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 instead to the Google Account Help Center.

If you know who your domain registrar is, go instead to Activate Gmail (registrar-specific steps). If you don't know your domain registrar, that's ok. Keep reading and we'll help you out!

Why do I need to do this?

For your company to use Gmail with Google Workspace, you need to direct people's incoming messages to Google's mail servers. You do this by changing your domain's MX records  at your domain registrar.
 
Change MX records at your domain registrar to direct your company's emails to Gmail. Explain this more
 

Before you begin

Make sure now is a good time to make this change. It can take time for the rest of the internet to learn about your new MX records. You might keep receiving mail with your old email provider during this time.

To complete this task, open two separate tabs in your web browser, like this:

Tab 1: Sign in to your domain registrar

You update your domain settings at your domain registrar's website, not at Google. To get started, make sure you have the account ID and password needed to sign in to your domain registrar.

Google can't sign in to your domain registrar—only a domain's owner can do that. So please contact your registrar if you need help accessing this account.

Who is my domain registrar?

Usually your domain registrar is:

  • The company where you bought your domain.
  • The company that hosts your website. 

Help me identify my registrar

Tip: The setup tool in the next step might also be able to identify your domain registrar.

Tab 2: Open the Google Workspace setup tool 

You get instructions and complete this task using the setup tool. You also use the tool to add any remaining email accounts—every existing address in your company must be associated with a Google Workspace account. You must use the setup tool to complete this task.

If you don't already have the setup tool open in another tab, click below to open it.

Open the setup tool

To continue, follow the instructions in the setup tool and return to this page only if you need more 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.

What you'll do at the setup tool

Explaining how to change MX records is challenging because the steps are slightly different for each domain registrar. We recommend that you follow steps at the setup tool, or find steps for your domain registrar. But to preview generic steps now, click below.

Activate Gmail (generic steps)


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.

Still need help?

After 72 hours, if you still need help or if you can't access your domain's DNS settings:

After you activate Gmail

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 more Gmail security

To help prevent spam and other security risks, we strongly recommend you enable email authentication and security methods for Gmail.

For detailed steps, go to Help prevent spoofing, phishing, and spam


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.

Was this helpful?

How can we improve it?
Search
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu