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Verify your domain through your website

You can verify your domain ownership by adding a meta tag or uploading an HTML file to your domain’s website. If you can’t edit your website, or don’t have a website, you can verify your domain through your domain host (typically where you purchased your domain).

Note: If you purchased your domain when you signed up for Google Apps, you don’t need to verify.

Why verify?

After you verify that you own your domain, you can start using Gmail, Drive, and all the other services included with your Google Apps account.

Verify by HTML file or meta tag?

The verification method you choose depends on your web host. Use the HTML file method if you can upload HTML files to your domain’s web host. Use the meta tag method if you are unable to upload HTML files to your domain’s web host.

Contact your web host for more information or support.

Web host Recommended verification method
BigCommerce Meta tag
Blogger Meta tag
Bluehost HTML file
FatCow HTML file
GoDaddy HTML file
Goodsie Meta tag
HostGator HTML file
HostMetro HTML file
iPage HTML file
InMotion Hosting Use the Google Apps setup option
PrestaShop Meta tag
SiteGround HTML file
Storenvy Meta tag
Shopify HTML file
Squarespace Meta tag
Tumblr Meta tag or HTML file
Web.com Meta tag
Weebly Meta tag
Wix Meta tag
Wordpress.com Meta tag
Zenfolio Meta tag

 

Meta tag method

Google Apps gives you a meta tag containing a verification code to paste into the <head> section of your website’s homepage. Visitors to your website won't see the meta tag, but we can check that it's there.

Before you start:

  • Your website must be available at your naked domain, which means it doesn’t have www in the URL. For example, http://yourdomain.com is a naked domain.
  • Your website must be publicly available and not limited to an internal network (an intranet, for example).
1. Get your verification code

After you sign up for Google Apps, you start the Setup Wizard. The Setup Wizard guides you through the steps to set up your Apps account, including domain verification.

If you leave the Setup Wizard before verifying your domain, you can still activate your account in the Google Admin console.

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. At the top of the dashboard, click the buttons to set up your Google Apps account and verify your domain.
  3. On the Verify your domain page, you’ll see the meta tag to use to verify your domain. If you see another verification method on this page, click Choose a different method and select Add <meta> tag.
  4. Copy the entire verification record.
2. Add the meta tag to your domain's homepage

Your homepage is the page that displays when users visit your naked domain (https://yourdomain.com).

  1. Open your website homepage HTML file using any text or HTML editor. If your web host uses a web-based page editor (Squarespace, Wix, WordPress.com, and so on), open your homepage in their editor.
  2. Paste the meta tag into the <head> section that’s before the first <body> section. If you’re unsure how to add meta tags with a web-based page editor, contact your web host’s technical support.

    The Setup Wizard has an example of where to put the meta tag in your HTML file.

     

    The meta tag is placed between the <head> and <body> sections.

     

  3. Save the changes to your home page. If you edited the file offline, upload it to your web server, overwriting the previous homepage file.
3. Make sure your meta tag was added
  1. Open a new browser window and go to your websites homepage.
  2. Right-click anywhere on the homepage and choose the appropriate menu item to view the HTML source of your homepage. It may be called View page source, View SourceView HTML, or something similar.
  3. Look in the <head> section of the HTML source to confirm that your Google meta tag is there.
4. Complete domain verification
  1. Return to the Setup Wizard.
  2. Click Verify domain and email setup or Verify.

This prompts Google to check for the meta tag on your website's homepage. Your domain is verified after Google finds the meta tag. It might take up to an hour for Google to verify your domain. If we don't find the tag immediately, we'll keep checking for it periodically.

 

HTML file method

Google Apps gives you an HTML file containing a verification code. When you upload the HTML file to your web server, we check that it’s there. Uploading the file doesn’t affect your website.

Before you start:

  • The HTML file must be available at your naked domain, which means it doesn’t have www in the URL. For example, http://yourdomain.com/yourfile.html is a naked domain.
  • The HTML file must be publicly available and not limited to an internal network (an intranet, for example).
1. Get your verification code

After you sign up for Google Apps, you start the Setup Wizard. The Setup Wizard guides you through the steps to set up your Apps account, including domain verification.

If you leave the Setup Wizard before verifying your domain, you can still activate your account in the Google Admin console.

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. At the top of the dashboard, click the buttons to set up your Google Apps account and verify your domain.
  3. On the Verify your domain page, click Choose a different method and select Upload HTML file.
2. Upload your HTML file

If you're not sure how to upload files to your web server, contact your web host's technical support or your webmaster.

  1. In the instructions that appear, click Download to download your HTML verification file. It looks similar to google4ddabfacdb4f6795.html.

    Note: Do not rename your HTML file or we won’t recognize it when we look for it.
  2. Upload the HTML file to the root folder (top-level folder) of your domain’s web server. The root folder's name can vary by hosting providerit's typically public_html, www, or wwwroot.

    Note: Do not upload the HTML file to a subfolder. The file must be visible at http://yourdomain.com/yourfilename.html.
3. Check the file upload
  1. Open a new browser window.
  2. Go to the address of the uploaded file. For example, http://yourdomain.com/yourfilename.html. Be sure to use the names of your actual domain and HTML file.

If the file uploaded correctly, you'll see in your browser google-site-verification: followed by the code in your HTML filename.

4. Complete domain verification
  1. Return to the Setup Wizard.
  2. Click Verify domain and email setup or Verify.

This prompts Google to check for the HTML file at your web host. It can take up to an hour for Google to verify your domain. If we don't find the HTML file immediately, we'll keep checking for it periodically.

 

Get help to verify your domain

For help with verification, contact Google support

Next steps

Once your domain ownership is verified, set up your email MX records. Also, you can start using Google Docs, Drive, and other services in your Google Apps account.

Note: If domain verification is successful, you can remove the meta tag or delete the HTML file. But if you don’t, your website isn't affected.

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