Google Domains: 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 might need to switch to a different Google account

If you owned your domain before you signed up for Google Workspace, you used a different account to buy that domain. Make sure you have the email address and password for the Google account that owns your domain.

If you have any trouble finding your domain, contact Google Domains for help.

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

Sign in to Google Domains


(a)
Open Google Domains and sign in with the Google account you used to buy your domain.
(b)
Click the domain you're setting up today.
A domain is highlighted on the My Domains page
I can't find my domain

If you owned your domain before you signed up for Google Workspace, you used a different account to complete that purchase.

On the Google Domains page:

  1. Click the circle with your initials or profile picture in the upper right corner.
  2. Select or add the account you used to buy your domain.

If you still can't find your domain, contact Google Domains for help.

2

Set up the MX records for Google Workspace


(a)
Click Email in the left column.
The email tab is highlighted.
(b)
Click the Set up MX records button.

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.

Remember, Google Workspace has no control over your company's MX records. If you need help with MX records, contact Google Domains for help.

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