Add your domain to Office 365

If your organization already has a custom domain name, as a global administrator, you can add it to Office 365 Enterprise or Office 365 Midsize Business and use it with email and other services. For example, you can switch email for your domain from another service, including moving mail to Office 365.

 Note    If you have a large company and are planning a more complex setup for domains, such as a pilot with a shared domain or a hybrid deployment, choose Setup in the Office 365 admin portal to get started.

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There are six basic steps:

  1. Go to Admin > Office 365 > Domains > Add a domain.
  2. Verify that you own the domain by creating a record at your DNS hosting provider or domain registrar.
  3. Create the users with email addresses on this domain.
  4. Define how you’ll use your domain by selecting Exchange Online, Lync Online, SharePoint Online public website, or a combination. We call this the domain purpose. See the scenarios below for details.
  5. Update your DNS records at your hosting provider or domain registrar to point these services to Office 365. See the scenarios below for details.
  6. If this domain is your primary domain, change your default Office 365 domain to the custom domain you just added. Go to Admin > Office 365 > Domains, choose the domain, and then on the right, choose Set as default.

The exact tasks you do for steps 4 and 5 in the Domains wizard depend on how you plan to use this domain:

ShowAdd a domain that you’re already using for email, switching the email to Office 365 and leaving your public website at your DNS hosting provider.

Step (in Domains wizard) Tasks
Step 4 – Domain purpose In the “Set domain purpose” step of the wizard, select Exchange Online. Also select Lync Online if you’re planning to use it.
Step 5 – Update DNS records

The next wizard page shows you the three DNS records you need to add for Exchange Online:

  • An MX record to route mail to Office 365. As soon as you change this, email stops going to your old email server, and comes to Office 365 instead.
  • A CNAME Autodiscover record so that email clients like Outlook can automatically discover the Office 365 server.
  • A TXT record to help prevent spam.

If you selected Lync Online, the DNS records for Lync Online are also listed:

You’ll also need to set up one additional CNAME record for Office 365.

Use the step-by-step instructions for setting up these records at your DNS hosting provider.

ShowAdd a domain that you’re already using for email and a public website, and move your public website to Office 365.

Step (in Domains wizard) Tasks
Step 4 – Domain purpose In the “Set domain purpose” step of the wizard, select Exchange Online. Also select Lync Online if you’re planning on using it.
Step 5 – Update DNS records

The next wizard page shows you the three DNS records you need to add for Office 365:

  • An MX record to route mail to Office 365. As soon as this change takes place, email will stop going to your old email server, and will come in to Office 365 instead.
  • A CNAME record so that email clients like Outlook can automatically discover the Office 365 server.
  • A TXT record to help prevent spam.

If you selected Lync Online, the DNS records for Lync Online will also be listed:

You’ll also need to set up one additional CNAME record for Office 365.

Use the step-by-step instructions for setting up these records at your DNS hosting provider.

Step 7 – Set up your public website and create required DNS records

If you want to use your domain name for your Office 365 public website URL as well as with email and Lync (Lync: An Office program that provides instant messaging, a contact list, audio and video conversations, online meetings, desktop sharing, and more.), there are some extra steps. First you set up your domain for email and Lync (Lync: An Office program that provides instant messaging, a contact list, audio and video conversations, online meetings, desktop sharing, and more.), get your public website ready to publish, and then come back and set the domain purpose to SharePoint Online.

Check out Use SharePoint Online on a custom domain together with other services to get it all working together.

ShowAdd a domain that you’re just using for a public website, and move your public website to Office 365.

ShowAdd a domain for Exchange Online only.

Step (in Domains wizard) Tasks
Step 4 – Domain Purpose In the “Set domain purpose” step of the wizard, select Exchange Online.
Step 5 – Update DNS records

The next wizard page shows you the three DNS records you need to add for Exchange Online:

  • An MX record to route mail to Office 365. As soon as this change takes place, email will stop going to your old email server, and will come in to Office 365 instead.
  • A CNAME record so that email clients like Outlook can automatically discover the Exchange Online server.
  • A TXT record to help prevent spam.

You’ll also need to set up one additional CNAME record for Office 365.

ShowAdd a custom domain that you just bought that doesn’t have email or a public website on it already

Step(in Domains wizard) Tasks
Step 4 – Domain purpose In the “Set domain purpose” step of the wizard, select the services you plan to use.
Step 5 – Update DNS records

The next wizard page shows you the three DNS records you need to add for Office 365:

  • An MX record to route mail to Office 365.
  • A CNAME record so that email clients like Outlook can automatically discover the Office 365 server.
  • A TXT record to help prevent spam.

If you selected Lync Online, the DNS records for Lync Online will also be listed:

You’ll also need to set up one additional CNAME record for Office 365.

If you want to use your new domain for your Office 365 public website URL as well as with email and Lync (Lync: An Office program that provides instant messaging, a contact list, audio and video conversations, online meetings, desktop sharing, and more.), there are a few more steps. Check out Use SharePoint Online on a custom domain together with other services to get it all working together.

If you want to use Office 365 for your public website using this new domain name, but don’t plan on using Office 365 for email and Lync (Lync: An Office program that provides instant messaging, a contact list, audio and video conversations, online meetings, desktop sharing, and more.), see Use a custom domain name for your Office 365 public website address.

Tips

  • If your organization is also signed up for Windows Azure, CRM, or you've added your domain to any of our online services, you should use the same user ID and domain to sign in, and for access to all your services.
  • Setting up all services with your domain in Office 365? Read the quick start info for Office 365 Midsize Business or Office 365 Enterprise to help you cover all the steps.
  • If you don’t have a custom domain, you can learn how to buy one from a domain name registrar. If you already have one, learn how to locate your domain registrar and DNS hosting provider online. You’ll need those sign-in credentials when you’re setting up your domain.
  • You can add a custom domain using any name that’s available at your domain registrar. It doesn’t have to match the first part of your onmicrosoft.com domain. For example, you could use fabrikam.onmicrosoft.com, and add a custom domain of fabrikam_nw.com.
  • If you own multiple domain names and want them to point to the same public website, add a new CNAME record for each domain name at your DNS hosting provider. These additional domains don’t have to be added to Office 365 unless you want to have email addresses on them.
  • After you add your domain to Office 365, you can change the default domain name that Office 365 uses for new email addresses.
  • Make sure that the version of Office 365 that you signed up for includes the domain features that your organization needs.

Troubleshooting

  • There are some domains you can’t add to your Office 365 subscription:
    • If you’re currently using a custom domain with another Microsoft cloud service, you can’t add the same domain to Office 365.
    • You can’t add the same domain to different Office 365 accounts. For example, if you add fabrikam.com to Office 365, you can't create another Office 365 subscription and add fabrikam.com to it.
  • To check the status of your domain, on the Domains page in Office 365, select the domain, and then click Troubleshoot. Remember that it can take up to 72 hours for DNS changes to update across the Internet.

Other ways to add a domain to Office 365

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Applies to:
Office 365 Enterprise admin, Office 365 Midsize Business admin