Office Support / Office 365 Admin / Setup

Add your users and domain to Office 365

When you're ready to use your domain (like cohowineinc.com) with your email (like rob@cohowineinc.com), you follow the steps in the Office 365 setup wizard to add your domain and get your services set up. Start by verifying that you own the domain, and then step through the wizard to add users and set up services.

Note   If you just want to download and use Office 365 apps, like Outlook or Word, you don't need to verify your domain. Simply download and start using Office with Office 365.

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Video camera Take a look to see how the wizard in Office 365 walks you through setup, step by step (4:10):

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Step 1: Verify your domain in Office 365

The first step is to prove 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 customized DNS record that you add for your domain at your DNS host's website. Only the domain owner can add records, so that proves your ownership. The Office 365 setup wizard walks you through the steps.

  1. Go to the setup wizard by choosing Setup on the Office 365 Admin center. (If you're not already signed in to Office 365, you'll need to sign in first.)

    Click Setup on Office 365 Admin page
  2. Under Basic setup, choose Start to start the setup wizard. In the first step of the wizard, you'll be guided through the steps to add a record at your DNS host, to verify to Office 365 that you own the domain.

    Choose Start to start the Basic setup wizard

Step 2: Add users who have email that use your domain

The setup wizard lets you quickly add users (and update any current users) while you're adding your domain.

You actually aren't required to add users when you set up your domain, 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. (Learn more about how domains work with email.)

  1. In the Office 365 setup wizard, after you verify your domain ownership, you'll update the email addresses (which are also the user IDs) for yourself and other people you've already set up in your account. You'll switch them from the initial onmicrosoft.com domain to use your custom domain instead.

  2. You'll also be prompted to add to Office 365 anyone who has email sent to them at your domain. Make sure you do this, so people don't lose any email 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 switch your email to Office 365. To do this, you have to update some records at your DNS host or domain registrar. The setup wizard tells you what the records are, including the values you'll put in the records, and guides you through the steps. When you make these changes, your other Office 365 services, like conferencing with Skype for Business Online, will also be set up with your domain.

Learn about domains and DNS: Watch the video

If your domain is hosted at GoDaddy, we'll automatically set up your email and other services for you in the setup wizard. Otherwise, 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.

    O365_MXRecordstepbystep

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 setup wizard helps make getting everything set up in Office 365 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. 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 if you want to learn more.

Continue setting up Office 365 for business   

Back to: Set up Office 365 for business

Next step: Add users to Office 365 for business

Applies To: Office 365 Admin



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