How Office 365 manages DNS records

When you set up Office 365, DNS records are required so that email, instant messaging, and other services work correctly. Depending on the Office 365 subscription you signed up for (Enterprise, Midsize Business, or Small Business), you might have a choice between managing your own DNS records at your DNS hosting provider (called partial redelegation), and having Office 365 create and manage the DNS records for your domain (called full redelegation).

When you manage your DNS records, you edit them at your DNS hosting provider. When Office 365 manages your DNS records, after you change your name server records, the other records are stored in Office 365.

Office 365 Midsize Business and Office 365 Enterprise options

You manage your own DNS records at your DNS hosting provider.

If you use Go Daddy as your DNS hosting provider, you have two options:

  • Office 365 can set up your DNS records for you at Go Daddy.
  • You can add or update DNS records yourself at the Go Daddy website.

If you use a different provider, you add or update DNS records for email and other Office 365 services at your DNS hosting provider.

Office 365 Small Business options

You have a choice:

  • Office 365 creates and hosts the records. We recommend letting Office 365 manage your records, because it requires less work for you as you get started. With this approach, you change your name server records, and then Office 365 takes care of all the service-specific records.
  • You create and manage the records at your hosting provider. If you prefer to manage all the DNS records for your domain at your DNS hosting provider, you can set it up that way instead. If you use Go Daddy as your DNS hosting provider, you have two options:
  • Office 365 can set up your DNS records for you at Go Daddy.
  • You can add or update DNS records yourself at the Go Daddy website.

How to decide which approach to take

Many things are the same no matter which option you choose:

  • You can use a custom domain name for your email addresses.
  • You can host your public website on Office 365 or at your current DNS hosting provider.
  • You can have multiple domains.
  • You still have to pay your domain registrar for your domain name.

However, there are some differences.

Office 365 creates and hosts the DNS records You create the DNS records at your DNS hosting provider

Advantages

  • You don’t have to worry about making mistakes in DNS records for Office 365 services.
  • You have more flexibility in your choice of domain registrar and DNS hosting provider. Any provider that lets you change your name server records will work, even if the provider doesn’t support all the required record types.
  • When Office 365 adds new DNS records, you don’t have to make updates.

Disadvantages

  • You can’t change your DNS records to host email outside of Office 365.
  • If your current domain registrar doesn’t allow you to change the name server records, you need to switch registrars.

Advantages

  • You control the DNS records for Office 365 services.
  • You have the flexibility to host email somewhere else, such as with an on-premises Exchange server.

Disadvantages

  • You have to set up the DNS records for Office 365 services yourself.
  • If your current DNS hosting provider doesn’t support all the required record types for Office 365, some Office 365 features won’t be available and you might need to switch providers. Learn about the potential service limitations.
  • When Office 365 changes requirements for DNS records, or adds new services you have to make updates yourself.
 
 
Applies to:
Office 365 Enterprise admin, Office 365 Midsize Business admin, Office 365 Small Business admin