Mail Exchange Record, what to put for your MX record

An MX Record (Mail Exchange Record) is responsible for identifying which server will handle mail for a domain. The MX Record can be set at the registrar of the domain or at the server in which the domain is pointed to. If the domain's registrar is updated it will be authoritative for the domain, meaning it will be used over any MX destination set at the server.

I have HostGator name servers, how do I point my email to HostGator?

When using HostGator name servers, your MX Record will be automatically configured so that mail is handled on your HostGator package. When your domain is added to your hosting plan a default DNS zone file is also created as if all services are going to be handled locally on the server. This means that by default your MX record will be your domain name and it will contain a local IP address to the server.

If you customized the MX record previously so that mail would no longer be hosted with HostGator and you would now like to revert that change, you can do so by modifying the MX destination from within cPanel. The following steps will walk you through how to make sure the MX record you select is local to your HostGator plan.

  1. Log into cPanel.
  2. Click on "Advanced DNS Zone Editor" from within the Domains section of cPanel.
  3. Once your domain name is selected, a list of Zone File Records will populate towards the bottom of the page.
    • You can use this list of existing records to identify a new MX destination. Any record within this list which contains the local cPanel IP address will work as the MX destination for your domain.
    • HostGator default zone files include an A record for mail which is set to your cPanel IP address. As long as an entry for mail exists in this list, you may use mail.yourdomain.com as your MX destination to host mail with HostGator. (Replace yourdomain.com with your real domain name.)
  4. Return to the cPanel home page.
  5. Click on the "MX Entry" icon from within the Mail section of cPanel
  6. Once your domain name is selected, the current MX Records will populate towards the bottom of the screen.
    • Click on the "Edit" link from the Actions column and modify the current record so that it matches a local record from the previous step.
  7. Click the Edit button to finalize your changes.
  8. Lastly, on the same page, you will need to set the Email Routing option to "Local Mail Exchanger" and click Change.

Your mail will now be hosted locally on your HostGator package.

I have HostGator name servers, how do I point my email away from HostGator?

First, you will need to obtain the MX destination for the new mail hosting provider. This will either exist as a complete MX record or IP address.

I have an MX destination:
If the record provided is an MX destination, you can simply update it using the MX Entry icon from within cPanel.
  1. Log into cPanel.
  2. Click on the "MX Entry" icon from within the Mail section of cPanel
  3. Once your domain name is selected, the current MX Records will populate towards the bottom of the screen.
    • Click on the "Edit" link from the Actions column and replace the entry with what was provided by your email hosting provider.
  4. Click the Edit button to finalize your changes.
  5. Lastly, on the same page, you will need to set the Email Routing option to "Remote Mail Exchanger" and click Change.

Your mail will now be hosted remotely with your new email provider.

I have an IP Address:
If you are provided an IP address from your new email provider then you will first have to create an A record and then set the new MX Destination.
  1. Log into cPanel.
  2. Click on the "Advanced DNS Zone Editor" icon from within the Domains section.
  3. Select your domain.
  4. In the "Add a Record" portion of the page, enter a name for your new MX destination and put in the IP Address in the Address field.
  5. Enter 14400 for TTL and make sure that Type is set to A.
  6. Click on Add Record.
  7. Return to the cPanel home page.
  8. Click on the "MX Entry" icon from within the Mail section of cPanel
  9. Once your domain name is selected, the current MX Records will populate towards the bottom of the screen.
    • Click on the "Edit" link from the Actions column and replace the entry with the name of the A record created in step 4.
  10. Click the Edit button to finalize your changes.
  11. Lastly, on the same page, you will need to set the Email Routing option to "Remote Mail Exchanger" and click Change.

Your mail will now be hosted remotely with your new email provider.

I do NOT have HostGator name servers, how do I point my email to HostGator?

Note: You will need to make this update at the hosting company where your name servers point or at your domain's registrar.

You can use your HostGator servername as the MX destination, which can be obtained from your Welcome Email. Alternatively, you can follow the steps below to create an A record in order to create a new MX Destintion.

  1. Find your HostGator IP address.
    • This can be seen from within cPanel on the bottom left of the home page in the Account Information table.
  2. Create an A record with your remote hosting provider where the address is set to the IP Address found within your HostGator cPanel.
  3. Once you have a new A record created, modify your MX Destination at your remote hosting provider to the new A record.

Your mail will now be hosted with HostGator. If additional assistance is needed regarding the creation of the A record and updating the current MX destination at your remote hosting provider, please contact your remote host.

Please contact us via phone or Live Chat if you have any questions or require assistance.