Sample steps illustrating how to switch on AD DS recycle bin in Windows Server 2012 R2. AD DS recycle bin has been first time introduced in Server 2008 R2 but essentially it had no UI to enable or work it (you had to mess with ADSI edit back then). In Server 2012 UI for this feature has been added making this cool feature really convenient to use.
Enabling recycle bin is a one-way (irrevocable) forest wide operation. You can enable it in Server 2012 R2 in two ways:
1) Through GUI using ADAC:
2) Using PowerShell:
Enable-ADOptionalFeature -Identity `
'CN=Recycle Bin Feature,CN=Optional Features,CN=Directory Service,CN=Windows NT,CN=Services,CN=Configuration,DC=conundrum,DC=com' `
-Scope ForestOrConfigurationSet -Target 'conundrum.com'
Once Recycle Bin feature is enabled either by method (1) or (2) the option to Enable it in ADAC will be still available but grayed out. And main improvement is that UI for restore is available now. You just need to access Deleted Objects container in ADAC, locate deleted object (let’s say user) right click on it and select “Restore”/”Restore To”: