MX records help move email to the right place by specifying which server handles the email. If you have an account with us here, but have a domain hosted somewhere else that does not offer email services, you may want to host your email with us here on your InMotion account. This is most certainly possible but does take working with both your InMotion account and your third party DNS service. Follow the instructions below to learn how to change MX records to point to InMotion email servers from your third party DNS service.
Setting up the InMotion Server
First, you want to set the InMotion server side to be ready to receive the emails once you make the changes with your third party DNS. You will need to be sure you have two tasks completed below.
- Adding the domain as addon or parked domain. Even though you will not be using the domain on our server to display the website, it will need to be added to your account as an addon or a parked domain to be able to create email accounts and receive email. It is recommended to set up the domain as a parked domain, as addon domain slots are more limited.
- Creating an email address on your server. Next, you will need to create email addresses on your InMotion server. Without the proper email addresses, the emails will simply come to the server and get rejected, or bounces, as they will have no email box to be delivered to.
Setting up with your third party DNS
After setting up the email domain and email address on the InMotion account, you need to visit your third party DNS service and log into your account there. You will be editing some of the records to have them point to your InMotion account server.
- Create a mail A record.You will first need to check to see if you have a mail record. If you do, you simply need to edit the current one. If not, you will need to create a new one. The mail record will have several parts.
A Record Details
Record Name The name will simply be mail TTL TTL (Time To Live) is the number of seconds the record information is kept on record before refreshing. 14400 is standard, but you if your DNS service uses a different number, use that. TYPE The Type of record. In this case it will be A IP Address The IP address of your InMotion server. You can find this IP address from within your cPanel.
- Edit your MX record. After creating or modifying the A record for the domain, you will want to edit the MX record to point to that A record. Like the A record, there are several parts to it. The table below explains how to set your MX record.
MX Record Details
Record Name The name ofthe MX record will be example.com. (Be sure to replace ‘example.com’ with your actual domain name.) Also be sure to include the . at the end of the domain name as it is very important. TTL TTL (Time To Live) is the number of seconds the record information is kept on record before refreshing. 14400 is standard, but you if your DNS service uses a different number, use that. TYPE The Type of record. In this case it will be MX Priority Useful if you have more than one MX record. 0 is the highest priority and means that record will be used first. Servername This is the record that wil be used to send email. This should be set to mail.example.com. Note that ‘example.com’ should be changed to your actual domain name and the . at the end of the record is part of the record and must be present.
Now that you have made all the changes necessary and saved the new DNS settings with your DNS provider, you will need to allow for propagation time. This is when the DNS servers around the world allow the current information to expire. This can usually take from 4-24 hours. Once that information expires, your new information will take over and you should then be able to receive email to and from your InMotion server.
For more information, check out our Email Knowledge Base.
Thoughts on “Changing MX records to point to InMotion servers from third party DNS”
I am actually doing something slightly different, migrating a client from Google Apps back to InMotion Hosting. They have an inmotionhossting account and had migrated mail over to Google. They have since decided to migrate back to Inmotion. What is the correct MX record to use? Is it simply mail.<my domain>.com? And are there any other records that I should change? I’ve deleted all google records (CNAME and MX)
Yes, you can use ‘mail.<my domain>.com’ for the MX record, just ensure that the ‘A record‘ for ‘mail.<my domain>.com’ is pointed to their shared IP.
For people with a domain at GoDaddy, the instructions above WILL NOT WORK. Instead, your MX record (step 2 of “Setting up with your third party DNS” above) must have a record name of “@” (rather than “
). After making that change, my email started flowing. Note further that there is an undocumented “step 3” which is to find your SPF and DKIM records in the cPanel Zone Editor or on the “Authentication” page and manually enter these into your GoDaddy DNS as well.
This totally saved me from over 15 hours of headache! You completely saved the day with this tip! thank you.The main issue here has been Godaddy’s end which this tip has helped with.Thanks Steve!
Do you mean it has to be “[email protected]” instead of “mail”?
is this for the MX Servername and at the A Details Record ?
I currently use Gmail for business and wanted to investigate switching all my mail over to InMotion to host our mail. Currently our MX records point to Google DNS servers (I think that is explaining it correctly) but don’t know where to change this or what to change it to.
I recommend contacting the registrar of your domain. They can determine the name servers your domain is pointed to, which is where the MX records are stored. Updating the MX records to point to InMotion Hosting would depend on which name servers/registrar you are using.
You can also use our domain routing tool to determine what name servers your domain is pointed to. Then reach out to the owner of those name servers, they will know where to update the MX records in their system, for your domain.
Has anyone done this successfully with SquareSpace? I moved my site to SquareSpace and have since lost all ability to send/receive mail. When adding custom mail records at SquareSpace, the column names are: HOST / RECORD / PRIORITY / DATA.
I have added two records (where the content below matches the column names above):
mail / A / n/a / ip address
mail.mywebsite.com / MX / 0 / ip address
I’m trying to work out what records I need to add to point my mail to InMotion but none of the advice I’m getting is helping.
Can someone please help. It’s driving me nuts.
Ok, I have read and tried a lot of settings to A name and MX records. Here is the issue. For now I have my website, and mail at another host, but that will expire. I transferred my domain to Namecheap. I have a new account at InMotion. I need to point email thru InMotion before my old host expires. I won’t be using InMotion for my website yet while I transfer. The website domain is pointed to WIX. I cannot seem to get it right. If I suspend my email at my old host, I do not get mail.
Frank, in this sort of instance it is recommend that you set your MX records to point to mail.youdomaingoeshere.whatever, and then point the sub-domain mail.yourdomaingoeshere.whatever to the IP for your account with us. Please keep in mind that these changes, as with all DNS changes, may take up to 4 – 24 hours to take effect.
kindly assist me with my emails…when i try to send emails outside south africa they bounce back with fatal error messages and i dont know why..buyt when i send emails within south africa all works well….recently i was trying to send an email to [email protected]****.co.za and everything just bounces back…please help
Thank you for contacting us. Since there are many reasons for an email to be returned, they must be handled on a case-by-case basis. I recommend reviewing the following helpful articles:
Why does Email bounce, bounceback, or error?
What to do if an email is returned?
It’s impossible to add A record with “mail” string. It says that each A record has to contain domain name inside.
By entering ‘mail’ for the name, the actual record name is ‘mail.example.com’
I’d like to add a note for users using Namecheap. This may be a rare use case because my primary domain is pointing to another server IP address, but everything worked if you add the sub-domain mail to point to the InM IP. Only thing that had to be modified is Namecheaps Mail Setttings Host Name to “@” (no quotes) and their Mailserver Host Name to be the mail.youraddress.tld. (Namecheap auto appends the period if you forget it).