a multitude of client-side tools allowing administrative management of servers, and this remotely. Depending on the tool they activate, administrators benefit from different possibilities and can, for example, manage and monitor Windows servers remotely, perform certain functions and organize the different roles. The remote tools offered by Windows can also be used with Windows Server 2019 and Windows Server 2022 operating systems.

If you have the necessary administration rights, you can take advantage of the features offered by RSAT to control and manage multiple workstations or servers centrally. To do this, you normally just need to use the Windows Command Prompt or GUI.

Discover the main features of RSAT tools below:

  • updates application
  • assigning or changing roles
  • installing or configuring software and other applications
  • using Windows Remote Desktop;
  • managing Windows or Windows-based networks with Active Directory
  • organizing and managing user accounts and group policies
  • server configuration and monitoring
  • edition, modification and management of DNS services, file servers and virtual private networks (VPN)

Prerequisites for using RSAT : As for the operating system, you must have a Windows Professional or Enterprise edition license. Windows Home, Standard, and Education licenses do not allow you to take advantage of RSAT tools.

Enable RSAT for Windows 11: step-by-step instructions

Since the Windows update in October 2018, it is no longer necessary to download and install the RSAT tools yourself. If you want to use RSATs, simply select them from optional Windows features, then activate them. This also applies to the Professional or Enterprise edition of Windows 11.

Follow our step-by-step instructions to enable or disable the optional RSAT components of your choice:

Enable RSAT for Windows 11

With Windows 11, you have several options for enabling RSAT features from the DISM command line or through Windows PowerShell. However, as these processes are relatively complex, we recommend that you opt for the simplest and fastest way to activate RSAT tools through the Windows graphical user interface (or GUI, for Graphic User Interface). The “features on demand” principle allows you to directly select the tools you need from a list.

To achieve this, simply follow the steps below:

  1. Use the shortcut [touche Windows] + [i] to open the Windows settings menu.
  2. In the settings menu, go to the “Applications” section.
  3. Then click on “Optional Features”.
  4. To add features, select “Show features” in the “Add optional feature” section.
  5. Windows then offers you a list of all the optional features available for your system.
  6. To view RSAT features more quickly, enter the keyword “RSAT” in the search bar.
  7. After filtering optional features, only RSAT tools are displayed.
  8. Select the features you need, then click “Next” to enable them.

Uninstall RSAT Features for Windows 11

To find the RSAT features that you have activated, go to Applications > Optional features through the “Installed applications” section. Don’t hesitate, here too, to specifically filter RSAT features using your search bar. To view the history of your most recently enabled features, click “Show History” in the “Optional Features History” section. To remove an RSAT tool, select it from the “Installed Features” list and click the down arrow to open the drop-down menu. You can then select the “Uninstall” button and remove or deactivate the tool in question.

As for uninstallation, you should be aware that there may be dependencies between some RSAT tools. It is therefore possible that a auxiliary RSAT tool stops working if you uninstall its “parent” tool.

How to use RSAT tools on Windows 11?

You need one or more remote servers to manage local client computers using RSAT features. Warning: it is impossible to manage local client computers with RSAT tools potentially installed on them. To manage and configure your remote servers, as well as to control your RSAT functionalities, you must go through the Windows Server Manager. Microsoft provides you with detailed information about organizing your remote servers through Server Manager; consult theWindows Learn article meant for that purpose.

To open the Server Manager console, use the following path: Start > Applications > Administrative Tools > Server Manager. You can then find the RSAT features that you have activated in the “Tools” menu. To open the console you can also use the shortcut [touche Windows] + [R] and enter “ServerManager” in the command prompt, before pressing [Entrée].

RSAT tools available for Windows 11

Below you will find the RSAT tools available to you for remote server management:

  • Tools for Active Directory Certificate Services (AD CS)
  • tools for Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS)
  • tools for Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS)
  • DHCP server tools
  • DNS server tools
  • file services tools
  • Best Practice Analyzer
  • administrative utilities for BitLocker drive encryption
  • routing, DirectAccess and remote access
  • clustering tools with failover
  • group policy management tools
  • Hyper-V tools
  • network controllers
  • tools for remote desktop services
  • network load balancing tools
  • IP address management tools (IP Address ManagementIPAM)
  • network adapter or network card (NIC) associations
  • server managers
  • volume activation solutions
  • Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) tools

For a complete list of RSAT tools and descriptions of each, see Microsoft Learn official website.

Security Considerations Prior to Activation of RSATs

RSAT tools allow you to control multiple servers in a centralized and convenient way, and therefore offer many advantages. However, for critical businesses and business networks, it is important to implement clear security measures to manage systems remotely. If they are insufficiently protected, this can lead to vulnerabilities appearing that can then be exploited by hackers or in ransomware attacks. If your administrator accounts are hacked, this can have significant negative consequences on your entire server structure.

The following security questions should be answered before using remote server administration tools:

  • Are accounts or groups with administrator rights sufficiently protected to prevent unauthorized access?
  • Do administrative hosts handling RSAT-related tasks have dedicated, protected workstations with strong access restrictions and multi-factor authentication?

Are you looking for a highly available server platform for secure networking and cloud computing? Opt for the performance of the Cloud Server offered by IONOS, with on-demand scaling for unlimited traffic.

Benefits of RSAT tools

RSAT features offer many benefits in terms of administrative and routine management for servers. As remote server and desktop management grows in importance every day, along with cloud computing, using remote Windows features can give you a real competitive advantage. RSATs offer you numerous features for remote control, configuration and management of one or more servers.

Support tasks can thus be handled remotely and efficiently by administrators, who have the ability to act simultaneously on multiple devices and servers from a central interface. This saves you time and money, as well as effort and increased security by monitoring and automating processes on your servers.

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