Set up Office 365 email with your domain

In the Office 365 operated by 21Vianet setup wizard, you'll update records to switch your email to Office 365. Your email is always going to keep coming to you at your email address, like rob@cohowineinc.com. But now it’s going to arrive in Office 365, instead of wherever it arrives now. The email keeps flowing, but you receive it in a different place now. Your end user experience is that you sign in to Office 365 and voila! Your email is there in Outlook Web App in Office 365. Before, you went to your email provider’s website to see it. Or you went into Outlook and read your email there—and you can still do that, after switching to Office 365. But now the email is hosted in Office 365 instead of at your previous email provider.

Before you start the setup wizard, you'll need to have the sign-in info for your domain's DNS host ready and prepare for changes to your email domain.

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Set up email with your domain

To switch your email to Office 365, you have to update some records at your DNS host or domain registrar. The Office 365 setup wizard guides you through the steps. On the Office 365 admin page, click Setup. When you make these changes, your other Office 365 services will also be set up with your domain.

The setup wizard guides you through one of the following:

  • Let Office 365 set up your DNS records for you (simplest). Change your domain's nameserver (NS) records at your domain registrar to point to Office 365 nameservers. The setup wizard typically detects your registrar, and gives you a link to step-by-step instructions for updating your NS records at the registrar website. Or you can follow these general steps for changing NS records. Then Office 365 can automatically set up email and other services for you.

    This changes your domain's DNS hosting to Office 365, so we don't recommend it if you have a website with your domain.

    In Office 365 click Step-by-step instructions for more info

    —OR—

  • Edit your domain's DNS records for Office 365 yourself. Go to your DNS host website, and set up the records yourself, including the MX record for email. The setup wizard typically detects your DNS host, and gives you a link to step-by-step instructions for updating records at their website. Or you can follow these general steps for updating records for Office 365.

    Choose the MX record step-by-step link

Before you switch your email to Office 365

The setup wizard walks you through each step for setting up Office 365, but it's helpful to know a few things before you switch your email.

  • Check out this list of what you should have on hand before you get started to make sure you're prepared before you step through the setup wizard.

  • Be aware that setting up records for your domain for Office 365 means that you'll be using Office 365 for your business's email, meetings, and document sharing going forward.

  • Are you just looking for the DNS record values to add for your domain, like the MX record? See this list of links to step-by-step instructions at many domain registrars if you're updating the records yourself. If you want to change your domain's nameservers so Office 365 will manage your domain's DNS, see the links in this topic instead.

  • It's best to do this setup off-hours, especially if you're also migrating email from other provider (a step included in the Office 365 setup wizard). The setup wizard helps make switching to Office 365 as seamless as possible, but completing all the steps can take a while.

    How long? Plan on an hour or so for this step. Setup will depend on how quickly the changes you make get updated across the Internet, and if you run into any issues, like tracking down the correct sign-in credentials at your DNS host. (Migrating email will take longer, depending on how many people have email on your domain.)

  • Make sure that other people in your organization know ahead of time that you're making this change, and that they should check for their email in Office 365 after you finish this setup. If they already receive email on your domain at another email provider, let them know if you're migrating their old email for them or tell them the steps to migrate it themselves.

Continue setting up Office 365 for business   

Back to: Set up Office 365 for business

Next step: Install the Office client on your Mac or PC

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