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In this Tutorial:

Understanding How DNS Works

Domain Name System (DNS) records are used to provide specific, important details for your domain. The simplest way to understand how DNS records work is to use the analogy of a phone book listing. For instance, when you want to call someone, you look in the phone book for their name. The information listed under their name, will include their contact details. Since you want to call them, you would refer to their listed information to find the phone number to dial. Since the phone book contains records in a standardized format, you can deduce from the details of their listing which number to call to reach them.

This behavior is very similar to that of how your computer, domain name servers, and DNS records are utilized. Domain name servers (like the phone book) store DNS records (like names, phone numbers, and addresses) which are referenced by domain (name listing). Similar to how you would use the formatting of the phone book listing to decipher the phone number from, say, the home address, the kind of DNS record and the information contained in the DNS record, provide sufficient data to route your domain's (website, email, etc) traffic accordingly.

How to Use the Zone Editor for DNS Changes

Before You Begin

Viewing DNS Records

cPanel provides the ability to view your DNS Zone file, which contains your DNS records.

  1. Fill in the highlighted fields and click Log in

    Log into your cPanel. Be sure to log in with the cPanel user that owns the domain you are maintaining DNS records for.

  2. Click on Zone Editor icon

    Locate the Domains section of cPanel and click on the Zone Editor icon.

  3. Click Manage link next to domain

    Find your domain in the list under the Domain heading. Under the Actions heading, click on the Manage link that corresponds with the domain you want to maintain DNS for.

View Records by Type

The Zone Editor is capable of displaying up to 100 items per page. For easier viewing, you can filter the DNS records displayed.

  • Click record type to display filter

    On the Manage Zone page, click a record type from the Filter: list. Each page will only display the records for the specific type you selected.

View Records by Search Results

cPanel's Zone Editor also has the ability to search and display the filtered search results.

  • Type name of record in search box to display results

    On the Manage Zone page, type the name of the record you would like to view into the search box that reads: Filter by name.

Adjust Page Size

Depending on the number of DNS records that your zone file contains, you may need to expand or view another page of DNS records.

  • Click Page Size drop-down menu and select size

    On the Manage Zone page, click the Page Size drop-down menu and click to select a higher quantity. The page will refresh and display the number of records you selected.

Navigating Through a Large Zone File

If the amount of records in your zone file is higher than the maximum (100) page size, you will not be able to view all your records on one page. However, you can navigate between pages to view your records as needed.

  • Click right/left arrows to navigate each page

    On the Manage Zone page, click the or the icon to navigate back and forward (respectively) through the pages of your DNS zone.

  • Click left/right double arrows to skip to first and last pages

    Clicking on the or the icon will navigate you to the first and last pages respectively.

Adding DNS Records

The Zone Editor can be utilized for creating common DNS records, like, A, CNAME, and MX records. Through the Manage link, you can add custom DNS records, such as, CAA, TXT, AAAA, and SRV records. The instructions below provide the general steps to create DNS records.

  1. Fill in the highlighted fields and click Log in

    Log into your cPanel. Be sure to log in with the cPanel user that owns the domain you are creating the DNS record for.

  2. Click on Zone Editor icon

    Locate the Domains section of cPanel and click on the Zone Editor icon.

  3. Click Manage link next to domain

    Find your domain in the list under the Domain heading. Under the Actions heading, click on the Manage link that corresponds with the domain you want to create the record for.

  4. Click +Add Record drop-down menu and select record

    Click the +Add Record drop-down menu button and select the option for the record you would like to add.

  5. Enter details for record into fields

    Notice the page now includes fields to enter the details for the new record at the top of the list. Enter the details of the record into the appropriate fields.

  6. Click Add Record button to save new record

    To save your new record, click the Add Record button.

Deleting DNS Records

Deleting a DNS record for your domain is simple. Follow the steps below to learn how to do this using the Zone Editor within cPanel.

  1. Fill in the highlighted fields and click Log in

    Log into your cPanel. Be sure to log in with the cPanel user that owns the domain you are deleting the DNS record from.

  2. Click on Zone Editor icon

    Locate the Domains section of cPanel and click on the Zone Editor icon.

  3. Click Manage link next to domain

    Find your domain in the list under the Domain heading. Under the Actions heading, click on the Manage link that corresponds with the domain you want to delete the record from.

  4. Click Delete link next to domain record to delete

    Review the list of records, find the record you want to delete, and click the Delete link next to the corresponding record.

  5. Read warning and click Continue to confirm deletion

    A pop-up dialog box appears and asks "Are you certain that you want to delete this record?" Simply click the Continue button to confirm and proceed to delete the record.

Reset a DNS Zone

When you add a domain to cPanel, a standard set of DNS records is automatically created. If you add/delete DNS records and want to revert back to the original DNS, you can Reset the DNS Zone. This will remove all your custom DNS records and create the standard records for your domain. The instructions below provide the steps to reset your DNS zone file.

  1. Fill in the highlighted fields and click Log in

    Log into your cPanel. Be sure to log in with the cPanel user that owns the domain you are resetting the DNS zone for.

  2. Click on Zone Editor icon

    Locate the Domains section of cPanel and click on the Zone Editor icon.

  3. Click Manage link next to domain

    Find your domain in the list under the Domain heading. Under the Actions heading, click on the Manage link that corresponds with the DNS Zone you want to reset.

  4. Click cog button drop-down menu

    Click on the button, located on the far right, in the heading section.

  5. Select Reset Zone from drop-down menu Click Reset Zone from the drop-down menu.
  6. Read warning and click Continue button to reset zone

    A pop-up dialog box is displayed and asks "Are you sure you want to erase all entries and revert to the default state?" Click on the Continue button to confirm and proceed to reset the zone.

Was this article helpful?
Continued Education in Course 203: Managing your Domains in cPanel
You are viewing Section 10: Using the Zone Editor in cPanel
Section 9: Modify an Add-on domain's document root in cPanel
n/a Points
2017-08-11 11:42 am

I am trying to follow this tutorial without success.

I am using iPage for my ISP and their screen for updating the DNS are not like any of your examples.

Could you add iPage to your list of examples for isp providers onto your list of other ISP's


3,862 Points
2017-08-11 2:12 pm

I'm sorry to see you're having difficulty. Unfortunately, we do not have documentation for utilizing iPage's interface for making DNS changes, yet. However, searching online, I was able to find their documentation that may assist you further with DNS Management: How To Update DNS Records. If that interface is not available for the domain you're trying to update DNS records for, then you may need to reach out to iPages (or the registrar of the domain) to determine where you should make those changes. I hope this helps!

Carlos E
n/a Points
2017-08-07 7:06 am

When click the add record button, there is no response at all. I have entered all correctly but when the add record does not respond. Please help me

31,595 Points
2017-08-07 11:43 am
Since this does not seem like typical behavior I recommend contacting Live Support so they can test within your specific account.

Thank you,
n/a Points
2017-02-06 4:04 pm

I changed my DNS record yesterday on my domain from GoDaddy to inmotion. When I type in the domain today (24 hrs later), it shows a "privacy error" page even though I have created an "under contruction" page on inmotion. Do I need to change my cname record as well? The cname alias host where the "www" is shows the old hosting company that I had my website with. The A host on GoDaddy shows "parked". I am not moving my website over as it is written in the hosting platform's code and is not portable. 

I don't see any steps on your help pages that address this. Thanks.

43,761 Points
2017-02-06 4:45 pm
If you have pointed your domain to our name servers, then the records at GoDaddy are not valid. You will want to contact Live Support about the account specific settings if they are not working for your site currently.
n/a Points
2016-08-30 4:00 pm

I am having trouble adding a TXT value to verify my domain in Office 365. What is the correct format for the name? Since you don't accept @ sign, should it be I need clarification for the Address part. Your instruction says


 The server address that the record refers to. It can be set as an IP address, a domain name, or a subdomain. TXT records will be set as text set within quotes.

The value that Microsoft gave me is MS=ms60804756, basing on the instructions above wherein "TXT records will be set as text set within quotes."  Does this mean I have to enter my address value as "MS=ms60804756"? 

It's been days but I still can't verify my website with Microsoft!

11,043 Points
2016-08-30 6:03 pm
It looks like Microsoft can accept different values for the name, so using your domain name with the period at the end should be fine. And the value you have in quotes looks like the correct one. Beyond that, I advise checking with Microsoft support.
2016-08-27 4:50 am
Hi, some o365 instructions i've found talk about alias or host name being blank, @ or host name. Can you clarify this in relation to your instructions?
43,761 Points
2016-08-29 3:12 pm
In cases where it asks for @, just use your domain name instead.
n/a Points
2016-04-15 4:34 am

My questions are:

Name Name your record. Be sure that it ends with your domain name and a period.  If it has to start with "record." please say so. Do i use the current domain or the new one i'm trying to add? I assume the latter? TTL

Time To Live. The record will exist on DNS servers around the world for this fixed amount of time. After it expires, they will need to recontact the server to reset the record. This is set in seconds, so 14400 is 4 hours, which is a good standard. Setting the TTL too low can have an adverse effect on the server.

Q: First i thought this had to do with how long it takes to add the new domain, but it sounds like this is forever, how long from now on the DNS servers of the world wait from now on to recheck? If it won't change much, couldn't this be a day or two?



Choose from the dropdown. There are A records, CNAMEs, and TXT records.

Q: What is the difference and why would i choose each one? Since i got here from instructions telling me to add an A record i'll just choose that, but a very short explanation might help? I was like "what are these other ones then?"


The server address that the record refers to. It can be set as an IP address, a domain name, or a subdomain. TXT records will be set as text set within quotes.

Q: What address DOES the record refer to?  You tell me! Is this the IP of one of your nameservers? Sorry i'm sure it's obvious i don't know much! i guess that's why this is the "Advanced" editor, but the simple one was just as baffling! Showing my ignorance but thanks for your help.

10,077 Points
2016-04-15 12:16 pm
Hello Tom,

For your first question the TTL can be set to any number you like but it does not change how often your DNS is checked from outside servers as they tend to update every 4-24 hours. As for your second question A records are pointed to IP addresses, CNAMES are pointed to other domains or subdomains. TXT records are used for adding information to your domains DNS, such as Google Webmaster Tools uses it to confirm you own the domain name. And lastly for your third question, the A record would be an IP you decide from for what ever you are trying to do. Commonly people will host their mail with us but host their website elsewhere. For this they would point their main A record to the IP of another server. Also do not worry about it as DNS is fairly difficult topic to cover.

Best Regards.
TJ Edens
n/a Points
2015-10-05 11:06 pm

Here's the problem, after firing your technical writer.


"Step 4. Go to the Add A Record section and fill out the fields for your desired record."


What is a "record", how do I find my "record" or know what it is?

10,077 Points
2015-10-06 11:11 pm
Hello Dan,

Technically the A Record is referring to the name and address fields. I know DNS can be confusing at times but we would like to help any time we can.

Best Regards,
TJ Edens
43,761 Points
2015-02-23 4:29 pm
Hello SharpeTronics,

When pointing the new domains to your nameservers, they will all use the same ones. For example, any shared accounts with use and as the name servers. Any domains on my personal server use and They do not have to use or any other format. These should all be assigned within the server based on the name servers you assigned. They may need to be adjusted at the registrar, however.

The document root of a domain is not set by the nameserver or DNS records. It is set within the WHM itself. By default, all cPanel account primary domain names use public_html as their document root. Addon domains to a cPanel account will have a folder under public_html with the domain name (public_html/ The document roots can be set when creating addon domains for personal preference.

Kindest Regards,
Scott M
2015-02-22 8:41 pm
Setting up the DNS is a IMPORTANT planning step. Esp if you use a re-seller account. My biggest problem is as a web designer, I like flowcharts and diagrams on how the entire process works. It really help me understand the underlying context and how the cogs work so to speak.

For example, I have purchased a 'Reseller Pkg' from you. I have been working the past two days to get the server setup to transfer my entire workshop / freelancing bus over to InMotion.

Simply put, when you have your 'custom name server setup'. After we install a new ACCOUNT using WHM, we can login to the cpanel or (clients backend Cpanel)

**Note: Cpanel Bug** - If you create an account and delete it; we are not capable of using that same username for the clients CPANEL and have to keep coming up with something unique..which can be a daunting task if trying to keep everything simple for the client to use his website. (minor problem nonetheless, but very aggravating)**

Once the new CPANEL account is created / installed under the root server. The nameservers will automatically update IF the primary name server is already configured.

For example: I signed up for as my domain & InMotion Hosting as my authoritative Domain and hosting provider.

Once my account has been setup, I had to go back in and edit the DNS settings to develop a 'hearty' plan for my future endeavors. Last thing I want is to be changing my name servers with 100's clients underneath me..

So I followed the tutorials more than once & also have done lots of research upon the web for interest in learning more about the complexities of how a DNS exactly works.

After the 'primary name server' is set, i go back in to create a new CPANEL account for a new client named:

1. The primary nameservers would be: & (main hosting re-seller account) and this primary NS would point to my hosting account on InMotion.

2. The new nameservers for would be ? & ?? (All of this is edited in CPANEL DNS Zone Settings for the account that was created?)

If the above example and methodology is correct, what happens after these are set up? I do know more about how the DNS works now by watching some educational videos, but when I log into FTP server with the ROOT (, I do not understand where these files would go for this website without creating a new folder? Normally, after the domain has been added or created, a folder is auto created. (That is how my other domain hosting provider worked anyhow)

At the moment, my website sends me to a new hosting place, but I have no clue where exactly this hosting place would be at via the root folder / public_html / (primary domain) /

I have checked through the entire FTP archive / including the hidden files to try and make sense on how this works on InMotion Hosting. If I have to create a new folder in a higher directory( above (; do I need to add a CNAME to ID the folder?
n/a Points
2015-02-22 8:20 pm
This was very helpful, but honestly useless for those looking to make sense of the overall picture. If we make sense and are educated upon 'exactly' how a DNS server works, people will have less trouble trying to figure out how it works & what it is used for.

At the moment, we are all simply following these awesome tutorials step by step, but in the END, no one really knows what they are DOING.

We have to understand the context, before we can make use or sense of what DNS is used for and how it works.

Overall, awesome tutorial - just not very informative with the context (but that is to save time most likely)
43,761 Points
2015-02-23 4:17 pm
Hello Charles,

Thank you for the feedback! Although we are looking into adding more content for DNS records, there are books out there on DNS that are hundreds and hundreds of pages thick on the subject. This shows it is a very deep subject and one we could never completely cover. We do agree though that some articles with the basic record types and what they mean will certainly help in the more immediate future, so keep an eye out for those.

Kindest Regards,
Scott M
n/a Points
2017-06-21 8:37 pm

BRAVO, Charles Sharpe, for emphasizing the importance of context for anyone trying to get things right. and BRAVO! BRAVO to Dan for providing the perfect example with the question "What's a record and where do I find it?" 

The response from T J Edens speaks for itself, but not to the question asked. 

To put it in the most simplistic terms I can think of:  

Assume I have simple Web Page.  No CSS, no dynamic content. A plain, simple, static HTML file--not something dynamically rendered from a CMS where the content is databased.  It's a $%%#@! straight text HTML document. 

Let's say by blind fool luck, I did it back in the day, and I have bookmarked a URL that still accesses it. 

I'd like to add another plain static HTML page and link them together. 

Now we know the first file exists, because it can access be accessed  from the Web. But where is the ^&&^%$! thing stored in the directory structure. 

I have never been able to figure that out or get a straightforward answer. (I have gotten half an answer--there is (or was) a screen that lies a URL to a page. But it wasn't straight forward or well-documented.  As I recall someone walked me through it. Whether I could add a second page and access it with an absolute HREF to the full URL I never got around to testing.

Now, in fairness, my problem is exacerbated by the fact that our IMH directory structure was set up originally by someone else to support a particular project.  Neither the original designer or the project are with us. 

I've spent hours on tutorials and articles and experimenting with different approaches, and am as clueless as ever as to how to figure out where content is stored in the file directory structure. 

Mr. Sharpe has it dead right. It's great to have detailed knowledge of what the the G-Whiz goodies do, but the underlying mechanics of HOW it works is hidden. 

And at this point, not only does the IT community no longer know HOW things work under the hood, we are well into a second generation of IT experts for whom it doesn't seem relevant. 

Until it is.  

Also in fairness, to IMH, my experience has been that when it comes to technical support IMH has consistently provided us with outstanding service.   This underlying problem is endemic to IT in general, and is getting dramatically worse. 

All for what it's worth. 

Thanks for bearing with me,

Jim R.

31,595 Points
2017-06-22 9:12 am
Every domain and subdomain has a folder for storing its own files known as the "Document Root". Here is a helpful link to our guide on how to find your website's Document Root.

Thank you,

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