Host email with a different email server

If you’re already using a third party email server and do not wish to host your email on our servers, you’ll need to make a few changes so that your email will be routed correctly. For example, many users have a Microsoft Exchange server or email provided through Google Apps, and need to route their email there.

Before continuing, please be sure that all of your email accounts are created at your external mail server (such as at Google Apps or at your Microsoft Exchange server). Email accounts created within your cPanel will not receive any email if you are routing your email to an external email server.

Obtain your MX Records

The first thing you’ll have to do is obtain the correct MX records to point your domain name to. If you are not sure which MX records to use, please contact your email provider. Many times, they will have them listed online, in the case here of Google:

Priority – Mail Server

Listed below are the MX records you’ll use if setting up email through Google Apps.

Modify your domain’s MX records

To change your MX records, log into your cPanel and click the MX Entry icon under the Mail heading. If you do not have an MX Entry icon within your cPanel, please contact our Support Department for further assistance with updating your MX records.

If you have multiple domains on your account, choose the appropriate domain listed in the domain drop down box.

The first thing you’ll want to do is remove any current MX records that are in place. You can do this by clicking Delete next to each record listed under MX Records.

In this example, we will point our MX records to the Google Apps records listed above. The first MX record listed is 1 – ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM. Under the Add New Record section, enter 1 as the Priority, enter ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM as the Destination, and then click Add New Record. Follow these same steps for each of the MX records listed. If given more than one MX record, you should enter them all.

After you have added all of your MX records, you then need to tell our server that it needs to deliver email to those MX records. The easiest way to do this is to select Automatically Detect Configuration under the Email Routing section, and then click Change.

Please note that changes to MX records can take up to 24 hours before they begin to take affect.

Carrie Smaha
Carrie Smaha Senior Manager Marketing Operations

Carrie enjoys working on demand generation and product marketing projects that tap into multi-touch campaign design, technical SEO, content marketing, software design, and business operations.

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14 thoughts on “Host email with a different email server

  1. Hi, is there a way for me to host my email SMTP server via my account in In Motion Hosting, and then I set up an IMAP server at another location, so that all incoming emails that is sent to my domain in In Motion Hosting will then be re-routed to this other IMAP server?

    I am hoping to reduce my storage usage in In Motion Hosting, while being able to have all of my emails (more than 5GB) available via IMAP (which I understand is not encouraged in In Motion Hosting accounts).




    1. You can use Google’s Gmail or Office365 as an email client to access your emails, since they are accessible over any internet browser. Then connect to Gmail/Office365 to view them. They can be setup as IMAP (which leaves emails on your IMH server by default), or POP (which removes them from your IMH server).

      We also offer Automated IMAP Archiving which allows the emails to be stored in folders and keeps your Inbox folder from getting too large. This often helps with slow load times in IMAP.

      Thank you,

  2. what about reverse requirement, email to inmotion and website to another server, how to make setting for this. pls suggest

    1. Hello!

      Thank you for contacting us with your question about configuring your domain for mail hosted by InMotion and your website hosted on another server. It simply takes a change of a couple of DNS records. However, you’ll want to ensure that you are creating the DNS records, in the system that controls your name servers. For instance, if you are using InMotion’s name servers, you can follow this guide on How to Configure Your DNS for Third Party Services (Website with Third Party) in our name servers. If the domain is not pointed to our name servers, you will need to contact the owner of the name servers the domain is pointed to, to change your MX records to point to InMotion servers from third party DNS. This will allow you to host email with InMotion, while your website remains pointed to another host. I hope this helps!

      Carlos E

  3. It would good to clarify where SPF and DKIM records should be added when you have 2 cPanels like this. I assume on the Primary domain cPanel and not the email cPanel.

  4. Thanks for your quick response!  Zoho told me to update our MX records so their MX entries are first in line.  Currently ours is set up so that our URL is listed as the primary MX record.  Will deleting our URL as the primary MX record disrupt the staff who use Thuderbird as their email client?



    1. Yes, your users may need to adjust their Thunderbird settings since the mail will be located at a different server.

  5. What should I do to host my company’s email with two different email servers?  We have some staff that need a desktop email platform (Thunderbird) and others that need a web-based email platform (Zoho).

    1. Hello Lauren,

      Thunderbird is simply an email client, so you can use the existing email server platform on our servers (Dovecote) in order to support POP3/IMAP email accounts. However, I’m not sure what Zoho requires as a back-end. When I looked up the Zoho platform, the email portion appears to be a part of a much larger CRM software. I’m not sure that you could run it separately from the platform. You would need to contact Zoho company for further information in that regard. Apologies that I couldn’t give you information on Zoho.

      I hope this helps to answer your question, please let us know if you require any further assistance.

      Arnel C.

  6. What about configuring Google’s “split delivery”.  How should that be configured so that email for which a Gmail account is not provisioned can be routed to the InMotion server mail manager?

    1. Google’s Split Delivery would be set up on the Google side after you have pointed your domain to Google servers — as detailed above. As far as the second part of your request, in which you mentioned the account that has not been provisioned, I admit I’m not sure what you mean.

      Also, by “server mail manager” do you mean Web Host Manager, or cPanel, or exim?

      If you mean an account that has been provisioned at InMotion then you can configure a new account at Google and it will work if your domain points there.

      Feel free to reply back with any further data or questions.

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