Office 365 Tips: Adding a Registered Domain Name

Adding your registered domain name to Office 365 lets you use your domain with the cloud service's e-mail, instant messaging, and Web hosting capabilities, and create new users. Here are detailed tips on how to get this done.

If you are a professional or small business currently beta testing Microsoft's cloud-based productivity and collaboration suite, Office 365, you will want to add your registered domain name to the service.

During the sign-up process for Office 365, which was released as a public beta this week, you create a new domain for your account, and can use it to send and receive e-mail, create SharePoint sites, and more. If your company already has a registered domain name, you can reassign that domain so that it can be used in Office 365.

This will allow you to use your company's domain name with all the Office 365 services. You can create e-mail addresses, Microsoft Lync Online accounts, and distribution lists that use your own domain name. You can also use your domain to host a Web site on Microsoft SharePoint Online. Office 365 can host your Web site, or you can host your Web site with another provider after moving other services to Office 365.

Because most SMB's already have a registered domain name, these instructions are for adding existing domain names to Office 365. For demonstration purposes, GoDaddy.com will stand in as the domain name registrar.

  • From the main Office 365 beta page, sign in to the Office 365 admin portal as an admin. Click "admin" at the top of the page then click "domains" in the left navigation menu.
  • Click "add a domain", enter your domain name, and click "check domain" to confirm that the information matches your registered domain. Click next.
  • You will now see a list of instructions that you will need to enter at your domain name registrar (GoDaddy.com). Write down the information listed in the "hosted name" and "points to" fields.
  • Leave the Office 365 admin portal page and open a new tab. Go to your GoDaddy.com account page.
  • Click "My Account" from the navigation bar across the top of the GoDaddy account page.
  • Click "advanced details" next to the domain name that you want to add to Office 365.
  • On the "domain details" page, click "launch" under the DNS Manager section.
  • Click "quick add" under the CNAME (Alias) section.
  • Here's where you'll need the "hosted name" and "points to" info you wrote down from the Office 365 admin portal. Enter the "host name" info into the first field and the "points to" info in the second field.
  • Click "Save Zone File" and then click "OK."
  • Toggle back to your Office 365 admin portal page and click "verify" at the bottom of the page. Information about the primary and secondary nameservers will be listed. Write this down — you will need it later.
  • Click "next" and then click "finish."
  • On Office 365 admin portal page, click "users" from the left navigation menu. Click "new", and then click "user."
  • Enter the required information to create a new user. Then select the newly added domain name from the drop-down menu, and then click next.
  • Assign the necessary permissions, select the user's location, and click next.
  • Select your license options, and click next.
  • Choose to send a notification e-mail , and click create. The results will confirm that the new user was created successfully. Click finish.
  • Toggle back to the GoDaddy site, and click "Domain Manager" from the top of the page.
  • Click "NameServers" from the menu bar, and then click "Set NameServers." Select "I have specific nameservers for my domain." Now you need to add the nameserver information from the Office 365 admin portal that you wrote down earlier.
  • Fill in the Nameserver 1 and 2 text boxes, and leave Nameserver 3 and 4 text boxes empty. Click OK.

You're done. You've now added a registered domain to Office 365.

Note: It may take up to 72 hours for the domain name to be fully processed through Office 365.

Shane O'Neill covers Microsoft, Windows, Operating Systems, Productivity Apps and Online Services for CIO.com. Follow Shane on Twitter @smoneill. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline and on Facebook. Email Shane at soneill@cio.com

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