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about_ActiveDirectory_Filter 2

Active Directory Filter

Describes the syntax and behavior of the search filter supported by the
Active Directory module for Windows PowerShell.

Most get-AD* Active Directory module cmdlets use the Filter parameter to
search for objects. The Filter parameter has been implemented to replace
the function of the LDAP Filter and adds support for Windows PowerShell
variables, rich data types, improved error checking and an Active
Directory extended form of the Windows PowerShell Expression Language.

For more information about the Windows PowerShell Expression Language
syntax, see about_Regular_Expressions.

Support for LDAP Filter Syntax
The LDAP filter syntax is supported through the LDAPFilter parameter.
You will find LDAP filter examples along with the new Active Directory
module filter examples in the Filter Examples section of this topic.

Search Breadth and Depth
The breadth and depth of your filter-driven search can be modified by
two Active Directory module cmdlet parameters: SearchBase and

When within the context of the Active Directory provider, if the
Searchbase parameter is not specified, SearchBase will default to the
current path. When not running under the Active Directory provider, the
SearchBase will default to the server's DefaultNamingContext.

The SearchScope parameter defaults to the value Subtree, of the
enumerated type ADSearchScope.

For more information, see the SearchBase and SearchScope parameter
descriptions on any Get-AD* cmdlet.

Search Result Behavior
The behavior of the Active Directory module when returning results of a
search is modified by two cmdlet parameters: ResultPageSize and

ResultSetSize controls the maximum number of returned objects.

ResultPageSize specifies the maximum number of objects for each returned
page of information.

See the ResultPageSize and ResultSetSize parameter descriptions on any
get-AD* cmdlet for more information.

Timeout Behavior
The following statements specify timeout conditions within the Active
Directory module and describe what can be done about a timeout.

The default Active Directory module timeout for all operations is 2

For search operation, the Active Directory module uses paging control
with a 2-minute timeout for each page search.

Note: Because a search may involve multiple server page requests the
overall search time may exceed 2 minutes.

A TimeoutException error indicates that a timeout has occurred.

For a search operation, you can choose to use a smaller page size, set
with the ResultPageSize parameter, if you are getting a TimeoutException

If after trying these changes you are still getting a TimeoutException
error, consider optimizing your filter using the guidance in the
Optimizing Filters section of this topic.

Optimizing Filters
You can enhance the search filter behavior by using these guidelines.

Avoid using the Recursive parameter as it intensifies resource usage of
the search operation.

Avoid using bitwise AND operators and bitwise OR operators. For more
information, see the Supported Operators section of this topic.

Avoid using the logical NOT operator.

Break down your search into multiple queries with narrower conditions.

Note: For a full description of filter syntax and usage, see the Filter
Syntax section of this topic.

Filter Examples
The following section shows many examples of filter use in common

-------------------------- EXAMPLE 1 --------------------------

Get all entries:

LDAP Filter Equivalent

Get-ADObject -Filter 'ObjectClass -like "*"'

-------------------------- Example 2 --------------------------

Get entries containing "bob" somewhere in the common name:

LDAP Filter Equivalent

Get-ADObject -Filter 'CN -like "*bob*"'

-------------------------- Example 3 --------------------------

Get entries with a bad password count greater than five:

LDAP Filter Equivalent

Get-ADUser -Filter 'badpwdcount -ge 5'

-------------------------- Example 4 --------------------------

Get all users with an e-mail attribute:

LDAP Filter Equivalent

Get-ADUser -filter 'email -like "*"'


Get-ADObject -filter 'email -like "*" -and ObjectClass -eq "user"'

-------------------------- Example 5 --------------------------

Get all user entries with an e-mail attribute and a surname equal
to "smith":

LDAP Filter Equivalent

Get-ADUser -Filter 'Email -like "*" -and SurName -eq "smith"'


Get-ADUser -Filter 'Email -like "*" -and sn -eq "smith"'

-------------------------- Example 6 --------------------------

Get all user entries with a common name that starts with "andy" and
users with a common name of "steve" or "margaret":

LDAP Filter Equivalent
(&(objectClass=user) | (cn=andy*)(cn=steve)(cn=margaret))

Get-ADUser -Filter 'CN -like "andy*" -or CN -eq "steve" -or
CN -eq "margaret"'

This Windows PowerShell script demonstrates a more complex
logic and the use of precedence control via parenthesis.

Get-ADObject -Filter 'objectClass -eq "user" -and
(CN -like "andy*" -or CN -eq "steve" -or CN -eq "margaret")'

-------------------------- Example 7 --------------------------

Get all entries without an e-mail attribute:

LDAP Filter Equivalent

Get-ADUser -Filter '-not Email -like "*"'


Get-ADUser -Filter 'Email -notlike "*"'

-------------------------- Example 8 --------------------------

Get all users who did not logon since January 1, 2007:

LDAP Filter Equivalent
//where X is number of 100-nanosecond slices since Jan 1st 1601

$date = new-object System.DateTime -ArgumentList @(2007,1,1,0,0,0)
Get-ADUser -Filter '-not LastLogon -le $date'

-------------------------- Example 9 --------------------------

Get all users who have logged on in the last 5 days:

LDAP Filter Equivalent

$date = (get-date) - (new-timespan -days 5)
Get-ADUser -Filter 'lastLogon -gt $date'

-------------------------- Example 10 -------------------------

The following example query string searches for group objects that have
the ADS_GROUP_TYPE_SECURITY_ENABLED flag set. Be aware that the decimal
value of ADS_GROUP_TYPE_SECURITY_ENABLED (0x80000000 = 2147483648) is
used for the comparison value.

LDAP Filter Equivalent

Get-ADGroup -filter 'groupType -band 0x80000000'

-------------------------- Example 11 -------------------------

The LDAP_MATCHING_RULE_IN_CHAIN is a matching rule OID that is designed
to provide a method to look up the ancestry of an object. Many
applications using Active Directory and AD LDS usually work with
hierarchical data, which is ordered by parent-child relationships.
Previously, applications performed transitive group expansion to figure
out group membership, which used a lot of network bandwidth.
Applications made multiple round-trips to figure out if an object fell
"in the chain" if a link were traversed through to the end.

An example of such a query is one designed to check if a user, "user1"
is a member of group "group1".

NOTE: user1 may not be a direct member of group1. It could be a member
of some other group that is a member of group1.

You would set the base to the user DN (cn=user1, cn=users, dc=x) and the
scope to base, and use the query:

LDAP Filter Equivalent

Get-ADUser -Filter 'memberOf -RecursiveMatch "CN=Administrators,
-SearchBase "CN=Administrator,CN=Users,DC=Fabrikam,DC=com"


Filter Syntax
The following syntax descriptions use Backus-Naur form to show the
Windows PowerShell Expression Language for the Filter parameter.

<filter> ::= "{" <FilterComponentList> "}"

<FilterComponentList> ::= <FilterComponent> |
<FilterComponent> <JoinOperator> <FilterComponent> |
<NotOperator> <FilterComponent>

<FilterComponent> ::= <attr> <FilterOperator> <value> |
"(" <FilterComponent> ")"

<FilterOperator> ::= "-eq" | "-le" | "-ge" | "-ne" | "-lt" | "-gt" |
"-approx" | "-bor" | "-band" | "-recursivematch" | "-like" |

<JoinOperator> ::= "-and" | "-or"

<NotOperator> ::= "-not"

<attr> ::= <PropertyName> | <LDAPDisplayName of the attribute>

<value>::= < this value will be compared to the object data for
attribute <ATTR> using the specified filter operator

For a list of supported property names and their types, see get-help

Supported Operators
The following table shows frequently used search filter operators.

Operator Description Equivalent
--------------- ------------------------------ ---------------------
-eq Equal to. This will =
not support wildcard
-ne Not equal to. This will !x = y
not support wildcard
-approx Approximately equal to ~=
-le Lexicographically less than <=
or equal to
-lt Lexicographically less than !x >= y
-ge Lexicographically greater >=
than or equal to
-gt Lexicographically greater than !x <= y

-and AND &
-or OR |
-not NOT !
-bor Bitwise OR :1.2.840.113556.1.4.804:=
-band Bitwise AND :1.2.840.113556.1.4.803:=
-recursivematch Use LDAP_MATCHING_RULE_IN_CHAIN :1.2.840.113556.1.4.1941:=
(Note: This control only works
with Windows Server 2008 and later.)
-like Similar to -eq and supports =
wildcard comparison. The only
wildcard character
supported is: *
-notlike Not like. Supports wild !x = y
card comparison.

Note: Windows PowerShell wildcards, other than "*", such as "?" are not
supported by the -Filter parameter syntax.

Operator Precedence
The following listing shows the precedence of operators for filters from
highest to lowest.

Highest precedence: -eq | -ge | -le | -approx | -band | -bor |
-recursivematch | -ne | -like
Lowest precedence: -or

Special Characters
The following escape sequence should be used for specifying special
characters in AD Filter STRING data, that is, data enclosed in " "
(double quotes) or ' ' (single quotes).

ASCII Character Escape sequence substitute
------------------- ------------------------------------------------
" `" (This escape sequence is only required if
STRING data is enclosed in double quotes.)
' '' (This escape sequence is only required if
STRING data is enclosed in single quotes.)
NUL \00 (This is a standard LDAP escape sequence.)
\ \5c (This is a standard LDAP escape sequence.)

LDAP Special Characters
ADFilter parser will automatically convert all the below characters
found in STRING data that is data enclosed in " " or ' ' to their LDAP
escape sequence. End users need not know about the LDAP escape

ASCII Character Escape sequence substitute
------------------- ------------------------------------------------
* \2a (Character * will only be converted in
-eq and -ne comparisons. Users should use
-like and -notlike operators for wildcard
( \28
) \29
/ \2f

Other Active Directory Module Support Topics
For more information about optimizing filters, see Creating More
Efficient Microsoft Active Directory-Enabled Applications in the
MSDN Library.

For more information about Active Directory module objects and their
attributes, see about_ActiveDirectory_ObjectModel.

For more information about the Windows PowerShell Expression Language
syntax, see about_Regular_Expressions.