How do I use Office 365 for my email service?

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Microsoft sells a service named Office 365 that (with some plans) includes email service.

If your Office 365 subscription includes email service (such as their “Business Essentials” and “Business Premium” plans), the rest of this page explains how to set things up to have the Microsoft servers handle all your email, rather than having email handled by Tiger Technologies.

This isn’t the right page if you’ve downloaded the Outlook software available with your Office 365 plan, but you’re still using our mail servers.

This page explains how to have the Microsoft servers completely handle all mail instead of having our servers handle it.

If you’ve instead just downloaded the Outlook program onto your computer as part of your Office 365 subscription, and you want to set up Outlook to connect to your mailboxes on our servers, see our pages about Outlook 2016 for Windows or Outlook 2016 for Mac instead.

Getting started

If you sign up with Office 365 email, they’ll suggest that you update the “DNS nameservers” to point everything at the Office 365 servers by default, then add individual DNS records at Office 365 to point parts of your website back at our servers using an “IP address” or “FQDN” (fully qualified domain name).

However, doing things that way leads to the top-level “” links being unreliable (because you’d need to point them at an IP address “A record” that may change).

Instead, you should use the other method that Microsoft supports: keep the DNS nameservers with our company, then add DNS records here that point just the email at the Office 365 servers.

On this page:

Verification of domain name ownership

Office 365 may first need to verify that you are the proper owner of your domain name. The usual way they’ll do this is by telling you to add a “TXT record” that looks something like “MS=ms12345678”.

If so:

  1. Login to your Tiger Technologies “My Account” control panel (having trouble?).
  2. If your account is a Web hosting account, click Domain Name Options.
  3. Click Edit DNS Zone.
  4. Click Add New Entry.
  5. Choose TXT record and click Continue.
  6. Leave the setting as “TXT record for” and click Continue.
  7. Enter the “MS=ms...” text provided by Microsoft as the TXT data. Leave the TTL set to the default. If desired, you can enter a comment in the Optional Note field. Then click Save to save the values.

Wait two minutes, then you can return to the Office 365 setup screen and tell them to verify it.

Adding new Office 365 DNS entries

Each Office 365 customer is told a different set of DNS entries that need to be added on our servers. To see yours:

  1. On the main “Admin” page at Office 365, find the “domains” section and click Manage your website and email domains.
  2. Locate your domain name and click the Verified link.
  3. Click the small drop-down arrow to the right of DNS records created automatically by Office 365.

This will display the DNS records that you need to add to our control panel for your domain.

If you’re a technically advanced user, you can then use our control panel to manually enter the DNS records they show. If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself, you can take a screen shot of the settings and send it to us by email, and we’ll add them for you during normal business hours.

Note that Microsoft may describe their SRV records in this (nonstandard) format:

SRV   _sip               _tls
SRV   _sipfederationtls  _tcp

You would enter these in our control panel as service records for and, respectively.

The chances are that the DNS records they want you to add will look like this (converted to standard “DNS zone” format): MX 0 TXT "v=spf1 a/24 -all" CNAME CNAME CNAME CNAME SRV 100 1 5061 SRV 100 1 443

There may also be a TXT record that looks like this, but with a different number instead of “00000000”: TXT "MS=ms00000000"

But it’s always wise to check all of this in the Microsoft “Admin” page, in case they’ve changed it.

After adding the DNS records, it may take up to 30 minutes for your email to be routed through Office 365.

The SPF record above is slightly different than the one Microsoft recommends on their website. That’s intentional and okay: It just includes an additional section that ensures that scripts on your website (such as WordPress) can also send email through our servers without trouble.

Copying existing Office 365 DNS entries

If you’re transferring a domain name to us that already uses Office 365 for mail, it’s possible to look up the existing entries with a tool like dig or nslookup and copy them, meaning there’s often no need to login to Office 365.

The entries to look up are these (given in a “dig” command line format for ease of copy-and-pasting):

dig +short MX
dig +short TXT
dig +short CNAME
dig +short CNAME
dig +short CNAME
dig +short CNAME
dig +short SRV
dig +short SRV

Again, we can do this for you if you ask.