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Activation Help: Updating Your MX Records

This Help Center article is for Postini, a suite of Google services that's now discontinued. If you're searching for instructions related to Google Apps, see the Google Apps Help Center. For instructions related to Google Apps Vault, see the Vault Help Center.

MX Records

About This Step
After you complete your purchase and set up your Billing Account, you're ready to manually change your mail exchanger (MX) records to point to Postini. This ensures that all messages for users within your domain are filtered and/or archived by the message security service. MX records represent the mailing address for your domain's email.

Important: Follow the activation instructions on this page only if you purchased your service online. If you purchased your service directly through Google (purchase order or large sale), see Activation for Direct Purchases. Also, do not attempt to change your MX records until your service is provisioned and your new MX records are displayed in your billing account.

To change your MX records, you must log in to your domain registrar. To do this, follow the instructions below.

Note that MX records may take 48 hours or longer to propagate after you change them, although propagation may take just one hour in some cases. The length of time that’s required for propagation depends on the Time to Live (TTL) setting that was previously specified for your domain. During this transition, your mail will be delivered as usual, but not all mail will be filtered by the message security service until your records have fully propagated.

To change your MX records, follow these steps:

  1. From your Domain Settings page (in your Billing Account), click the Setup and Activate link.

    Clicking this link takes you to the Setup and Activate Your Service page.

  2. Bookmark the Set Up and Activate Your Service page.

    This page lists the MX records for your domain. You'll need to keep this page for reference when you change your MX records, and also while you check your Activation Status.

    If you pause during the activation process and close your browser window, you can later access your MX record information by logging in to your Billing Account. Keep your activation email handy, as it contains a link to your Billing Account as well as the login information you need. You can also access your Billing Account at Don't forget to replace with your own domain name.

  3. Log in to your domain registrar (also called “domain host” or “domain provider”), where you have access to your MX records.

    Click the links at the bottom of this page for detailed instructions for specific domain registrars (see Detailed Instructions for Specific Domain Hosts).

  4. Change the MX records for your domain.

    Your Billing Account displays a list of MX records as shown above. You must change your MX records to switch your mail flow to the message security service. The activation email also provides your Administration Console login information, which is important for completing your activation, so be sure to save this email.

    When you enter your MX records, log in to your domain registrar and enter them exactly as they appear in your Billing Account, including the trailing dot at the end of each line. In general, your MX records include the following details:

    [yourdomain].com.s[your system number]
    [yourdomain].com.s[your system number]
    [yourdomain].com.s[your system number]
    [yourdomain].com.s[your system number]

  5. Important tips regarding MX records and priority: The above example displays only sample MX records. Copy and paste your actual MX records, one at at time, from the Setup and Activate Your Service page in your Billing Account. Specify priorities of 1, 2, 3, and 4 for the records. We recommend that you keep the old records for a period of 24 to 48 hours, or until you have tested your MX records and successfully tested your mail flow. However, during this period, it's important that the four new MX records you receive for Postini occupy higher priorities, or in other words lower numbers. So, if necessary, change your old (existing) MX records to lower priorities (or higher numbers). You can later remove your old MX records once you have confirmed mail flow through the message security service. For more information, see About MX Priority.

  6. Return to your Billing Account to check your activation status

    Go to the Set Up and Activate Your Service page in your Billing Account. From this page, you can check your MX settings, or click Continue to Billing Account Information, which takes you to the Domain Settings page. From the Domain Settings page, you can also check your Activation Status.

Detailed Instructions for Specific Domain Hosts

For general instructions for switching MX records with domain hosts not listed above, see Changing Your MX Records with Other Domain Hosts. For more information about changing your email delivery, see the following pages:

  • Find Your Domain Host
  • About MX Priority
  • Video: This tutorial helps demystify MX records and shows why updating them is required for activation. It also includes a worksheet for gathering the information you need to update your MX records, as well as links to other helpful resources. (10 minutes)

  Understanding and Working with MX Records

Next step: Checking Your Activation Email

Back to the Start

FAQs and Troubleshooting

What if I can't find my activation email?

In general, you'll receive your activation email within a few minutes of completing your order. The activation email contains your login information for your Billing Account (which you need for changing your MX records) and your Admin Account, which you will later use for logging in to the Administration Console. If you cannot find your activation email, you can request a new one through the following Request Form. See also the General Troubleshooter.

What if I forget or can't find my user name and password?

Be sure you are logging in with the correct account. When you sign up and activate the message security service, you will have two accounts: your Billing Account and your Admin Account. Your Billing Account enables you to log in to your Domain Settings page and to access your MX record information. Your Admin Account enables you to log in to the Administration Console. Login information for both accounts is displayed in your activation email.

You can also access your new Billing Account at Don't forget to replace with your own domain name.

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