Add your users and domain to Office 365
When you're ready to use your domain (like contoso.com) with your email (like firstname.lastname@example.org), you follow the steps in the Office 365 setup wizard to add your domain and get your services set up.
Start by using the wizard to verify that you own the domain name, and then finish stepping through the wizard to add users and set up email and Skype for Business. (Using other services? More info about using your domain with a SharePoint Online public website and limitations using your domain with team sites.)
Ready to get started?
Log in to Office 365 and go to the setup wizard now.
Want some help?
Want to see the steps in the wizard? Watch the video! (4:10)
Step 1: Verify your domain in Office 365
The first step is to verify to Office 365 that you own the domain. Otherwise, anyone could use any domain name they wanted to, including yours!
The way that Office 365 verifies that you're the domain owner is by checking for a specific record that you'll add at your domain's DNS host website. Only the domain owner can add records, so that proves your ownership. The Office 365 setup wizard walks you through the steps, showing you the record to add and the value to use.
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Start the wizard to be guided through the steps to add the verification record at your DNS host.
Choose Setup on the Office 365 Admin center to start the wizard. (Be sure to sign in to Office 365 first.)
On the Let's personalize your setup page, choose No, I don't have any data to copy to Office 365 to start the setup wizard.
Note If you are moving from another email provider and have data to copy, follow steps to copy your email and other data.
Follow the steps in the wizard to enter your custom domain name, and then add the record that verifies to Office 365 that you own the domain.
Step 2: Add users who have email that use your domain
In the next step of the setup wizard, you can quickly add users (and update any current users) while you're adding your domain.
Why add or update users while you're setting up your domain? Well, you don't have to do this—unless other people use your domain for email. In that case, you must set up Office 365 mailboxes for each of those people. Otherwise they'll lose any email sent to them at your domain when you switch email for the domain over to Office 365. (Confusing? Learn more about how domains work with email.)
In the Office 365 setup wizard, after you've verified your domain ownership, you update the email addresses (which are also the user IDs) for yourself and other people you've already added. You'll switch from the initial onmicrosoft.com domain to use your custom domain instead for sign-in and email.
You'll also be prompted to add to Office 365 anyone who has an email address at your domain. Make sure you add them, so people don't lose any messages when you switch your email to Office 365!
Step 3: Set up email and other Office 365 services with your domain
The final step is to set up your Office 365 services, including switching email for your domain to Office 365. To finish, you have to update some records at your DNS host or domain registrar. The setup wizard tells you exactly which records to update, including the values you'll need for each one, and guides you through the steps.
When you're done, email for your domain will start coming to Office 365 and your other Office 365 services, like Skype for Business Online, will also be set up.
If your domain is hosted at GoDaddy, we'll automatically set up your email and other services for you in the wizard. Otherwise, you're guided to do 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 (not recommended if you have a website with your domain, like www.contoso.com).
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, including screenshots and the exact values to add. Or you can follow these general steps for updating records for Office 365.
Before you switch your email to Office 365
The setup wizard walks you through each step for setting up email and other services inOffice 365, but it's helpful to know a few things before you switch your email.
Be aware that setting up records for your domain for Office 365 means that you (and anyone else who uses your domain) will be using Office 365 for business email on your domain going forward, as well as meetings and document sharing.
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. On that page, click the link for your domain registrar, and you'll go to step-by-step directions for adding all the required records, including the MX record for email. 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 set up email on your domain off-hours, especially if you're also migrating email from another provider. The wizard makesOffice 365 setup as seamless as possible, but completing all the steps can take a while.
How long? That depends on where your domain is registered and other things. If your domain is at GoDaddy, then domain setup will take just a few minutes! (Migrating existing email messages will take longer.) If your domain is at a different DNS host, the setup time will depend on how quickly the changes you make get updated across the Internet. So unless you have a GoDaddy domain, plan on an hour or so.
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.
Learn more about setting up your domain with Office 365
The setup wizard walks you through each step for setting up Office 365, but here are a few additional pointers.
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.
If you'd rather keep using the domain you got when you signed up for Office 365, you can do that (learn more about the onmicrosoft.com domain). You don't have to verify and set up a custom domain unless you want to use your own domain name for email in Office 365.
If you just want to download and use Office 365 apps, like Outlook or Word, you don't need to add your domain. Simply download and install Office with Office 365.
Did this article help you understand how the wizard works? In the feedback box at the bottom of the page, please let us know what you think about this article, and how we can improve it.
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