Amazon Web Services: Activate Gmail for Google Workspace

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

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 AWS

Before you get started, make sure you have the account ID and password you need to sign in to Amazon Web Services. If you have trouble signing in to this account, find out how to reset your AWS console password.

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:

I'm not sure what do next

When you click the blue button above, it opens a page like this one:
Make sure the following conditions are true:
  • You've created all of the email addresses your business currently uses. After you activate Gmail, addresses that don't exist in Google Workspace will stop receiving email. 
  • Your company is ready for a transition. You might continue to receive messages in your old email accounts for the next 48 hours. It can take that long for the rest of the Internet to learn about your new MX records. 

Once you check both boxes, you can click Continue. 

How to activate Gmail


1

Find your DNS records


(a)
Sign in to the Route 53 dashboard at AWS.
(b)
Under DNS management, click Hosted zone.

Hosted zones option is selected

(c)
Click the domain you're setting up today.

AWS hosted zone is shown with a domain highlighted

I'm stuck and need help

If you can't sign in to your AWS account, you can recover your AWS password.

If you're having trouble with the Route 53 dashboard, contact AWS supportfor help.

2

Set up the MX records for Google Workspace


(a)
Check your list of DNS records. If you see existing MX records, delete all of them.

MX records are selected for deletion.

(b)
Click the Create record button, and then fill out the form.

The create record dialog is displayed with the appropriate fields highlighted

  • Select MX for the Record type.
  • Paste the priority and value for each of the 5 Google MX records from the Workspace setup tool into the Value field. 
  • Click 1h to set TTL to 3600 seconds.

Don't change any other settings.

I'm stuck and need help

Where do I copy the Google MX records?

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

AWS wants me to choose a routing policy

Click Switch to quick create for an easier way to create DNS records.
(c)
Click Create records.

The Google MX records are saved and will soon be visible to other computers on the internet.

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.
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