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- An account with the same name exists in the Active Directory error indicates that it doesn’t meet the criteria for account reuse.
- The error occurs due to the additional security checks stipulated in the recent KB5020276 update by Microsoft.
- Uninstalling the KB5020276 update can fix the error, so apply the steps detailed below.
An Active Directory is a tool used by users with Administrative access to manage Remote computers and grant privileges. However, administrators can run into An account with the same name exists in the Active Directory error.
This happens when adding a pre-created computer to a domain or reusing an existing account. Likewise, we have a detailed guide on fixing Active Directory Users and Computers missing on Windows 11.
Can I create two users with the same name in the Active Directory?
Encountering an error message: An account with the same name exists in Active Directory. Re-using the account was blocked by security policy when reusing an existing account or a pre-created computer to a domain-prone user to ask if they can create two users with the same name in the Active Directory.
However, Administrators can reuse an existing computer account in the Active Directory if it has the active roles proxy account as the computer creator.
It allows you to create another user with an existing computer account on a Domain. Though it may result in errors when done appropriately, it is possible.
Furthermore, a recent update KB5020276 Microsoft modifies the process for joining the domain, stipulating that it undergoes an additional security check before reusing the existing computer accounts.
The following are the permitted scenarios for computer account reuse:
- Creating another user by reusing a computer account will only be permitted if the user attempting the reuse operation is the creator of the existing account.
- Creating another user by reusing a computer account will only be permitted if a member of Domain Administrators created the account.
In short, the existing account must fit the above criteria before it can be reused on the Domain.
What can I do if an account with the same name exists in the Active Directory?
Go through the following before trying any advanced troubleshooting steps:
- Turn off background apps on your computer.
- Restart Windows in Safe Mode and check if the error persists.
If the problem continues to manifest itself, proceed with the following solutions.
1. Uninstall the KB5020276 Windows Update
- Press Windows + I key to open the Settings app.
- Navigate to the Windows Update tab and click on Update history.
- Click the Uninstall updates button and select the KB5020276 update.
- Click on Uninstall and wait while the process completes.
- Restart your PC and try reusing the account to see if it creates another user in the Domain.
Uninstalling the KB5020276 Microsoft update will remove the additional security checks on the domain join process. It permits reuse attempts without bothering about meeting the criteria.
You can check our guide on uninstalling an update on Windows 11 if you can’t get through the steps above.
2. Remove the existing account and rejoin the Domain
- Press Windows + I to open the Settings app.
- Click on Accounts and navigate to Access work or school.
- Beside the domain name, click the drop-down icon and press the Disconnect button.
- Press Yes or Disconnect to confirm and follow the on-screen prompts to complete the process.
- Repeat steps 1 & 2, then click on the Connect button.
- Click the Join this device to a local Active Directory domain link.
- Type in the domain name given by your network administrator when prompted to and seek for necessary permissions to the account.
- On the Add an account page, click the Skip button.
- Click on Restart now when instructed to restart your PC.
- On the Login screen, input the DOMAIN\username or the User Principal Name, then go to Account Settings to check if the account has been added.
The above steps will help remove the existing account from the Domain if it is stale and join the domain as a new account. It can resolve the An account with the same name exists in Active Directory error.
Read our guide on what to do if the join domain option is missing on Windows 11.
3. Run System Restore
- Left-click the Start button, type Restore, and click on Create a Restore Point.
- Navigate to the System Protection tab, and then select System Restore.
- Choose a different system restore and click Next to select a specific Restore Point.
- Select the last time you were able to perform the account reuse on your PC and click Next.
- Click the Finish button.
System Restore backdates your PC to the last time it functioned when adding an account. Check how to fix Restore Point if it’s not working and if you have any issues running it.
If you want to try another method, you can opt for an automated alternative like Fortect to scan your PC for corrupt or missing files and locate healthy replacements automatically from its vault.
We hope that our solutions helped you deal with An account with the same name that exists in the Active Directory issue, and now everything is back to normal.
If you have any other questions or know other solutions to this problem, feel free to let us know in the comments section below.