How to Check Which Domain Controller You Are Connected To

By Ruri Ranbe

A domain controller in Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 is a critical component in Active Directory that authenticates users connecting to the domain. If you're having trouble accessing resources on a particular domain or if it takes a long time to authenticate your login, your computer may be communicating with the wrong site. Use Command Prompt to find out which DC your system is connected to.

Using the Set Command

Step 1

Press "Windows-Q" to go to the Apps screen, type "cmd.exe" into the search bar, and then press "Enter" to run Command Prompt.

Step 2

Type "set l" (without quotation marks) into the console, and then press "Enter" to execute the command.

Step 3

Review the information next to the LOGONSERVER field to see the name of the domain controller the user is authenticated to.

Using the Nltest Command

Step 1

Press "Windows-Q" to go to the Apps screen, type "cmd.exe" into the search bar, and then press "Enter" to run Command Prompt.

Step 2

Type "nltest /dsgetdc:[FQDN]" (without quotation marks) into the console. Replace "[FQDN]" with the system's fully qualified domain name -- such as "domain.com" or "services.domain.com," for exampe -- and then press "Enter."

Step 3

Review the information next to the DC field to see the name of the domain controller with which the computer or system is communicating.

Tips & Warnings

  • The nltest command is preferable to "set l," as the latter doesn't display the most up-to-date information. However, you can use "set l" if you don't know the name of your domain.