How to Use Gmail with Your Custom Domain (For Free)

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After buying a domain name for a business or organization, one of the first things most people do next is set up a custom domain email. Sending emails from an address that includes your domain name makes you look far more credible and professional when compared with emailing people from For people like me that love the familiar Gmail interface and want to use it with their custom domain email address, there are 2 main options to consider:

Option 1: Enable Gmail to Work with Your Custom Domain Email Address

This option allows you to enjoy all the great features that come with a regular Gmail account while sending emails from your custom domain email address for free. Before you can do this, you’ll need to first have email hosting from a provider that allows email forwarding (you may already have this, just check with your domain registrar and web host). Once you’ve done that, you’ll sign up with Gmail, forward the emails to that account, and enable Gmail to send as your custom domain email address.

You can then immediately start using your new, professional email address for your startup, blog, business website, or nonprofit. Without a doubt, this is your best option for setting up a custom domain email address for free. This process may sound complicated, but it’s really not, and I will walk you through it below, step-by-step.

What if you don’t have an email hosting plan? In this case, you can move on to option 2 below, which will cost you a few dollars each month for email hosting, or you can transfer your domain to a web hosting provider that offers free email hosting and lets you forward your emails. I personally prefer using Bluehost since they’re inexpensive and make it really easy to transfer your domain to them from another provider. Once you’ve done this, you can move on to setting up your custom domain with Gmail as described below.

Option 2: Sign up for Google Workspace (formerly G Suite)

While the first option will save you money, I do recommend just signing up for Google Workspace (formerly known as G Suite) instead. It’s much simpler and more reliable than option 1. In addition to a custom email address with Gmail that matches your website’s domain name, you’ll have tons of extra features that make it easier to collaborate, store documents, share files, and even add or remove user accounts for other people on your team that use your domain name in their email addresses:

  • For example, I have multiple emails that I can use depending on the situation, like,, etc.
  • And when I hired a contractor, it took 2 seconds to give them a email so we presented a consistent brand.
  • During the contract, I could make files & events shareable with all TDN employees to easily collaborate
  • Finally, when the contract ended, I could freeze their accounts with 1 click so my business’ info is safe!

All of those benefits were possible because I had Google Workspace. They actually offer a 14-day free trial so you get a better sense of what it’s like to use all their features. In addition, they provide promo codes that help save 10% off for the first year.

This promotion is only available for the Business Starter and Business Standard packages. There are a few differences between these 2 plans; the standard plan comes with much more storage space (2 TB as opposed to 30 GB) and lets you record video meetings. But in general, the standard plan is only worth the extra money if you have a lot of files that you need to store or if you work as part of a team that does a lot of collaborative work remotely, otherwise, I’d go with the basic package.

Google Workspace logo for Gmail email with a custom domain

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One last note — if you’re a registered nonprofit, you can get Google Workspace at a discounted rate, or even for free through Google for Nonprofits. Regardless of whether you’re nonprofit or for-profit, it’s best to take the long-term view and sign up to get all of Google’s business productivity tools, especially given that can save a few extra dollars if when sign up with the promo codes. If you want to switch later, it will be a pain in the butt to transfer all your emails to Google Workspace. But if you still want a quick fix for the time being, here’s a quick workaround to use Gmail with your own, custom domain email for free.

Basically, you’ll just forward all the mail from to a Gmail account, and change a setting so outgoing mail says too. That’s it! So let’s jump right in.

1) Create a Gmail Account

Sign-up page to create gmail account

You probably already have a personal Gmail account, and you could use it for your custom email, but just like finances, it’s best to keep business and personal separate. It will make things a lot easier down the road if you upgrade to Google Workspace or Google for Nonprofits.

Here’s how to make the account:

  • Create a Gmail account here and pick a new email address. usually works well.
  • Follow the rest of the steps to verify your phone number, create your account, and sign in.

2) Create Your Professional Email Account Domain

Next, you’ll need to register your custom domain with a registrar that offers email forwarding.

If you haven’t registered your domain already, you can sign up with Bluehost to get a domain name, email hosting, and web hosting all for just a couple of bucks a month. You can even use this tool to see if your domain idea is available:

(You may need to disable AdBlock to use the tool)

Why do we recommend Bluehost?

Well if you’re looking for a professional email, you’ll probably want a website to go with it. Bluehost includes a domain name free if you sign up for web hosting, and they’re pretty much the gold standard when it comes to web hosts.

Even better, we have an exclusive Bluehost discount for you! Use the tool above or link below to get 1) a domain name, 2) website hosting, 3) an SSL certificate, and 4) email hosting for just $2.95 a month.

Click here for deeply-discounted Bluehost hosting and a free domain name.

If nothing else, they have a 30-day money-back guarantee and pretty stellar support, so you can easily change your mind later.

3) Forward Emails from Your Custom Domain

Now that you’ve got a domain name, you’re going to route emails from your professional address to your Gmail address, so that you can continue to use the Gmail interface.

Below are the instructions for several different web hosts.

If your host isn’t listed: Look at the HostGator instructions–chances are you have the same cPanel admin interface.

If that doesn’t work: Your provider might not include email forwarding. You can transfer it to Bluehost for a web hosting package that includes email forwarding. Just click “Get Started” on this link, and on the 3rd step or so put in your existing domain name rather than searching for a new one. They’ll guide you through the rest.


  1. Login to your Bluehost account
  2. Under the hosting section click the email link
  3. Click the forwarding link
  4. Click the add email button
  5. Enter the address you would like to be forwarded. (
  6. Choose your new Gmail as the destination for the forwarded email
  7. Click submit

Hostgator / Any cPanel Host

  1. Log into cPanel
  2. In the Mail section, click Forwarders
  3. Under the Email Account Forwarders section, Click Add Forwarder
  4. Type in the Address to Forward (
  5. Select “Forward to email address” (
  6. Click Add Forwarder


*Please note that as of December 31, 2020, GoDaddy no longer offers email forwarding credits. If you have an account that was created before this date you can follow the instructions below. If not, you will need to purchase Office 365 Email Essentials for $23.88/year and then go into the GoDaddy settings for email forwarding.

  1. Login to your account and click your name in the top-right.
  2. Select My Products from the drop-down
  3. Scroll down to the section called Additional Products
  4. Click the arrow to reveal the Email Forwarding section
  5. Click the Redeem button
  6. Select your domain name (Email Forwarding 100 Pack) and click Redeem Credit
  7. Wait for the page to refresh
  8. Scroll down to the Workspace Email section
  9. Click the arrow to reveal your remaining credits for Email Forwarding
  10. Click Manage All
  11. You’ll be redirected to the Workspace Control Center (you may be asked for your login details)
  12. Click Create Forward
  13. Under Forward this email address, type the address you want to forward (
  14. Under To these email addresses, add your Gmail address
  15. Click Create


  1. Log in to your 1&1 Control Panel and select the relevant package
  2. Click the Manage E-mail Addresses link from the Mail panel
  3. Click the Set up forwards link located in the right corner of the page
  4. Choose a name and domain for the forwarding address (
  5. Type your Gmail into the Forward Target(s) box
  6. Click Save

4) Enable Gmail to Send from Your Custom Email Addresses

Enabling to send email as your custom email address via SMTP

Now that we have emails coming into Gmail, this step will allow you to send emails as for free with Gmail’s SMTP servers.

  1. Go to this link. If you can enable “Less secure apps,” do so.
    • If you get an error, it’s probably because you have 2-Step Verification enabled, like me. Go here to create an app-specific password instead.
  2. Return to Gmail, click the gear icon, then Settings
  3. Click Accounts and Import, then Add another email address in the Send mail as section
  4. Enter your name and, allow Treat as an alias, and then Next Step
  5. Enter the following credentials:
    • SMTP Server:
    • Username: The part of your Gmail address that comes before “”
    • Password: Your Gmail or App-specific password
    • Port: 587 or 465
    • Secure connection using: TLS for 587, SSL for 465

5) Final Configuration

Final step to set your free domain email as default
  1. You’ll be sent an email with a verification link. Make sure to click it to enable your new address.
  2. Once you are returned to the Settings page, click Make default next to your new, custom email.
  3. Send a friend an email to test outgoing messages
  4. Have them send you a message to confirm incoming messages

And that’s it! You now have Gmail with your own domain for free!

If you have any issues, comment below and I’ll do my best to fix them for you.

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181 thoughts on “How to Use Gmail with Your Custom Domain (For Free)”

    1. Gravatar image of Jason Jensen

      Yes you can. Just create an invite in your Google calendar and it will automatically send using your custom address.

  1. Gravatar image of Bobby

    Bluehost does not offer free email forwarding with only a domain purchase. I just followed all your steps and purchased the domain from Bluehost to then find out you actually need a web hosting account to have emails forwarded. What a pain. I hope you will consider updating your article for accuracy. I would have gone with GoDaddy if I hadn’t read your article. GoDaddy is a few dollars cheaper if you consider getting a domain and email service for 5 years

    1. Gravatar image of Jason

      Hi Bobby,

      Sorry for the misunderstanding. You are correct in that Bluehost is a web host that offers email hosting and forwarding as part of their package. However, the reason we recommend this for people that want to use Gmail to manage their domain emails but do not want to sign up for Google Workspace is because it’s honestly the best option. If you were to use use GoDaddy as you suggested, you’d have 2 options: using one of GoDaddy’s 2 email packages (Email Essentials for $1.99/month or Email Plus for $3.99/month) or using Office 365 for $8.99/month. None of those options will allow you to use Gmail. The GoDaddy email tools are very simplistic, have terrible reviews, and lack most of the features that are available for free from Gmail. The Office 365 option is more expensive than Workspace and not nearly as user friendly. So using Bluehost with email forwarding is a much better option on all accounts.

      1. Gravatar image of Corinne

        Hi, following along here and I am a bit confused. It appears to me that Bluehost only offers email hosting through Office 365 or Google Workplace (each requiring a subscription). I did dig deeper into the settings and was able to follow your beautifully explicit steps in forwarding email without either of these, using a account but ran into an issue at the end of step 3/beginning of step 4 when needing to confirm/verify the change. Without a mailbox or original hosting for the target email address to begin with, it seems as though there is no way to receive the conformation email with the verification code to complete the change. Am I missing something?

        1. Gravatar image of Yaron Marcus

          Hi Corinne,

          The email should be coming to the original address that you signed up with. The alias is just for when sending out mail. The same email you used in step 3, should be the inbox that the verification link arrives at. Let me know how it goes!

          1. Gravatar image of Corinne

            Hi Yaron,
            Yes, I follow you there but my question is about that original email. I have a domain and web hosting from Bluehost but I do not see the option for email hosting without getting a subscription (to either Office 365 or Google Workplace). I’m wondering if that’s right, since it seems from the post that Bluehost offers at least a basic email hosting for free with web hosting. I’m just not seeing that and without hosting for the original email it doesn’t seem there is anywhere for that confirmation email to land. I’m wondering if I am missing something or if I really do need to get an additional subscription to support email hosting. In which case there doesn’t seem to be much sense in setting up an alternative account.

  2. Gravatar image of Jared

    Thanks. Upon reading this it seems I have similar email needs as you in that we add and delete contractors (users) for specific projects to show continuity.
    I have Google Workspace but cant set up more than 1 email without a charge of $6/mth. per address, on top of the $14/mth subscription. You mention that Google Workspace is the best option, but am I correct in that it’s not unlimited email addresses? They each incur a charge of $6/mth.
    I am just starting up and need at least 5-10 email addresses.
    I have Google Workspace, bought domain at Go Daddy and set up a website at Wix.

    1. Gravatar image of Jason

      Hi Jared. You are correct, you need to pay per user, per month. But you can pay monthly. So once you stop working with a contractor, you cancel their user account then you stop paying the following month. You mention you are already paying $14/m, I assume that’s for Wix. If so, that’s a totally different type of service, though honestly, I don’t see why these guys don’t offer their own email hosting and webmail as part of their package. Seems like an obvious way to make their customers’ lives easier.

  3. Gravatar image of AIMEE M LAPIANA

    I have had this set up for a few years now. I filter all incoming domain email into it’s own folder in my personal gmail account. But I have a big problem. Sometimes it takes hours for domain emails to show up. And since it’s a business email, it’s really not great. Has anyone else had this issue? I’m using Bluehost. I don’t understand why there’s such a delay.

  4. Gravatar image of Lesha


    I have purchased a domain through Bluehost. However, I don’t see an option to email forwarding. Is there another way to get to it?

  5. Gravatar image of Maria

    I have my own domain through Google domains which allows you to create 100 emails and forward them to any email you like and it is working fine. I have tried to enable Gmail to send from my custom email address and it gives me an error saying that my username and password don’t match. I have allowed less secure apps and I do not have 2nd verification. Do you have any idea what it could be?

    1. Gravatar image of Jason

      Hi Maria,
      Have you been able to receive the emails to Gmail from Google Domains? You need to enable the smtp in your settings. Let me know if that works!

      1. Gravatar image of Maria

        Hi Jason,
        Yes, I am receiving all my emails to my new Gmail, but I can’t send the emails with my @domain email.
        Here is what I am doing and the error that gives me.

        SMTP Server: ( )
        Username: (Here I write the part of my Gmail address that comes before “ (the one I that I am forwarding all my @domain emails))
        Password: My Gmail password
        Secured connection using TLS Port: 587

        This is the error:
        Authentication failed. Please check your username/password.
        Server returned an error: “DNS Error: 6188880 DNS type ‘aaaa’ lookup of responded with code SERVFAIL 6188880 DNS type ‘a’ lookup of responded with code SERVFAIL , code: 0”

        Is there anything that I am doing wrong?

  6. Gravatar image of ROXANNE LAFOND

    Is it possible to do it without having an email hosting?
    I have a domain name, but I don’t want to get a website host (I only redirect).
    I would also like to find a way to avoid paying for an email hosting (yes I know it’s nothing).
    Is there a solution?

    1. Gravatar image of Jason

      Hey Roxanne,

      You will need an email hosting-but this should come as part of your domain registrar service. Who is your domain registrar?

  7. Gravatar image of Alex S

    Thanks for this workaround, it’s great.
    One question though: it seems that you actually have to have a second gmail account to make this work – is that correct? When I try to authenticate on smtp using the credentials of the same account I logged into and performing the set up on, it always fails (regardless of the less secure apps setting etc.). But when I switch to using the credentials the second gmail account it works.
    Just checking because I would prefer to use one account.

  8. Gravatar image of Nick

    Thanks for this post, very informative. I have been using Gmail for years to handle my domain address email both in and out. I use Outlook365 as my mail client. Just changed my laptop and the outgoing mail does not seem to work any longer. I have set up the email client on it Ok to send as and smpt the gmail ports etc, but it still sends as as and not
    Any ideas?

  9. Gravatar image of Caroline Mac

    Hi, thank you for this easy step-by-step guide of setting up a custom email! very much appreciated!

    I’m able to receive and send emails with my new custom domain email. But I’m somehow not getting the verification link sent to me. Even though I’m able to send emails to my new custom domain email – from another emailadress. I’m not getting the verification link sent to me :/ Any idea on what the issue is?

  10. Gravatar image of Anderson Sennott

    I love people who notice all sorts of details, little things and who can find something attractive and invisible for the majority in everyday things. Super!

  11. Gravatar image of Cecile

    Thank you for this post, really helpful.
    Our company has six employees and we’d like to switch to Gmail, basically because of team sharing and collaboration possibilities.
    The 2TB storage per user is a great plus in Google Workspace, but the price of 10€/user is a bit high for us. I wonder if it would be a good trade-off if we’d get a Google Workspace for one user (an admin or a CEO) and the rest of us would use a personal Gmail account (with our domain e-mail set as you described in the article) and use the shared Google Drive? Would that work? What are the drawbacks?
    I would love to hear your advice, thanks in advance.

    1. Gravatar image of Jason

      Hey Cecile,

      If you grab the coupon on the site, you can get 10 percent off for the first year which will help defray costs. If this is not an option for you, you can use the hack from the post. I don’t recommend it for multiple users because a lot of these registrars allow a limited amount of forwarded emails. If you hit the limit and then want to sign up for Workspace later, it will be harder to sync all your files. Feel free to reach out if you need more clarification!

  12. Gravatar image of Jamie Savage


    I have a shopify account that does not host email but will forward emails to a gmail account. I tried following your directions but I am unable to connect. Any help provided will be great.


  13. Gravatar image of Faber

    Thank you so much for this explanation!
    Everything works perfectly fine with the Gmail app.
    But is there any way to send mails not as name.organization@gmail but as mail@yourdomain from the iOS Mail App?
    I tried to sign in in the iOS settings not using the Gmail Account function but using the imap function.
    Now I can select my custom email adress when writing a mail in the iOS mail app.
    But the receiver still sees as the sender.
    Is there any way to fix this problem?
    Thank you so much!

    1. Gravatar image of Jason

      Hi Faber,

      When you put your alias email into the “From” field, did you make sure to hit the return button? If not, the default changes back to your original email. Let me know if that works!

  14. Gravatar image of Zenployee

    MIND… BLOWN… 🤯Didn’t think this was possible! Have a Business Gmail account and have consolidated all of my other custom domain emails into it, saving me £00s/monthly, thanks!

  15. Gravatar image of Bader

    hey thank for the article,
    it seems that it needs an update, I checked the GoDaddy instruction but could not find the Workspace Email they have removed it, if still there is a way ill be more than happy to learn?

    1. Gravatar image of Jason

      This is really strange. I checked with GoDaddy and they told me you are correct. Then I logged in myself to one of my accounts with them and there it was. I’ve updated the info above since it looks like they changed up their dashboard a little. Please give it a try and let me know how you manage.

      1. Gravatar image of Raychel

        I’m currently having the same problem with GoDaddy in that there is no “Workspace Email” option. Having followed the instruction above, I’m still stuck at this point but would love to get it sorted ASAP. Any advice would be much appreciated 🙂

        1. Gravatar image of Jason

          Hi Raychel,

          I have checked multiple go daddy accounts and you are correct in that some of the accounts do not have the workspace option. You would need to contact them to sort this.

  16. Gravatar image of Eric T.

    Great article, thank-you for all the details! One small snag I’m having, though:
    I have HostGator, and in CPanel I successfully forward the emails to my gmail. But, the emails *also* fill up my HostGator webmail, when I just want it to forward only. Do you know how to stop it from filling up the webmail inbox?

    1. Gravatar image of Jason

      Hi Eric,

      Do you have a dedicated server or a shared server. Hostgator only allows forwarding of emails to gmail if you have a dedicated server. I am happy to walk you through it if this applies to you.

      1. Gravatar image of Eric T.

        Thanks for the clarification, Jason. I have shared hosting (cheapest plan), so I guess it’s not possible to bypass the inbox on HostGator? It does allow forwarding (i.e. the emails do end up at Gmail), but it doesn’t seem to allow me to fully bypass the HostGator email, because it also dumps the emails into the webmail inbox. I need to occasionally login to the webmail (RoundCube) and just empty out the inbox. Unless you know a way around this? Thanks, again!

  17. Gravatar image of Cordia Okrent

    Superb blog! Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you suggest starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m totally confused .. Any tips? Kudos!

  18. Gravatar image of Teemu


    For people with problems; the “Less secure apps” -method didn’t work for me. At the SMTP part Google didn’t accept my password no matter what. I then enabled the 2-Step verification for my account and then went with the “app-specific password” method and it worked fine!

  19. Gravatar image of Lita

    Hi, Jason! First of all, I want to thank you for this one. Everything went smoothly with my domain and Gmail account, thanks for your kind and beautiful explanation.
    But, I plan to unsubscribe from web hosting along with the email, because I no longer need the website. My question is, will this ‘hack’ stop working when I stop paying for the web & email hosting? Looking forward to your reply. Thank you.

    1. Gravatar image of Jason

      Hi Lita,

      Your Gsuite email, now called Workspace will not stop working after you cancel hosting and email hosting. When you signed up for a hosting plan they can manage your emails from a completely different server which allows you to cancel and still have access to those emails. If you used Workspace you will still have access to it.

  20. Gravatar image of Bernard Norman

    Hey! Quick question. I currently own a domain. Must I still go through G Suite or can I use the current domain that I currently own for my custom email?

  21. Gravatar image of Rachel

    Hi Jason,
    Thanks for the info.
    I did this back in the day: linked my professional account to a gmail account to be able to workout of the gmail interface, but for my professional account i also set up a google account, to be able to access all the services such as drive.

    I have now decided to move it all to gsuite as it gets quite messy as workload increases with the personal and professional emails on one interface.

    However, since i already have used my professional account to set up a personal google account to take advantage of the google services, how can i transfer or convert that specific professional email account to gsuite? Eg to transfer from personal google account to gsuite ( emails, files etc)

    From what i can tell you cannot do such a thing? Would the best option be a new professional account for gsuite (eg, and transfer ownership of all the files, including shared files to the new professional account, then delete the original professional email linked to google account followed by changing the user name on Gsuite from rachel123 to the original

    Would that work?

    Worried that deleted accounts cannot be recreated and that files on drive in general will not transfer properly in the way i have described.

    Many thanks in advance!


  22. Gravatar image of Me

    Thanks for the great article!

    I’ve got a personal Gmail account and recently bought a personal domain (for myself, for fun). I’m trying to connect the two (i.e use an alias + forward) but seems like your guide requires that I have a provider email address (of GoDaddy or similar) and forward it.

    How can I do it without getting a GoDaddy email?

    Thanks 🙂

    1. Gravatar image of Jason

      Registering a domain name is basically good for reserving that name. But you’ll need a email hosting plan in order to use it in your email address.

  23. Gravatar image of Cindy

    Hi Jason,
    Thanks for the guide. Works like a charm.
    One question though. Should I turn the ‘allow less secure app’ back to ‘off’?

  24. Gravatar image of Daniel

    hi jason, i just open a Gsuite account and i wanted to use it for email marketing so gsuite gave me a domain and email address. how can i generate a custom domain and what are the steps i must followto allow my email to be delivered ..i really need help on this and i wish someone can really help me so as to start sending my bulk email campaigns.looking forward to hear from you soon

    1. Gravatar image of Jason

      Hi Daniel,

      If you have not registered a domain yet, that’s the first step, you can use Godaddy for that. Next you will need to sign up for an email marketing tool like constantcontact. They will walk you through setting up your account to send bulk email from your custom domain name. Google Workspace (formerly G suite) is not the right tool for email marketing campaigns.

  25. Gravatar image of Dianne

    Hello! I used to create aliases very easily through gmail, and still have one that I set up late last year that works, but suddenly no matter what I do, I can’t create another one for a new domain. I have followed your instructions, and it just loops back to showing my main gmail page. I have also tried using my domain smtp settings and that does the same thing. I’m pulling my hair out as this is the easiest solution for having everything available to me. OH I should mention that I was able to set up my domain email through gmail easily on my Android phone.. but the settings don’t synch with my computer. I’m completely baffled! Any help or tips would be greatly appreciated!

  26. Gravatar image of Roger

    Dear Jason

    I tried to get a 20% coupon code for Switzerland but Google tells me that it is not valid for my country. Is there a possibility to get the 20% reduction anyway?

    1. Gravatar image of Jason

      Hey Roger,

      Yes unfortunately there are ineligible countries for the 20% off, and Google is very strict about it. I don’t know of any way to get around that.

    2. Gravatar image of Jimbob

      Two ways you could get around this:
      A. Although global codes don’t work, occasionally the Google representative office for your country issues its own vouchers that do. Call them or visit them and ask.
      B. Sign up using a “VPN Browser” with built-in always-on VPN that makes you appear based in the United States. Only use this browser for all your setup, configuration, and payment process from A-Z. After that it should be ok if you go back to use any normal browser

  27. Gravatar image of John M

    Hi. Great article. Quick question, will an email sent using this method be more likely to fall in to someone’s spam filter than it would if I was using GSuite?
    I notice when sending an email it says “via gmail” to the recipient on Gmail/Outlook and also on Outlook the recipient sees a warning saying: “The actual sender of this message is different to the normal sender.”
    I really want to use this as a solution for all my personal emails but I’m worried I’ll keep getting filtered out by the other person’s spam filters compared to if I had GSuite or just used my

    1. Gravatar image of Jason

      Hey John, yes in rare cases it will be more likely flagged. If you’re concerned about deliverability, but still want a custom url I highly suggest G Suite.

  28. Gravatar image of Valentina

    Hi, thank you for this help, first of all!
    I’ve signed by error on G-Suite to use my because I was told it was free… now I understand that after the trial I will have to pay so I want to cancel and use free gmail instead. Do you think I can do it?

  29. Gravatar image of Luciano Ferroni

    Hi. I already have my own registered domain. The e-shop provider gave me two DNS which I uploaded at the registrar. This company just hosts your e-shop, they don’t give you an email. So what should I do to have an email with my own domain? I can’t count on them to do anything, their business is just providing free e-shops, they don’t get involved with mails in any way.
    Thank you!

    1. Gravatar image of Steve

      Hi Luciano
      To get email on your own domain, you will need to register and verify your domain with an email provider and set up the MX records on your DNS.

      There are plenty to chose from – GSuite, Microsoft365, Zoho mail, Proton mail, Namecheap private email.

      Zoho has a good free option, and Gsuite comes with a 2-week trial.

  30. Gravatar image of Rob Gielen

    Hello Jason,

    Those days, configuring a SPF record is really important when using G-mail (or other service) to send mails on your behalf.

    Maybe a bit technical … but here you go.

    Add an SPF TXT record to your domain host
    Your domain host keeps text settings (called DNS records) that direct web traffic to your domain. An SPF TXT record lists the mail servers that can send email from your domain. If a message is sent from a server that’s not in the record, the recipient’s server might consider it spam.

    Note: A domain can only have one SPF record, but your record can list multiple servers. For details, see Add multiple servers to an SPF record.

    1. Sign in to your domain account at your domain host
    2. Go to the page for updating your domain’s DNS records. This page might be called something like: DNS management, name server management, or advanced settings.
    3. Find your TXT records and check if your domain has an existing SPF record.
    4. The SPF record starts with “v=spf1”. If your domain already has an SPF record, remove it. If not, skip to step 5.
    5. Create a TXT record with (wizard can be found:

    6. Save the record. Your new SPF record takes effect within 48 hours.

    Would you also be able to list my product as an option to do email forward?

    Thank you soo much!

    kind regards,

  31. Gravatar image of Andreina

    I just got an account via Namecheap and bought 2 domains on there but when I get to step 3 above I keep getting a server error (Couldn’t reach server. Please double-check the server and port number.). I set up my mail setting under the Advanced DNS to be with Gmail in my Namecheap Dashboard. What can I do?

  32. Gravatar image of Bob

    This is great info! I’ve always forwarded my e-mail accounts to Gmail and used to be able to add and reply from my addresses OK. But then something changed and since then I’ve been using my hosts mail servers to send through but it’s been very troublesome. This solutionis much better and also seems to negate the need to add SPF and DKIM records which I have stuggled to do.

  33. Gravatar image of Mark

    I have a forwarding account for my custom email address, and there is no password or SMTP server associated with this address. I’m currently using AT&T to send/receive my emails but want off of their platform for ISP independence.
    I can’t get pas the SMTP page in the setup. Google doesn’t like my username/password, and there isn’t a password anyway. I tried my gmail username + password, but that gave me the same error.

  34. Gravatar image of Someone

    Sorry, but this is impossible. Forward is a common, but sending from own domain is a different beast. You see, Google has no way of knowing the domain is yours and thus you can put whatever you want on the alias, like say If it was possible it would be a spammers phishing galore. As long as you’re sending the domain from Google servers, the address will be no mater what you put as alias.

    1. Gravatar image of Taylor

      This to "Someone" Not true. I have done this with literally all of my domains purchased from google. It’s a pain and when you reset your password if you have 2-factor authentication you will have to recreate the app passwords… BUT THIS TOTALLY WORKS and it’s saving me like $20-$30 forms all my accounts. In the end def work it, great breakdown as well of how to get it done.

  35. Gravatar image of Sean

    I setup GoDaddy email forwarding to my GMail Account. Every message forwarded to GMail carries the following warning: " did not encrypt this message". Are my emails being forwarded by GoDaddy unencrypted, and if so how can it be secured?
    Thanks for your help!

  36. Gravatar image of Dan

    So you recommend getting the domain with Namecheap (which I did), but I cannot see the email forwarding instructions for that host. I’d appreciate if you can give me a hand. Thanks.

  37. Gravatar image of Philippe

    okay everything works fine but the only problem is that I don’t have access to the email with my domain name, I just bought the domain name now how can I go to the email with my domain name to verify the account to Gmail?

  38. Gravatar image of Ken

    Sorry if this is already covered, but if you have only a GoDaddy POP account (no access to IMAP), could you set up the forwarding of the GoDaddy emails to Gmail, with Gmail still using IMAP? Obviously trying to keep the benefits of IMAP (syncing/keeping emails the same across OS, web and mobile clients). Thank you.

  39. Gravatar image of Sarah

    So my hosting is through Netregisty. I currently have 2 domains (.com and My .com is for my emails and I pay for Office 365 and for Cpanel starter monthly and is what i chose for my website as I’m in Australia (both are connected to Shopify). So if I change my emails to the via Netregistry and redirect to Gmail, can I then cancel my monthly subscription with Netregistry? I hope that makes sense lol

    1. Gravatar image of Jason Jensen

      Hey Sarah, so if I understand correctly you’ve paid for those domains through Netregistry? If so, you’ll need to keep your subscription. You could, however, potentially cancel the Office 365 and cPanel hosting, because all you need is the domain registration.

  40. Gravatar image of Bill

    Update — it must have been a timing thing because it eventually worked. Thanks so much for this info, it really solved a problem that I have!

  41. Gravatar image of Bill

    I’m trying this but I keep getting this error (I deleted some characters in case it somehow has my information encoded). I tried it on two different Gmail accounts. I have the less secure option turned on. And the page they refer to doesn’t exist. Any ideas?

    "534-5.7.14 < 534-5.7.14 534-5.7.14 iruTh0mv2nw1pW2uZxEp2eJ-> Please 534-5.7.14 log in via your web browser and then try again. 534-5.7.14 Learn more at 534 5.7.14 n44sm743747qtf.51 – gsmtp , code: 534""

  42. Gravatar image of Mike Robinson

    Wouldn’t it be better to use Gmail to get the domain’s email from the server with POP3 instead of setting up mail forwarding?

    1. Gravatar image of YourInnerVoice

      What server? If you are paying for email hosting anyway you may as well just pay Google to host your email if you like the Gmail interface.

    2. Gravatar image of Jason Jensen

      Hey Mike,

      The disadvantage of POP3 is that Gmail has to actively fetch emails–and you have no control over how frequently that happens. At best there will be a 1-2 minute delay in your emails, and in most cases Gmail will only fetch every 15 minutes, even up to an hour.

      Forwarding, on the other hand, is basically instantaneous. I use it for several email addresses and never experienced major lag.

      Hope that helps!

  43. Gravatar image of Sam Pacheco

    Hello, this is really a great guide. I’ve successfully gone through all steps, except the last one! I haven’t received an email confirmation. I clicked the link provided to send the email again, but still no luck. Any way you can help me out?

    1. Gravatar image of Jason Jensen

      Hey Sam,

      The issue you describe makes me think there’s some problem with the email forwarding. Perhaps it isn’t set up properly, or your host has a spam filter that Gmail is triggering. I would go into the cPanel of your host and login to their webmail (if you have that feature) and see if the emails are trapped there.

  44. Gravatar image of Sri

    Hi, That’s a great work. Really helped me to create a domain email address. But got a small problem, like when ever I sent a mail using my business domain mail Id it is going to spam for my clients. How to solve this issue. Please help me to resolve this problem. Thanks in advance…

    1. Gravatar image of Jason Jensen

      Thanks for the kind words!

      For this issue, it may be triggering because some servers don’t look kindly on the fact that your email is a custom domain, but says "sent via Gmail". A couple things to try are:

      1. Use a different SMTP server, like Mailgun’s
      2. Have your clients add you to their Gmail contacts
      3. If all else fails, just get G Suite for $6/mo. It’ll work like a charm. You can grab a coupon code for 20% off at the top of the post.
  45. Gravatar image of Monchelle

    Hello. This was working perfectly until about 5 days ago. I’ve been using this method for over a year. Now, I am not receiving any emails at all, but I am able to send them. Please assist.

    1. Gravatar image of Jason Jensen

      Hi Monchelle,

      An issue with receiving but not sending implies that your host and/or email forwarding has changed. The exact issue could be one of many, but I’d start by checking if your domain name expired, or the features on your plan changed.

  46. Gravatar image of Andrew

    This works great! Thanks for the instructions.

    One question though, when I send an email from my new domain email address to another gmail account, the recipient sees the sender as my domain "via". Do you know is there any way to get rid of that?

    Thanks again.

  47. Gravatar image of Chris

    Nice one! That worked perfectly for me.

    For anyone having trouble, if you only just set up your domain or mail forwarder then wait a day and try again in case all that was set up yet by your domain registrar.

  48. Gravatar image of James Scollard
    James Scollard

    G-Suite requires you to delete your gmail account to use it. Couldnt figure it out, spent a month attempting to even get a domain email address working. No place to configure email accounts for my domain, and al the support chat was good for was cancelling ym g-suite subscription entirely.

    If it works at all for handling multiple domain registration emails to gmail, its a secret or something.

  49. Gravatar image of Mike

    I just tried to set this up. Everything went well, except when I try to send a test email, nothing appears to happen when I click the send button. the send button turns light blue like it’s been pressed, but nothing happens.. What now?

  50. Gravatar image of Erica

    Thanks for this explanation. However, here’s the part I don’t get. I use GoDaddy, and this explains how to forward emails from GoDaddy to Gmail. But I would still have to pay GoDaddy every month to have the email in my domain name to start with. Is there a way to get free email using my domain name, if the domain name is hosted by GoDaddy? I seem to remember that they used to offer that, but no longer according to GoDaddy. Thanks!

    1. Gravatar image of Kevin Weatherly

      I believe you simply don’t tell GoDaddy anything about your plans about email. Then you go update the applicable records (MX records?) and you’re all set. You can have every * email address go to a single inbox or set up individual email addresses. If I’m wrong about any of this someone will correct me.

    2. Gravatar image of James Keller

      You need to have a server somewhere hosting your domain to be able to send email with this domain, even if Google is sending it through their Gmail platform. So you need Go Daddy or any other host. You can’t have just a domain and then have Gmail set up to send email as this domain. The host (Go Daddy) is the middle man. However, Go Daddy sucks and you should consider moving your domain to a respectable host.

    3. Gravatar image of Brent

      GoDaddy provides free email forwarding with each domain registered. You do NOT have to subscribe to their paid email service to make this work. Once you register your domain, redeem the "Email Forwarding – 100 pack" to enable this feature. Then setup up to 100 forwards to Gmail or wherever…there is also a CATCH-ALL option!

      Note, I had to add 2 MX records to make this all work:

      MX @ (Priority: 0) 1 Hour
      MX @ (Priority: 10) 1 Hour

      GoDaddy’s article about this:

      1. Gravatar image of Daniela PP

        Brent, I just had a chat with godaddy rep. I referred to the article, but the rep said I need to pay for Workspace and email services in order to get Email Forwarding pack. What do you mean by MX records, I am not tech savvy to know the terminology.

    4. Gravatar image of Daniela PP

      Hi Erica, I am in the same shoes right now. Purchased domain only and would like to have email address, but no need for website. I see your post if 5 months old, what was the solution you went with? Thanks!

  51. Gravatar image of Alberto

    Title is a bit missleading "How to Use Gmail with Your Custom Domain (For Free)" should be "How to Use Gmail with Your custom domain with a free trial"

    1. Gravatar image of Jason Jensen

      Hey Alberto, did you read the full article? This is a step-by-step tutorial for hacking Gmail to use it with a custom domain for free. The G Suite offer is an alternative for people who may just want to get the "legit" option after all.

  52. Gravatar image of Steve

    This is great, but now that I get calendar invites, they seem to get lost in the ether. I can accept the invites, but they go to the calendar of my custom email address, which isn’t replicated on my gmail account/calendar. Any ideas on how to replicate the invites to my gmail account or add the invites going to my custom domain email address to my existing gmail account? Thanks in advance!

  53. Gravatar image of MSchwiet

    This is great, thank you! I got it to work through gmail browser, but is there a way to get it to still come from my alias using my apple mail program?

  54. Gravatar image of Mochi

    Great tutorial! Make sure you read each step carefully because you may run into some problem if you just quickly glance at the steps. Regardless, I’m super happy I can now use an email address that is personalized just for me. <3

  55. Gravatar image of Elliot Hunter

    Doesn’t appear to work, falls at the last hurdle where a verification email is sent to But because you don’t pay for email hosting its impossible to receive this email. I’m using Godaddy is there a way around this?

    1. Gravatar image of Keith C

      To use Gmail for free you must use the Gmail app on a phone or tablet. On a computer you would use something like Thunderbird. On your phone, open the app, go to settings, add account. Type in your info such as , , your password. The next part is the most important and where most people make mistakes. Go to incoming and outgoing mail, by default it puts in the addresses wrongly. Go to your cpanel to get your outgoing and incoming mail settings, but usually it’s

    1. Gravatar image of Jason Jensen

      Yes that’s a good distinction–G Suite is definitely for those who are starting a new business, nonprofit or otherwise. If you just want a custom domain for your personal account, it’s best to stick with this hack.

  56. Gravatar image of ISolo

    Hi there this blog is really helpful keep up the good work, One thing i need to ask from you is "HOW CAN I REMOVE THE WORD "sent via" i would really appreciate if you could help me on this one. thank you and best regards

  57. Gravatar image of Peter N

    This is exactly what I was looking for. You’ve saved me from having to get a whole g-suite or paying for email hosting. This is much better. Thanks!

  58. Gravatar image of Nadeem Muqueem

    I created and used the App-specific password for 3) 5. and it was accepted. However, I too did not receive the email to my Gmail account with the verification link needed to complete the confirmation. Am I missing something?

  59. Gravatar image of Dee

    I keep getting an "authentication failed" message when I try to do the "" step and I tried both my gmail username before "@", as well as the full e-mail. I’ve enabled the "less secure apps" already.

    My error code is:
    Server returned error: "534-5.7.14 < 534-5.7.14 A7WrdLAdMFi-xwojs6XYjkVzdo3Z6EhKUzhGpb-f8LHDssFX91Gj9DSATgvwCTpGlQ8ekL 534-5.7.14 _88dph3-ZJgFJO1LR72r6reg-prqX8pxdl3llMScgG_ycUIopQ21P_N7GOkJvJUmpBITcc 534-5.7.14 ERmwbe8lL9QznWUACK0w7nNox_FWsh3Kxb3jeEQKcfnnE0GjDJneeNftBeIdYCTWI1mFxN 534-5.7.14 qni100Hg> Please log in via your web browser and then try again. 534-5.7.14 Learn more at 534 5.7.14 r11sm13910933iog.46 – gsmtp , code: 534"

    Anyone know a solution?

  60. Gravatar image of Isabella

    Hi Thank you for the amazing tutorial! I have a little issue though?
    On my original gmail address, I can choose to send a mail through the original address as well as my new ‘domain address’. However, when the person replys to my domain address email, it is NOT forwarded to my original gmail account but rather goes back to the domain email? Please tell me where I have gone wrong and how to fix it? 🙂

  61. Gravatar image of HumTum Network

    giving this error… help me plz how can i solve… i am on godaddy…!

    Oops, we weren’t able to finish. Please verify that you have entered the exact settings provided by your other email service. Contact your other email administrator for further details.

  62. Gravatar image of Saqib Hossain

    GoDaddy is giving me trouble; how do I sign into webmail if I never chose a password? Also, it says the webmail address I created isn’t in their system. I just dont get it…

  63. Gravatar image of KM

    Great post.

    However, when I followed the instructions for GoDaddy it didn’t work flawlessly.

    I found that when creating the forwarding email, GoDaddy didn’t automatically update the DNS, so I had to manually add the MX records for GoDaddy’s two mail servers to my domain’s own DNS records.

    Once I did this emails started to flow after a couple of minutes.

  64. Gravatar image of Mike

    "Username: The part of your gmail address that comes before “”"
    does not work for me. The "send email as" got registered successfully, but when I hit send button nothing happened (though it thrown some exception in the console).

    Instead I managed to get it working by using my full gmail address as Username. Hope it helps

  65. Gravatar image of Dex


    good steps but this link helped me finish it off

    It seems like you have to change the DNS settings for godaddy users

  66. Gravatar image of Chris

    Don’t do it. A G-Suite account doesn’t have many of the nice features of the personal GMail account, such as family sharing.

    I’ve had a custom domain with Gmail since soon after Gmail was launches and now I’m in a terrible position that I can’t share any of my library with my family. Family Sharing is disabled, and so are some of the features you can use with Google Home.

    1. Gravatar image of [object Object]

      Just to be clear, when i said ‘Don’t do it’ I meant don’t buy a G-Suite account expecting it to function the same as a personal account.

      Unfortunately, google provide no way to have a personal google account with a custom domain.

  67. Gravatar image of Cookie


    I was able to set-up forwarding, and set up my alias. But the emails are not being delivered, when i send an email out using my alias, it returns this:

    "Message not delivered
    You’re sending this from another Google account using the ‘Send mail as’ feature. To send this message, please log in:"

    But I’m obviously logged in my account.

    Kindly help.

  68. Gravatar image of Dolla

    I’ve done this but some companies block email sent this way due to SPF records not matching up. Have you seen this? Any advice on how to ensure emails are getting through?

    1. Gravatar image of Jason Jensen

      Yes, I have seen emails get blocked. It’s rare, but it does happen. This is just a hack, so if perfect deliverability is something you’re concerned about, I would suggest signing up for G Suite.

      1. Gravatar image of Jeff Higgins

        All you have to do is add to your spf record, for example mine is:

        v=spf1 +a +mx ~all

  69. Gravatar image of Jennifer

    It appears I either have the option to pay monthly through my go daddy account or pay monthly through g suite. So neither way is actually free. Is this correct?

    1. Gravatar image of Jason Jensen

      No, the method in this post is entirely free. You can get free email forwarding from your domain host or a service like mailgun. The paid options from GoDaddy or G Suite are the "legit" ways to do this, if you’re concerned about the long term.

  70. Gravatar image of Kory Crompton

    Hi, thanks for the post. I am not receiving the email for verification in the last step. I set up the forwarding from Bluehost to my Gmail address already, but for whatever reason I’m not getting that email…

  71. Gravatar image of Nick

    It doesn’t work for me. I get this message (after turning on less secure apps).
    Server returned error: "DNS Error: 3844048 DNS type ‘aaaa’ lookup of responded with code NXDOMAIN 3844048 DNS type ‘a’ lookup of responded with code NXDOMAIN , code: 0"

    Seems like a DNS error. Gmail can’t find it own servers? Or they put a block for using it like that.

  72. Gravatar image of D

    I’m not sure why, but step #3 is just not working for me… I’ve opened another browser that I don’t often use to verify the PW I’m entering for my gmail account is correct and it is. I’m at a loss…

    Here is the error details if that helps:

    Server returned error: "534-5.7.14 < 534-5.7.14 JPtLcGN09fUuTx1T5UZ9JK_sZVJL4_3j_dwYIzK7cIeffHLh-L-xQwOZ4RxnxmPNHokaCw 534-5.7.14 y5vvzwbLNLF_vUHgBUIAEcGkReAAfbYixuKmdve7qcjX7NlHjQKvpNJjGeKiwpG4-HaQFi 534-5.7.14 48Xk8TO_ZKZmt8Vx_qQYPFRddC4aCuMeLdQN7B3UEhHSlGEjr2xmfxrBiX4QdRmYjKQ0Te 534-5.7.14 5Wukp2mHlsZupFeNRl_GUKwNMxlCMIZx4E8ATe_lGoZpsL5-R7> Please log in via 534-5.7.14 your web browser and then try again. 534-5.7.14 Learn more at 534 5.7.14 m203-v6sm20288581oig.42 – gsmtp , code: 534"

    1. Gravatar image of Alex R

      I was having the same issue, go here to "allow for less secure apps"

      Then I went here, and at the top of the page, there was a warning label telling me that "google prevented a suspicious attempt to sign in to your account…" and I clicked a link to "Review activity now", but could also be found here – My login was blocked, but once I reviewed and marked my login as safe, it worked the very next time I attempted to log in.

  73. Gravatar image of Brnet

    Thank you for the informative post! One question…I cannot seem to get the email that contains the verification code because the verification code email from google is being sent to the new email account that I have yet to verify. Make sense? What I am doing wrong?

      1. Gravatar image of Newpublicvoid

        First off… THANKS! This is a awesome ‘hack’ and you are kind to answer these follow ups with details.

        Azure has a great free tier ( no affiliation – just making up for years of cursing MSFT) where there is no (easy) way to manage mail. So I’m trying to avoid spinning up a box just to manage SMTP.

        I have completed step 3 and the verification email has been sent to the address I fabricated for gmail. That request is now lost in space because I don’t have an SMTP server in azure. I was hoping a simple MX record (I manage the DNS in Azure) would suffice but I guess I have to build a SMTP server to handle this verification request. Meh… kind of defeats the purpose. .. I just want a vanity address that works. Just thinkin out loud here.

  74. Gravatar image of Luis Somellera

    Awesome post, just one question. Emails are still been saved in my server, thats the whole idea for me to use Gmail´s free 15GB. Any ideas?

  75. Gravatar image of Marcus H

    Hi Jason, thanks for this! I am a user on GoDaddy and I am trying to find the "Manage" button next to the Workspace email, but I’m unable to find it.

    This is what I see –

    Do you mean that I should sign up for a GoDaddy’s Office365 email service first before proceeding to the next steps?

  76. Gravatar image of Kelly

    I was able to set up my custom Gmail account to SEND emails…but I am not RECEIVING emails that should be forwarding from my custom domain account to my custom gmail account…hope that makes sense!

  77. Gravatar image of Sam

    Thank you for this beautifully easy to understand step by step explanation of how to set this up. I was able to process everything as described with go daddy and gmail (although I did have to enable 2-step verification to satisfy the security requirements). The only issue is for some reason the email doesn’t seem to be forwarding yet. I’m hoping it’s just a set up delay and that the emails will come through soon…

    1. Gravatar image of Jason Jensen

      Glad it helped you!
      When you set up a forwarding address in Gmail, it sends a verification email to the new address to confirm you’re not spamming some stranger. You’ll need to click the link in that email or copy the code into your old Gmail’s settings to complete the forwarding set-up.

  78. Gravatar image of Gaurav


    Earlier I am able to log in in Gmail UI with my domain and password like login ID and PWD.

    but later I have noticed when I am log in it transferring me to gmail id.

    PS I have created gmail account and did setting for I received my confirmation email and activated.

    Now question is do I need to activate email forwarding ?? is it necessary ?

    What if I directly login in GMail UI as will I be able to receive emails?

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