The Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up G Suite MX Records

Here’s everything you need to set up your MX records and link your G Suite email inbox to your domain.

If you’ve bought your domain through Google, you can stop reading here: they do that for you.

But if you got your hosting elsewhere, it makes sense to direct your business email into Gmail. Not only will it be much easier to use your email, there’s a ton of third-party add-ons and integrations. From CRM to email automation and more, that tie in to Gmail. G Suite also gives you control of your entire organization through its Admin dashboard. So it makes sense to plug your business email into Gmail, especially since it’s an easy and one-time task,

Before we start looking at how to do this, though, let’s cover some basics.

What are MX records and why are they important?

Mail Exchange (MX) records are used to direct your incoming email to the right server. They’re part of the Domain Name System (DNS), which changes textual names into IP addresses.

If you use a standard consumer webmail provider like somebody@yahool.com, you don’t need to deal with them. Your webmail provider handles all that. But you will need them if you want to use your G Suite business email.

Your Gmail is connected to your website, meaning email sent to somebody@yourbusiness.com shows up in your Gmail inbox. It’s MX records that make that happen.

MX records have two parts: a priority and a domain. They come in this format:

Screen Shot 2019 06 18 at 19.46.09

The number is the priority. Lower numbers have higher priority. Most domains will have space for several MX records at varying priorities, and the server will connect to the highest priority first. Where two have the same priority, one will be chosen at random. Most hosts will use several MX records with a combination of different priorities. It’s standard to have multiple records with different priorities in case one of them goes down.

The text is the destination for incoming emails, the email server you’re using to host your account.

The G Suite MX Record Values

G Suite uses these record values:

Time to Live

Record Type

Priority

Value

3600

MX

1

ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM.

3600

MX

5

ALT1.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM.

3600

MX

5

ALT2.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM.

3600

MX

10

ALT3.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM.

3600

MX

10

ALT4.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM.

The ‘Time to Live’ value tells the server how long to wait, in seconds, before changes to the records go into effect. After you set your MX records, and after they go into effect, it’s a good idea to change this number: 3600 seconds is one hour; Google suggests changing to 86400, which is 24 hours.

Your record values might look different from these, because different hosts have different rules for laying out priority values. We’ll look at that under the guides for specific domains, below. Whatever system your host uses, ‘ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM.’ must be the top priority.

Why are multiple servers included in G Suite MX Records?

MX records can point to multiple servers. Google uses five, which allows for periodic software updates and downtime on the main server without interrupting email delivery.

Setting up G Suite MX Records

G Suite MX records are configured differently on different hosts. But there’s a basic process that’s common to all hosts.

If you have a team and you’re already receiving email on your mail server, make sure all your team members have been added as G Suite users before you configure your MX records to redirect your email to Gmail. You can do this individually under the Users tab in your Google Admin dashboard, or by uploading a CSV file.

You may need to verify your domain, if you haven’t already done so. This can be done with MX records themselves, but can also be done with HTML tags or a TXT record.

Sign in

The first thing to do is sign into your domain account at your domain host. This is probably one of the big ones like GoDaddy, 1&1, Squarespace, or Hostgator. If so, we’ve got you covered: check out our detailed guides below. If not, Google’s guide is here, with guides for many hosts.

What if you don’t know who your host is? First, check your billing.

Go back through your bank statements or email receipts and find your host that way. Most online banking has searchable statements, and most hosts charge monthly.

You can also do a Whois Lookup on your own domain. The search results will show you who hosts your domain.

Go to Your MX Records

These might be under ‘Email,’ or under DNS Settings’ or ‘Advanced Settings’ depending on your host.

Delete the Existing MX Records

Delete all the existing MX records. Sometimes you can’t delete them; if that’s the case, change their priority number to 20 or higher.

Add New MX Records for Google Servers

Add the MX records for Google’s email servers. If your domain host limits the number of records you can add, just add the first two. Copy-paste them from here:

Priority

Record

1

ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM.

5

ALT1.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM.

5

ALT2.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM.

10

ALT3.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM.

10

ALT4.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM.

Setting up G Suite MX Records for GoDaddy

If you don’t already have it open, sign in to the G Suite Setup Wizard, under Domains in your Google Admin Dashboard.

Then, in another browser window, go to the GoDaddy website and enter the user name or customer number and the password you created when you first bought your GoDaddy domain. Click sign in.

If you’ve lost some of your information, you can retrieve your username here and your password here.

Godaddy 1

Click the Edit icon next to the existing MX records and choose the Trash icon to delete them. Choose Delete to confirm in the confirmation window.

Godaddy 2

Do this with all existing MX records, until you’ve deleted them all.

Add the MX records for Google, from the table above. Just copy and paste them.

Setting up G Suite MX Records for Hostgator

If you aren’t already in the Setup Wizard, open it by going to Domains in your Google Admin dashboard, then open a new tab and sign into your Hostgator account. Click Customer Login, then, under Choose Your Login, select Portal Login. Enter the email address you used when you signed up with HostGator, then click Next and enter your password. If you can’t remember your Hostgator password you can recover it here.

Click login, and go to your DNS records. In Hostgator, these are under Control Panel.

Screen Shot 2019 06 18 at 19.04.02

Click Launch cPanel, and scroll down to the Domain editor to Advanced Zone Editor.

Next, go to the Email section and click MX Entry.

You’ll need to delete the existing MX records. Click Remove next to each existing MX record, then Delete to confirm that you want to remove it.

Hostgator Delete

Remember to delete all your existing MX records, then replace them with the Google ones. Copy and paste the ones from the table above, but remove the period at the end, so the first one reads ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM rather than ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM. for instance.

Click Add New Record for each until you have all five G Suite MX records.

Setting up G Suite MX Records for 1&1

Open the G Suite Setup Wizard from your Google Admin Dashboard and go to Domains, then open a new window and go to 1&1 IONOS. Sign in with your Customer ID and password; if you forgot your account information you can reset your password here, or contact 1&1 customer support here.

Go to Your Domain, then Manage Domain, and choose the DNS tab.

You’ll need to delete your existing MX records. To do that, click the Actions icon and select Delete Record. Do this for all your existing MX records.

The next thing to do is add the G Suite records. You can do that by clicking on Add Record above the DNS Records table and choosing MX from the list of options.

Screen Shot 2019 06 18 at 20.12.52

The MX record text goes in the Points To field. These can be copy-pasted from the table above but you should remove the periods.

Repeat until all five G Suite MX records are added.

Setting up G Suite MX Records for Squarespace

If you’re not already in the G Suite Setup Wizard, open in from Domains in your Google Admin dashboard, then open a new browser window and sign in to Squarespace with the email address and password you used to set up your Squarespace account. If you can’t find them, contact Squarespace support here.

Find your Squarespace DNS settings under Domains>Advanced Settings.

Squarespace 1

Hover over your existing MX records to bring up the delete icon.

Screen Shot 2019 06 18 at 20.00.33

From there, click delete to delete all your existing MX records. Replace them with the G Suite MX records.

How to Verify G Suite MX records

After you confirm your new MX records with your host, go back to the Setup Wizard in the previous window and click through the confirmation steps, to trigger the Wizard to start looking for your new MX records.

Updating them can take several hours, so you’ll want to keep using your previous domain email provider until they switch over. But it shouldn’t be much more than that. If it seems to be taking more than a few hours, double-check the MX records you’ve entered to ensure they’re accurate. If they are, contact Google support. There’s a chat support option for all G Suite users that’s fast and efficient; you’ll find it on your Google Admin dashboard.

Conclusion

Once your MX records are set up, you should begin receiving email to your Gmail within a few hours. Now you can track emails with Gmail add-ons, integrate them with G Suite-friendly sales, marketing and productivity tools, and schedule appointments and calls direct from email into Calendar. You can also take advantage of G Suite’s admin functions to run your organization more efficiently from a central dashboard.