Configuring Google Domains for Gmail on G Suite

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Had to learn this twice, so figured I’d write it up. Sort of a specific issue:

Google Domains seems like the natural choice for a G Suite workplace, right? Well, it’s not quite the two-click experience I thought it’d be. And if you’re stuck, the Google Admin Console comes stocked with instructions for pretty much any provider except, well, Google:

Screenshot of domain configuration instructions in Google Admin web console
Domain Configuration Instructions

But the generic setup still tells us the MX configuration we need, and that should be good enough. These mail exchanger records designate the server or servers authorized to accept messages on behalf of a domain name. Usually this is an array of addresses, assigned descending priority levels, which prevents messages from being rejected when the preferred mail server for an address is overwhelmed or down.

If you’re coming to Google Domains from GoDaddy or many other major providers, most things seem pretty familiar: From the “My domains” area, you can choose to Manage any names you’ve already purchased or transferred into the platform. The DNS tab is on the detail view for each domain, and you’ll find your MX options under the Custom Resource Records section.

Unfortunately, the form for adding records could still use some improvement. You may notice there’s no labeled spot for inputting the priority values G Suite expects you to assign for Gmail’s addresses. These should go in the “IPv4 Address” box in front of each provided URL, followed by a space:

1 ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM

But don’t rush ahead and hit Add just yet — instead, look for the small plus sign to the right of your first address. You’ll expand and set all five servers before adding, a bit of a different experience from how most provider consoles will have you save each entry individually. Within Google Domains, trying to add multiple custom MX records assigned to @ will fail with a “Record already in use” message.

Screenshot of "Record already in use" error message inside Google Domains console
"Record already in use"
Screenshot of Google Domains console after successful MX record configuration
Success!

The records generally update pretty quickly, so no worries if you end up needing to Edit. Anecdotally, one advantage does seem to be that G Suite recognizes new records from names on Google Domains far faster than similar changes made on GoDaddy or DreamHost. Positive news for anyone who just wants it to work, sooner.

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