Setup Outlook.com with your Custom Domain Name

If you have a Domain Name and want to use your Email Address as name@yourdomain.com, then you can always setup a third party Email Management Service like Google Apps, Outlook.com etc. with it.



Earlier Google Apps Standard Edition was available free of cost for everyone, but the company has permanently discontinued the service! As of now, the only best and free alternative to it is Windows Live. If you want to use the service for managing all your incoming and outgoing Emails, then setting it up is very easy. All you need to do is to follow these steps:

1. Head over to https://domains.live.com/ and click on Get Started Link:

windows live for custom domain

2. The immediate next page will ask you to enter the domain name for which you want to configure mail services:

enter custom domain

On this page, you are also required to select Set up Windows Live Hotmail for my domain and click on Continue Button.

Note: If you don’t have a Domain and want to purchase one, then either you can purchase it from Namecheap or from Windows Live Partners (eNomCentral and CentralNic).

3. You should have a Hotmail, Outlook or Live.com Account, as you need to associate your existing Windows Live ID with Admin Center. In case you don’t have a Microsoft Email Account, then you can create one using this link.

assign a domain administrator

Select Sign in with an existing Windows Live ID on this page and click on Continue Button. A new Tab will open and you are required to sign in by entering your Windows Live Email and password.

4. Once you have successfully associated your Windows Live ID with Admin Center, you will see following Review Settings and Accept Agreement Page:

review settings

Double check the details and click on I Accept Button.

5. The next page will ask you to verify the ownership of your domain. This can be done by creating a MX entry:

mx record outlook

By creating a MX entry for your domain, you are not only verifying your ownership with Admin Center, but you are also activating incoming and outgoing Email functionalities for it instantly.

How to create a MX Entry in cPanel?

Login to your cPanel Account and click on MX Entry:

mx entry cpanel

The Next Page will ask you to select your domain name, in case multiple domains are present in your account,  for which you want to create a MX Record.

Once you have selected your preferred domain name, select Automatically Detect Configuration under Email Routing and Enter following details in Add New Record:

add new record

  • Enter 10 in Priority Field
  • Enter your personalized alpha-numeric MX Server Address in Destination Field. E.g. anc123pqr.pamx1.hotmail.com

Click on Add New Record Button and mail exchanger record for your domain will be added instantly.

Click on Refresh Button present at the top of domain settings page and Windows Live Admin Center will now verify the entered MX record:

refresh

If the record is correct, then you will be able to create new Email addresses for your domain via Member Accounts Page:

create email account outlook

Configuring Server Trust (SPF)

You are also required to configure SPF, so that other mail servers completely trusts all emails that originates from your domain name. SPF is also known as sender ID configuration, which prevent your Emails from being marked as SPAM.

It can be easily configured by creating a TXT Record in Advanced DNS Zone Editor in cPanel:

advanced dns zone editor

Select your domain name and enter following values in Add a Record:

add a record

  • Enter your domain name (without www and http://) in the Name field. A “period” will be automatically added at the end of your domain.
  • Enter 3600 in TTL (Time to Live) Field
  • Select TXT from the drop down menu as your record type
  • Enter v=spf1 include:hotmail.com ~all in TXT Data Field

Click on Add Record Button and you are now ready to use Windows Live Email Services with your domain name!

For logging in to your Email Account, just go to outlook.com, and enter your Username as: abc@yourdomain.com and type your password:

outlook login

Additional Tips and Important Notes:

1. Once you have done setting up MX and TXT Records, your mail service will start working within an hour. In my case, all incoming and outgoing mail functions were fully active in about 30 minutes.

2. If you are not hosting your domain with a webhost, then you can still create MX and TXT Records using your registrar’s control panel:

namecheap host records

I am using Namecheap and if a domain name is using their default DNS, then anyone can configure additional host records with them. You may want to contact your registrar OR browse their knowledge base for more information on this topic.

3. If you also want to use messenger with your domain, then you need to configure SRV Settings as follows:

  • DNS record type: SRV
  • Service: _sipfederationtls._tcp.domainname.com
  • Protocol: _tcp
  • Domain Name: domainname.com
  • Priority: 10 (or High priority)
  • Weight: 2
  • Port: 5061
  • Target: federation.messenger.msn.com

For configuring SRV Settings meant for federating Messenger with other compatible networks, you need to have access to WHM (WebHost Manager). If you are using shared hosting, then you need to contact your webhost and ask them to configure these settings for you.

If you are not hosting your domain with a webhost, then you can enter SRV Settings in your registrar’s control panel (see screenshot above).

4. If you want to verify your mail settings, open Command Prompt (cmd) in Windows and type following lines in it:

  • C:\>nslookup -type=txt yourdomain.com – For verifying TXT Record.
  • C:\>nslookup -type=mx yourdomain.com – For verifying MX Entry.

cmd mx txt records

If you are getting same values that you entered earlier, then everything is working fine. Try sending and receiving some Test Emails!







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14 thoughts on “Setup Outlook.com with your Custom Domain Name”

  1. Hi.
    I’m trying to do this with my newly-purchased domain (also via Namecheap), but even though my settings appear to be correct (I’ve gone over them several times, and have re-entered them a few times, just in case), it’s still not working. When I click the Refresh button at the top of the page, it continues to show the yellow “You need to prove ownership of this domain by creating a DNS record” message. The status of my domain (in the previous screen, right after login to domains.live.com) says “Pending DNS configuration”. I don’t suppose you’d be able to assist me? Namecheap won’t, as they say I’ve not purchased email services from them, and instead direct me to my email service provider. As far as I’m aware, I shouldn’t HAVE to purchase email services from them. Just owning the domain, and using a service like Outlook.com or Google Apps should be enough (I have Google Apps running on another domain, just like this. Of course, Google Apps isn’t free anymore, so I can’t use it for this new domain, or else I’d be using that). Anything you can do to help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.
    ~eric

  2. Hello

    Sorry for late response.

    I’d like to know where you are entering the MX Record? In Namecheap’s Domain Control Panel OR you also have a web hosting account? If your domain is currently pointing to your hosting server, then you need to configure MX entries in your hosting account’s control panel (cPanel etc.).

    You will only see Pending DNS Configuration error, when the MX Record is not properly setup.

    Since I can’t access any of your accounts, I will suggest you to open a new thread here: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook_com/forum/oadmincenter?tab=Threads (Click on Participate >> Ask a Question / Start A Discussion).

    Forum moderators there can directly access your account and can tell you what’s wrong and what you need to do?

    Let me know if there’s anything else :)

  3. Hi, Mrinmay.
    Thanks for getting back to me. In the end, the folks at Namecheap ended up assisting me, and it is now working. Basically, I had to replace my domain name with “@” under Mail Settings (I did have it like this under Sub-Domain Settings already, but it had to be the same under Mail Settings). Because I’d unnecessarily spelled out my domain under mail settings, my MX record ended up having a redundancy in it (“MyDomain.com.MyDomain.com”). The technical support representative who ended up assisting me was really great (The same one ended up helping me with transferring a couple of domains over to Namecheap a few days after this, too. And it was complete coincidence that I got her again! Oh, and my domain transfer was COMPLETE in fewer than 12 hours! I was AMAZED. My old registrar/domain host was telling me it was going to take 8 days!). Once I could get someone to actually take me on (their first instinct was to blow me off regarding the Outlook.com mail thing, as I wasn’t purchasing email service from them), I actually received excellent customer service. I’m very happy. Thank you again for your very informative tutorial, and for getting back to me. Greatly appreciated. :-)

  4. That’s great :) Namecheap has a great customer support :) Let me know if there’s anything else :)

  5. Yes! I just checked that! It’s a sad NEWS :( I will try to find a better FREE alternate and will update this post :)

  6. Wow a great post. Spot-on!
    This is the most thorough article I’ve read about setting up Windows Live Email with Custom Domain (read almost 10 blogs). Well informed.

    Now the question is, how to receive emails? I’ve set up everything successfully following the steps, including SPF. I also deleted my verifying MX Record afterwards. I logged into Outlook.com with my own email created in Windows Live Center. I am able to send emails out but receive emails.

    I tried sending a couple of emails to myself yesterday and today, but all emails go to my Squirrel Email on cpanel.
    Would you happen to know how to fix it?

    Many thanks.

  7. Thanks for the prompt reply Mrinmay.
    I added the MX record back but still no luck…
    Or how long would the MX record take to be effective?

  8. Hi Andy, Microsoft has permanently discontinued the free service and am not sure how your account was configured and why you can’t receive mails? My incoming and outgoing email functions started working within an hour of setting up everything.

    I will suggest you to open a new thread here: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook_com/forum/oadmincenter?tab=Threads (Click on Participate >> Ask a Question / Start A Discussion).

    Forum moderators there can directly access your account settings and can tell you what’s wrong and what you should do?

    Hope this helps :)

  9. Thanks again for the prompt reply Mrinmay.
    Omg since when they discontinued the service? Does that mean I can’t add email accounts under the same domain any more?

    I’ll open a new thread there.
    Many thanks.

  10. Hi Andy, I think they discontinued the free service at the start of April 2014! http://domains.live.com/

    Yes! From now onwards you won’t be able to add or remove accounts for your domain name. New customers can only opt for Office 365 if they want to manage their emails using Outlook: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/

    If someone wants to pay for an email service, then I will highly suggest him/her to go with Google Apps Business Edition: http://www.google.com/enterprise/apps/business/pricing.html

  11. As per this page: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/office365home/, they have included Outlook mail in the subscription, but I am not sure whether you can add your domain there or not!

    I will suggest you to start a free trial there OR contact Microsoft support. Sorry I don’t have any updated information as of now, as they have suddenly changed everything!

    Also if you want to pay for your Email, then I will suggest you to consider Google Apps too: http://www.google.com/enterprise/apps/business/

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