The main reasons to create a CNAME record for Google Apps are verifying domain ownership and customizing a URL. Please note that if you purchased a domain from one of our registration partners while signing up for Google Apps, you won't need to verify domain ownership. This verification method is intended for administrators who already owned a domain when they signed up for Google Apps. If you're unable to verify domain ownership or create custom URLs, please try these troubleshooting tips for CNAME records:
To examine the state of CNAME records for your domain, you can run DNS queries from your computer or use a third-party website that collects this information. Do either of these to ensure you configured your CNAME record correctly to establish a custom web address for a Google Site or a custom URL to access Google Apps services, or to verify domain ownership.
Remember it can take up to 72 hours for changes to DNS records to propagate.
Using a third-party website to investigate CNAME records
- Enter your domain name in the free CNAME record lookup tool provided by the following website:
To query for CNAME records only, precede you domain name with "cname:" like so:
To see results for a domain already configured to use Google Apps, enter: spottedfig.org
- Submit the form.
- Verify the results. Depending on their purpose, the values returned should match those on the CNAME record values page, for example:
Domain Type Class TTL Answer mail.spottedfig.org. CNAME IN 3600 ghs.googlehosted.com.
Using nslookup on your computer
nslookup comes with most operating systems and can be used to look up name server details from your Windows, Mac, or Linux command line.
- To start the command line in Windows, Click Start > Run, enter "cmd" and press enter.
On Mac or Linux, start the terminal.
- Enter the following command:
nslookup -q=cname mail.yourdomain.com
- Interpret the output as we do in our example, spottedfig.org:
nslookup -q=cname mail.spottedfig.org
mail.spottedfig.org canonical name = ghs.googlehosted.com.The relevant part of this output comes after the first two lines. Specifically, this tells us that mail.spottedfig.org is pointing to the canonical name ghs.googlehosted.com.
- Optionally, examine the first two lines of the
nslookupoutput and ensure the IP address shown (in this case, 18.104.22.168) represents your desired name server. You may have configured a different nameserver depending on your ISP or custom configuration. You can also choose to append 22.214.171.124 to the
nslookupcommand to use the Google Public DNS resolution service:
nslookup -q=cname mail.spottedfig.org 126.96.36.199
- If you're still having trouble configuring CNAME records, contact your domain provider.