How to Set Up an iCloud Mail Custom Email Domain [Video]
When Apple announced iCloud+ at WWDC 2021, he revealed that paid iCloud tiers would receive additional benefits such as support for Private Relay and Hide My Email. Another perk included with iCloud+ is the ability to set up a custom iCloud Mail email domain.
The new Custom Mail feature, which is currently in beta, is something iCloud Mail users like me have wanted for years. In this walkthrough, I show you how to set it up.
Why use a custom email domain?
There are several reasons why you would want to choose a custom domain for email. For starters, if you have a business, it can make your business seem more legitimate. More importantly, custom email domains allow you to “own” your email address, providing portability that allows you to move it between email hosts. If an email host closes or their business practices no longer match mine, I can move it to any host I choose whenever I want. I could even host it myself if I wanted to, but that’s a tutorial for another day.
Video: How to set up an iCloud Mail custom email domain
A few things to keep in mind
First of all, custom email domains for iCloud Mail is still a beta feature, so it’s only available through beta.icloud.com at this time. With that in mind, I don’t recommend hosting your custom domain with iCloud Mail for very important email addresses or critical work. Keep in mind that these are only Apple recommended settings. Advanced users can have their own specific DNS record settings depending on their needs.
Mail hosted on iCloud is also limited to five domains and there is currently no wildcard support. In other words, you cannot yet configure a catch-all for emails sent to addresses that are not yet configured.
Guide: How to set up an iCloud Mail custom email domain
The first thing you will need to do before setting up a custom email domain is to own a custom domain. If you already have a domain, you’re already ahead of the game. If you don’t already have a domain, it’s very easy to purchase one from a domain registrar. I used Float for years, and I highly recommend it, but you can use any registrar you want.
Once you have a custom domain, you can proceed to set up your iCloud email with your custom domain.
Step 1: To connect to beta.icloud.com
2nd step: Scroll until you see Custom email domain. Click the Manage button.
Step 3: On the Custom email domain page, select who will use the domain you want to add. Picking out Only you whether you will be the only person using the domain and associated email addresses. If you want to allow family members to use the domain and associated email addresses, select You and your family. In this tutorial, we will follow the Only You path, but the differences are few.
Step 4: Enter the domain you want to use with iCloud Mail and click Continue. In this sample tutorial, I’m using duckybenjamin.com, which I purchased from Hover specifically for this tutorial.
Step 5: Since this guide shows you how to set up iCloud Mail with a new custom domain. Click skip the Add existing email addresses section, we’ll come back and add email addresses to the domain later.
Step 6: Click the View As button Update your domain registrar settings. This will open a window describing all the DNS records you will need to add to your domain registrar.
Step 7: Log in to your domain registrar and select your custom domain. If you have existing DNS records associated with mail, you may decide to delete them at this point.
Step 8: Add the listed DNS records to your domain registrar. You need to add a total of five records. The records you need to add are:
|Type||host name||mail server||Priority||Lifetime|
|SMS||[your_domain.com]||view personal TXT record provided by Apple||ten||3600|
|Type||host name||Target name||Lifetime|
A few points to note:
- Please observe the period at the end of the mail server for MX records.
- Apple provides custom content values for one of the TXT records.
- The CNAME record is the only record that does not include your domain as the hostname.
- The target name of the CNAME record includes your domain in the full address.
- TTL values of 3600 = 1 hour
Step 9: Once all required records are added to your domain registrar, click the Finish Setup button to confirm your settings are correct. Propagation of changes can take several minutes. Therefore, if you receive an error message asking you to verify your MX or SPF record, try again in a few minutes. If the error persists after some time, check that you entered the records correctly.
Step 10: After the DNS records are verified, you’ll receive a message that your domain is ready to use with iCloud Mail. Click the Continue button to continue.
Step 11: Add an email address using the section we skipped in step 5. You need to make sure your email address includes your newly configured custom domain. In my case, I added [email protected] Click Add email address to confirm.
Assuming you’re signed in to iCloud on your iOS and Mac devices, you may start receiving notifications that your new email address is available to use with iMessages and FaceTime. If you’re not signed in to iCloud on your devices, sign in now and make sure Mail is enabled for iCloud.
Step 12: Open the Mail app and you should see your custom domain available in the Of dropdown list. You can now send and receive email through iCloud Mail with your custom domain.
Within minutes, you can buy a new domain and get it working on iCloud Mail. Of course, you don’t have to use iCloud Mail with your custom domain, you can use hosting from Google, FastMail or others. Whatever you decide to choose, I’m a big proponent of creating your own custom email domain.
Are you using a custom email domain? Why or why not? Express yourself in the comments with your thoughts.
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