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Remove orphaned SIDs with PowerShell

SIDs are used in Active Directory to uniquely identify users, groups, and computers. When a user logs on or other activity with an active directory container occurs like adding a computer account, the SID needs to be updated appropriately. However sometimes one of these updates will fail because there is not enough disk space available for AD compactions. There may also be cases where people have accidentally been given orphaned SIDs which cannot be found in any domain controllers at all – that’s when this script comes into play!

The “remove orphaned sids from file/folder acl (powershell)” is a command that can be used to remove orphaned SIDs from files and folders. It will also show you the permissions of the object, as well as its owner.

Remove orphaned SIDs with PowerShell

You want to get rid of certain unknown SIDs in Active Directory (AD). However, going through all of the AD objects and eliminating all of the problematic SIDs will take months. When you need to delete unknown SIDs from AD, you may use a PowerShell script. In this post, you’ll learn how to use PowerShell to delete orphaned SIDs.


The term “security identification” refers to a number that is always unique. In Windows, it’s a number that’s used to identify user, group, and machine accounts. When a user account is established in Windows for the first time, a SID is generated.

We’ve previously covered how to get rid of orphaned SID permissions in a mailbox. It’s ideal if you simply need to get rid of one orphaned SID. But what if you want to get rid of all orphaned SIDs in Active Directory? The solution is that you should use PowerShell to automate it. Let’s have a look at the AD PowerShell script to delete unfamiliar SIDs.

SIDs that are orphaned should be removed or kept.

When a SID is used in an ACL (Access Control List) entry, the matching object (computer, user, or group) in Windows becomes orphaned. This means that the supplied SID can’t be converted into a user or group any more.

It’s always more fascinating to report just genuine accounts when doing a security audit! I propose eliminating the orphaned SIDs to keep things tidy and orderly. When there are orphaned SIDs, you may also have permission difficulties.

With PowerShell, you can get rid of orphaned SIDs.

Let’s have a look at how to use PowerShell to delete orphaned SIDs.

In the AD PowerShell script, remove orphaned SIDs.

Create two directories on the C: disk after logging in to the Domain Controller.

RemoveOrphanedSID-AD.ps1 is a PowerShell script that should be placed in the C:scripts folder. The output log file will be saved to the C:temp folder by the script.

Make a scripts folder if you don’t already have one. To avoid any issues while executing the script, make sure the file is unblocked. The article Not digitally signed error while starting PowerShell script has further information.


When running the RemoveOrphanedSID-AD.ps1 PowerShell script, you have a several options:

  1. Make a list of all AD items
  2. Obtain a list of all AD items in a certain OU.
  3. SIDs that have been orphaned should be removed.
  4. SIDs that have been orphaned in a particular OU should be removed.

Option 1 and option 3 are the ones we’ll utilize. This will provide a list of all AD objects as well as any orphaned SIDs. The orphaned SIDs should then be removed from all AD objects in the domain.

Obtain a list of all AD objects in the domain.

As an administrator, run Windows PowerShell. Change the scripts folder’s path. Then, using the argument /LIST, execute the script RemoveOrphanedSID-AD.ps1.

cd c:scripts PS C:> .RemoveOrphanedSID-AD.ps1 /LIST PS C:scripts>

All AD objects are scanned, and any orphaned SIDs are identified.


In the C:temp folder, open the RemoveOrphanedSID-AD.txt transcript log. It will appear just as it did in the PowerShell output.


The orphaned SIDs will be removed in the following stage.

Remove any orphaned SIDs from the domain.

Run the RemoveOrphanedSID-AD.ps1 script using the /REMOVE argument.

.RemoveOrphanedSID-AD.ps1 /REMOVE PS C:scripts>

All AD objects will be scanned, and orphaned SIDs will be removed.


In the C:temp folder, open the RemoveOrphanedSID-AD.txt transcript log. It will appear just as it did in the PowerShell output.


All orphaned SIDs in Active Directory have been successfully deleted.

SIDs that have been orphaned have been cleansed.

A comparison of the security tab permissions before and after shows that everything seems perfect.


That concludes our discussion.

Continue reading: Using PowerShell, bulk-move AD users to a new OU »


You learnt how to use PowerShell to delete orphaned SIDs. Remove orphaned SIDs from Active Directory by running the RemoveOrphanedSID-AD.ps1 PowerShell script. It will clean up the AD and remove any harmful SIDs.

Did you find this article to be interesting? Get Active Directory count using PowerShell is another option. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter and share this content.

Watch This Video-

The “how to delete sid” is an article that tells users how they can use PowerShell and a few other commands to remove orphaned SIDs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to remove orphaned SIDs?

A: On Windows, you can use the Device Manager and search for WD My Passport. From there unplug your hard drive.
On MacOS, go to System Preferences>Security & Privacy>General>Removable Storage and click on the device with a plus symbol in front of it.
This will bring up an option to remove or replace all IDs on this device.

How do I find the SID of a deleted user?

A: For the moment, this is not possible.

How do I find Active Directory SID?

A: You can find Active Directory SID, which is the Security Identifier in Windows operating systems by using the following command line parameters. The first parameter requires a computer name and then the second one needs to be run on that computer.

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