n MX record, or Mail Exchanger record, is a DNS record pointing to the server that is responsible for handling email for a given domain. You can send emails without the MX record configured for your domain name, but you will not be able to receive emails without it.

It is important that you have working Name Servers so that they can answer queries about necessary domain name records:

The following syntax is commonly used by many DNS hosting providers:

  • Host: your domain name.
  • Priority/Preference: number. The lower number means the higher priority.
  • Destination/Mail Server/Points to: your mail server name.


Host Type Priority Mail Server
domain.com MX 10 mx.smarshmail.com

You can look MX records up in the CONTROL PANEL > Services > Mailboxes > Recourses > MX records.

The preference is used when more than one MX record is entered for any single domain name that is using more than one mail server. In this case, the preference number indicates the order in which the mail servers should be used. This enables the use of primary and backup mail servers.

You might need to contact your DNS provider to set up the MX record for your domain name. Some DNS providers have their own control panels where you can log in and manage your DNS records.

Here you can find instructions on setting up MX records for common DNS providers:

Note: If you host your DNS records with Smarsh Hosted Services the MX records are already set up for any domain name that is added in CONTROL PANEL. Read the Knowledge Base on How Do I Manage My DNS Records Hosted With Smarsh Hosted Services? for more information. You can check the records in CONTROL PANEL, in Domain Names:

You can use, for instance, MX Toolbox to look up your MX record to make sure you set it up correctly:

Note: Due to the distributed nature of Internet the propagation of the changes may take up to 72 hours.

Note for Exchange administrators: Your DNS records can also be used to configure the Autodiscover feature, which will assist you in setting up Microsoft Outlook. Read the Knowledge Base article on What Is An Autodiscover Record And Why Do I Need It? for instructions on how to make the necessary DNS changes.