Troubleshoot MX records

After you configure your domain's MX records to direct mailflow to Google mail servers, you can check the status of your change and investigate any potential problems with your new settings. If you configured your MX records but mail isn't yet flowing to your users' Gmail accounts, use the tools below to see if your changes have gone live, and if so, to verify you made the changes correctly.

Before troubleshooting MX records:

Remember that it can take up to 72 hours for DNS changes to go into effect, depending on the record's TTL value when you made the change. What is the TTL?

If you're having trouble receiving mail, complete the steps at I'm not receiving mail to test your configuration from end to end.

View MX records for your primary domain

View the currently configured MX records for your primary domain in your Google Admin console:

  1. Sign in to the Google Admin console.
  2. From your dashboard, go to Google Apps > Gmail > User settings.
  3. If necessary, select your top-level organization at the top of the page.
  4. View the current MX records for your primary domain under MX records.
Investigate MX records using Check MX

Use the CheckMX tool in the Google Apps Toolbox to see if there are any potential problems with your DNS record configuration that might be affecting mail delivery to your domain.

  1. Enter your domain name in Google Apps Toolbox CheckMX tool:

    To see results for a sample domain configured to use Google Apps, enter: positivetip.org.

  2. Submit the form.
  3. Verify the results. A message of "No problems were found" indicates you've correctly configured your domain's MX records for Google Apps.

    This assumes a basic setup rather than dual delivery or any other advanced delivery options. Use of advanced delivery options results in warnings that should correspond to your configuration. For instance, a dual delivery setup will produce a warning  of "dual delivery detected."

  4. If CheckMX encounters any misconfiguration, it presents a linked error indicating "There were some critical problems detected with this domain." Click the link to see the list of issues, which are flagged yellow or red depending on severity and linked to a related Help Center article for resolution. Visit those articles to fix the issue.
Look up MX records for any domain by running nslookup

The application nslookup comes with most operating systems and can be used to look up name server details from your Windows, Mac, or Linux command line.

  1. To start the command line in Windows, Click Start > Run, enter "cmd" and press enter.
    On Mac or Linux, start the terminal.
  2. Enter the following command (substituting in your actual domain name):
    nslookup -q=mx yourdomain.com
  1. Interpret the output as we do in our example, spottedfig.org:
    nslookup -q=mx spottedfig.org

    Will return results matching the list on the MX record values page:

    Server:    8.8.8.8
    Address:    8.8.8.8#53

    Non-authoritative answer:
    spottedfig.org    mail exchanger = 10 ASPMX3.GOOGLEMAIL.COM.
    spottedfig.org    mail exchanger = 1 ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM.
    spottedfig.org    mail exchanger = 5 ALT1.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM.
    spottedfig.org    mail exchanger = 5 ALT2.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM.
    spottedfig.org    mail exchanger = 10 ASPMX2.GOOGLEMAIL.COM.

    The relevant part of this output comes after the first two lines starting with "Non-authoritative answer." This tells us that spottedfig.org has five MX records configured. Specifically:
    1. Email messages will be delivered first to ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM., which has the highest priority as it has the lowest number with priority 1.
    2. If messages can’t be delivered to this server, email messages will be delivered to the servers with the second-highest priority level, which is ALT1.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM. or  ALT2.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM., both of which have priority of 5.
    3. If messages can’t be delivered to these servers, email messages will be delivered to the servers with the third-highest priority level, which is ASPMX2.GOOGLEMAIL.COM. or  ASPMX3.GOOGLEMAIL.COM., both of which have priority of 10.
  1. Optionally, examine the first two lines of the nslookup output and ensure the IP address shown (in this case, 8.8.8.8) represents your desired name server.. You may have configured a different name server depending on your ISP or custom configuration. You can choose to append 8.8.8.8 to the nslookup command to force use of the Google Public DNS resolution service:

    nslookup -q=mx spottedfig.org 8.8.8.8

Still need help? Contact your domain host for more assistance. For help telling your host exactly what you need, see What should I tell my domain host?