How to use iCloud with a custom email domain

During the WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference), Apple announced its new premium iCloud+ subscription in June 2021, which adds additional security and convenience features to the company’s popular storage service. One of those features is the ability to run your iCloud email inbox through a custom domain. We explain what advantages having a custom domain has and how exactly you link the iCloud with your personal domain.

Note

iCloud+, which enables users to send iCloud emails from a custom domain, will officially be available to all interested users in fall 2021. To date, users can only try out the new feature in the beta variant on beta.icloud.com. For security reasons, anyone who wants to take part in the test should not experiment with any important addresses or addresses that are used for business-critical communication.

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Quick guide: Link iCloud email to a custom domain

  1. Sign into iCloud Mail Beta with your Apple ID: Sign-in page for iCloud Beta (create an Apple ID first, if necessary). A paid iCloud+ subscription is required.
  2. Under “Account Settings”, click “Manage” in the “Custom Email Domain” section.
  3. Select the account type (personal or family account), enter the existing domain (if necessary, register the domain with a provider beforehand) and click “Continue”.
  4. Open the account with your domain provider and adjust the domain settings. For iCloud select “Update your domain registrar’s settings”, click on “View” and transfer the values to the account you have with the provider.
  5. Click “Finish set up” - a message will appear indicating whether this was successful. Then set up the desired email addresses.

What are the benefits of having an iCloud email with a custom domain?

With the introduction of the new paid subscription for Apple’s cloud service, users can freely design the iCloud email address how they want. So instead of the standard addresses that follow the same pattern name@icloud.com, for example, custom domains like name@desireddomain.com are possible. You can use this domain to send your iCloud emails as usual.

Linking the iCloud to your personal domain can pay off for a variety of reasons:

  • Companies gain respectability through personalized domains, for example.
  • Emails from a custom account appear more professional than emails from an icloud.com address.
  • A custom domain offers maximum flexibility when it comes to hosting.
  • You can use your own email domain with iCloud and also with any other mail platform.
  • Moreover, you can decide yourself which provider you register your desired address with.
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Connect iCloud Mail to your custom domain: Step-by-step guide

To be able to send iCloud emails via a custom domain, you first of all need your own domain. If you already have your own individual Internet address, you are one step ahead at this point. Otherwise, the first step is to purchase a domain from your trusted provider.

Once you have a personal domain, simply follow the instructions below to link the iCloud+ email service with the custom domain.

Step 1: Sign into iCloud Mail

The first step is to sign into the iCloud Mail service with your account. Since the feature is currently only available in the beta version, use the iCloud Beta page for this.

Step 2: Go into the settings for “Custom Email Domain”

On the iCloud login screen, press the “Account Settings” button and then access the menu for linking iCloud and a custom domain by pressing the “Manage” button in the “Custom Email Domain” section:

Step 3: Select the type of email account and specify the domain

In the third step, you decide whether the new domain for your iCloud account should be available exclusively for you (“Only You”) or also for your family members (“You and Your Family”). After you have made your selection, specify your custom email domain that you want to connect to the iCloud and continue the setup process via “Continue”.

Step 4: Update the settings with the domain registrar

Now you need to adjust a few settings in your account at your domain provider. Specifically, these are the settings for MX records, TXT records, and CNAME records. To do this, click “View” in the iCloud menu under “Update your domain registrar’s settings” and transfer the corresponding values to your domain provider’s account.

Step 5: Finish the set up

In the last step, press the “Finish set up” button to finish linking the iCloud and your personal domain. If the setup was successful, you will receive a message saying so. Click on “Next” and add the desired email address under your own domain.

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Register a domain: How does it actually work?

As mentioned above, linking iCloud email and a custom domain is only possible if you have purchased a domain beforehand. This involves registering a domain, which you can choose to do with a registrar or service provider. Here’s the process in a nutshell:

  1. Decide on a registrar or provider that you want to register your domain with.
  2. Think of a meaningful name and a suitable domain extension for your domain, which you can later use, for example, as the basis for your custom email domain with iCloud.
  3. Use the verification tool of your chosen provider to check the availability of your desired domain.
  4. Register the domain if it is available.
  5. Verify the domain purchase within 15 days.
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For a detailed guide on the domain registration process including many useful tips and tricks, look no further than our article “How to buy a domain”.

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