Activate Gmail for Google Workspace

Tell the internet where to deliver your company's email messages

This article is for people who manage Google services or devices for a company, school, or group. If you're using a personal (@gmail.com) account, go to the Google Account Help Center.

Why do I need to do this?

When someone sends a message to sales@your-company.com, the sender's computer looks up the MX records for @your-company.com to figure out where to deliver that email message.

Before your company can use Gmail with your Google Workspace account, you need to change your domain's MX records so they direct your incoming messages to Google's mail servers. 

How this works

A Beginner's Guide to Signing up for Google Workspace

Every domain (like your-company.com) has a set of DNS records that can be viewed by anyone on the internet. DNS records tell computers how to find your website and where to deliver your company's email messages.

  • You'll get your new MX records from the Google Workspace setup tool.
  • You'll sign in to your domain registrar, delete any existing MX records for your domain that route messages to your current email provider, and add the Google MX records.
  • Once your domain registrar publishes the Google MX records, we'll activate Gmail for your domain.

Google can't change your MX records for you. Only the domain's owner can can do this. 

Before you begin

This won't be easy, but we're here to help.

DNS records have been around since the beginning of the internet. This can be a challenging task, and the steps are different for each domain. We've tried to make this chore as easy as possible, but you may get frustrated.

Please read carefully, and we'll help you get through this!

Get ready to activate Gmail

  • Every existing email address in your company has to be associated with a Google Workspace account. Use the setup tool to add any remaining email accounts.
  • Make sure now is a good time to make this change. It can take up to 48 hours for the rest of the internet to learn about your new MX records. Your old email provider might receive some messages during this time.  

You'll need to sign in to your registrar

Before you get started, make sure you have the account ID and password you need to sign in to your registrar. Contact your registrar if you need help with that account. 

Open the Google Workspace setup tool

You must use the Google Workspace setup tool to complete this task. If you don't already have it open in another tab, click below to open it.

Open the setup tool

Important: We strongly suggest you follow the instructions in the setup tool and only return to this page if you need additional information.

I'm stuck and need help

I get an error when I click the blue button

The setup tool is for Google Workspace and Cloud Identity administrators only. It doesn't work with any other Google product.

Make sure you're signing in with an admin account.

It says Gmail is activated for my domain

Your MX records are already set up.

If you're reading this article because your company is having trouble receiving email:

My email address ends in @gmail.com

Oh no! You've ended up in the wrong place. Click here for help with @gmail.com issues.

 

How to activate Gmail for Google Workspace


1

Find your DNS records

Before you begin:  we have custom instructions for many popular domain registrars. Look for yours here


(a)
In a new tab, sign into your domain registrar with the account and password you used to buy your domain or to manage your website.  
(b)
Go to the section where you can update your domain's MX records. This section should have one of the following labels:
  • DNS settings or DNS management
  • Mail settings
  • Advanced settings

Important: If you have trouble finding MX records, contact your domain registrar for help.

2

Set up the MX records for Google Workspace


(a)
Review your existing DNS records and delete any non-Google MX records you see. 

Image shows an existing MX record in the example user interface of a generic domain registrar.

(b)
Create a new record.

Image shows the "new record" button on an example user interface for a generic domain registrar.

(c)
Fill in the fields for thew new MX record.

Image shows an example user interface for a generic domain registrar.

  • Choose MX for the type of record.
  • Look for a field labeled NameHost, or Alias. Enter @. (If @ causes an error leave this field blank). 
  • Copy the MX record from the setup tool. Paste it into the field labeled Value, Answer, Destination, or Server.
  • Enter 1 hour in the TTL field, or you can leave the default value. 
  • Enter 1 in the priority field. 

Note: if your registrar rejects a Google MX record, try adding a period after the .COM.

Add MX records for a subdomain (existing customers only)

If you're adding a subdomain to an existing Google Workspace account, enter the subdomain in your registrar's Name/Host/Alias field. 
For example, if your new subdomain is support.your-company.com, you would add support to the Name/Host/Alias field. Don't enter @ in this field.
(d)
Continue using the setup tool to add any other MX records required for your domain.

Where do I copy the Google MX records?

You should have the setup tool open in another tab. You can reopen the tool if you closed it.

 

 

Tell Google Workspace to activate Gmail


(a)
Return to the browser tab where you have the Google Workspace setup tool open. (You can reopen the tool if you closed it.)
(b)
Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Activate Gmail.

Important! Some registrars may require additional time to publish your MX records. If the Google Workspace setup tool can't find your new records, wait an hour before you try again.

If you need additional help with your DNS settings, please contact your registrar. They are experts in managing your domain and are eager to help you. 


You might have to wait and try again

Some registrars take longer than others to let the world know that you have a new email provider:

  • If Google Workspace can't find your new MX records, come back in a couple of hours and click the Activate button again.
  • After you activate Gmail, updates can take up to 48 hours. Until the rest of the internet notices your new MX records, you'll still get email messages in your old email client.

To start using Gmail

  1. Sign in to admin.google.com with your Google Workspace user name and password. 
  2. In the top right corner, click the App Launcher "" and then Mail "".

Set up Gmail security

We recommend you enable email authentication and security methods for Gmail.

Best practices for email authentication

We recommend you always set up these email authentication methods for your domain:

  • SPF lets servers verify that messages appearing to come from a particular domain are sent from servers authorized by the domain owner.
  • DKIM adds a digital signature to every message. This lets receiving servers verify that messages aren't forged, and weren't changed during transit.
  • DMARC enforces SPF and DKIM authentication, and lets admins get reports about message authentication and delivery.
For detailed steps, go to Help prevent spoofing, phishing, and spam.

 

Need help?

After 72 hours, if you still need help or if you can't access your domain's DNS settings, contact your domain host directly for assistance.

If you want to troubleshoot your email delivery, go to Troubleshoot MX records to learn about troubleshooting problems with your email.


Google, Google Workspace, and related marks and logos are trademarks of Google LLC. All other company and product names are trademarks of the companies with which they are associated.

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