Set up and manage domains

Office 365 Small Business creates a domain for you when you sign up with the services (the domain name includes onmicrosoft.com). But most people would rather have a setup that includes their own domain, like fourthcoffee.com, so they’ll have an easy-to-remember email address and website URL for their business. Or you can add a domain later, and for now, just set up your small business on Office 365, including assigning user licenses and other tasks.

How you get started with setting up your own domain name with Office 365 depends on what you’ve got set up now, and how you want to use Office 365.

 Tip    Make sure you’ve got a version of Office 365 that works for your domains needs before you start setting up your domain.

Which situation fits you best?


You’re just getting started setting up email and a website for your business.

If you’re just starting up a business, you can set up Office 365 email with a custom domain name, like fred@fourthcoffee.com, and put together a quick website with your domain name, like www.fourthcoffee.com. Here’s how.

Get a domain name for custom email A domain name lets you have an email address and website that relate to your business and that are easy for customers to use and remember. Don’t have one? Learn how you can buy a domain name.
Set up your domain for email and more

Set up your email address with your own domain and create accounts for people who work with you. On the Admin page, on the Getting Started pane, click Email address for step-by-step assistance.

Want to see the steps? Check out the video.

Get connected to Office 365 mailboxes

Choose one or more of these options:

  • Copy email from your old mail system to Office 365:
Set up a public website with your domain on Office 365
  1. Customize the look and feel of your website.
  1. Set up your Office 365 website to use your domain name. When you’re finished designing and testing your site, share it with the world. Set up your domain for your public website address and enable your public website.
  2. Test your site with your domain. Make sure your site looks right and works properly by trying it out yourself.
Make changes to your domain setup You can change your default domain or remove your domain name from Office 365. Or you can add another domain to your account by following the steps in Add another domain to Office 365.
Fix problems If you have issues after you set up your domain with Office 365 services, check out Troubleshoot issues after changing your domain name.

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You’ve already got a custom domain name and want to keep your current website.

Your business is up and running. It has business email and an established website that uses your custom domain name. You want to use Office 365 email with your domain name, like susan@fourthcoffee.com, and keep your current website hosted where it is. Here’s how to get started with Office 365.

Compare how domains work in different versions of Office 365 The options for working with domains are different, depending on which version of Office 365 you have. To make sure that you have the right subscription for your organization’s needs, check out Work with domain names in Office 365.
Set up your domain for email and more

Set up your email address with your own domain and create accounts for people who work with you. On the Admin page, on the Getting Started pane, click Email address for step-by-step assistance.

Want to see the steps? Check out the video..

Get connected to Office 365 mailboxes

Choose one or more of these options:

Set up Lync Online

Use Lync to easily chat with people in your organization, and set up online meetings with people you work with in other companies.

  1. Order audio and video headsets or speakerphones for all Lync users. Choose audio and video devices that will work with Lync.
  2. Set up an audio conference provider. If you want to use Lync with people who are calling into meetings from outside your organization, you’ll have to contact an audio conferencing provider and set up dial-in conferencing.
  3. Set up Lync on phones and tablets.
  4. Test Lync Online. Try it out and make sure it works properly. See Test your Lync Online Technical Preview installation.
Make changes to your domain setup You can change your default domain or remove your domain name from Office 365. Or you can add another domain to your account by following the steps in Add your domain to Office 365.
Fix problems If you have issues after you set up your domain with Office 365 services, check out Troubleshoot issues after changing your domain name.

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You already have a domain name and don’t want Office 365 to manage your DNS records for you.

You’re familiar with domains and DNS, and want to keep managing your own DNS records yourself.

This works for all types of scenarios, such as:

  • Your business is up and running. It already has business email and an established website that uses your domain name. You want to use Office 365 email with your domain name, like tom@fourthcoffee.com.
  • You either want to customize your Office 365 website so you can use it as your public website, or you want to leave your public website with your current provider.
  • You want to Pilot Office 365 with just a few users.

Use these steps to get started.

Learn about how domains work in Office 365 Office 365 has several options for small businesses that have their own domain name and websites. To learn more about adding more than one domain name, changing your default domain name, and more tips and tricks for working with domains, see Work with domain names in Office 365.
Set up your domain with Office 365 Set up your email address with your own domain and create accounts for people who work with you. On the Admin page, on the Getting Started pane, click Email address for step-by-step assistance.
Configure your domain’s DNS records for Office 365 Set up your SharePointDNS records for Office 365. Learn how in Create DNS records for Office 365 when you manage your DNS records.
Set up your network for Lync Online If you’re managing your own DNS records, you’ll need to set up the ports and domains for outgoing traffic for Lync Online. See the section External DNS records required for Lync Online in External DNS records for Office 365.
Get connected to Office 365 mailboxes

Choose one or more of these options:

  • Connect to your mailbox by using Outlook Web App. You can read your Office 365 email from anywhere that has Internet access by using Outlook Web App.
  • Connect to your own Office 365 mailbox using Outlook. If your desktop already has Outlook, you can use it to read and send email on Office 365.
  • Copy email from your old mail system to Office 365:
Set up a public website with your domain on Office 365
  1. Choose the look and feel of your website. You can do this yourself, or hire someone to help you:
  1. Set up your Office 365 website to use your domain name. When you’re finished designing and testing your site, share it with the world. Set up your domain for your public website address and enable your public website.
  2. Test your site with your domain. Make sure your site looks right and works properly by trying out the site yourself.
Set up Lync Online

Use Lync to easily chat with people in your organization and set up online meetings with people you work with in other organizations.

  1. Order audio and video headsets or speakerphones for all Lync users. Choose audio and video devices that will work with Lync.
  2. Set up an audio conference provider. If you want to use Lync with people who are calling into meetings from outside your organization, you’ll have to contact an audio conferencing provider and set up dial-in conferencing.
  3. Set up Lync on phones and tablets.
  4. Test Lync Online. Try it out and make sure it works properly. See Test your Lync Online Technical Preview installation.
Make changes to your domain setup You can change your default domain or remove your domain name from Office 365. Or you can add another domain to your account by following the steps in Add your domain to Office 365.
Fix problems If you’re having issues after you set up your domain with Office 365 services, check out Troubleshoot issues after changing your domain name.

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You’re just using Exchange Online.

If you’ve purchased a subscription to Exchange Online and no other Office 365 services, you can set up Office 365 email with a custom domain name, so that all your email addresses use your domain name, like fred@fourthcoffee.com, rather than your initial onmicrosoft.com domain. Here’s how.

Get a domain name for custom email A domain name lets you have an email address and website that relate to your business and that are easy for customers to use and remember. Don’t have one? Learn how you can buy a domain name.
Set up your domain for email

Set up your email address with your own domain and create accounts for people who work with you. On the Admin page, on the Getting Started pane, click Email address for step-by-step assistance.

Want to see the steps? Check out the video.

Get connected to Office 365 mailboxes

Choose one or more of these options:

  • Copy email from your old mail system to Office 365:
Make changes to your domain setup You can change your default domain or remove your domain name from Office 365. Or you can add another domain to your account by following the steps in Add another domain to Office 365.
Fix problems If you have issues after you set up your domain with Office 365 services, check out Troubleshoot issues after changing your domain name.

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You want to remove a domain.

To remove a domain from Office 365, follow these steps. Before you get started, make sure no settings are still using the domain by reading the Before you start section in Remove a domain.

  1. Go to the Domains page in Office 365.
  • If you’re using Office 365 Small Business, go to Admin > Manage your domains for website and email.
  • If you’re using Office 365 Enterprise or Office 365 Midsize Business, go to Admin > Office 365 > Domains.
  1. On the Domains page, select a domain name, and then click Remove.
  2. On the Remove domain page, click Yes.

Are you removing your domain because you want to add it to a different Office 365 subscription plan? Learn more about changing your plan or subscription.

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Office 365 Small Business admin