To attach your custom domain to the Outlook.com servers, you need three things:
- Your own domain, which you can purchase from any registrar.
- The ability to create custom DNS (Domain Name System) records. In particular, you’ll need to create an MX (mail exchanger) record.
- A Microsoft account (formerly known as a Windows Live ID), which you’ll use to sign in to the domain administration center. This account should use an address that is not on the same custom domain as the one you're about to attach to Outlook.com. (If you already have a Microsoft account you use for other purposes, use it here.
Let's get started.
Step 1: Go to the Microsoft Custom Domains Admin Center and sign in using your Microsoft account.
Step 2: Click the Get Started link. (If you’ve previously used the Admin Center to attach a domain, click Add Domain.) That opens a new page where you can begin the custom domain setup process.
Step 3: Enter the domain name you want to attach to Microsoft’s Outlook.com service. Be sure you select the option to set up mail service for your domain.
Step 4: Accept the terms of service, fill in the captcha, and click I Accept.
You’ve now finished all of the initial setup steps. The next screen shows you the settings for the DNS record you need to create for your custom domain.
You now need to go to the settings interface for the DNS records associated with your domain. Each domain registrar is slightly different, but you'll need to find the place where you create an MX record and enter your domain name and the MX server address provided in the Mail Setup box, as shown above. If you're not experienced with managing DNS records, just copy and paste the entire box and send the details to a support professional at the registrar or a networking-savvy friend or colleague.
And then you wait, as the new DNS records propagate over the Internet. On one domain that I set up, the change was instantaneous. Most of the time, you should be able to continue within an hour. Click the Refresh button, and if the settings took, you'll see a screen like this one:
Click the Add button to begin creating accounts. For each new account, you add an account name (that's the part that goes to the left of the @ sign). You also assign a default password. If you're creating the account for yourself, you can clear the "Require password change at first login box."
If you're creating the account for someone else, leave that box checked, and send them the new email address and the password you just created. They'll be prompted to create their own password when they sign in for the first time.
To complete the account creation, go to Outlook.com and sign in using the credentials you just created. Your new mailbox is now available. You can attach the account to any mobile device and sync mail, contacts, and calendar using Exchange ActiveSync. You can also attach the account to Microsoft Outlook. This setup is automatic with Outlook 2013; for Outlook 2010 or 2007, you'll need to install the Outlook Hotmail Connector.
You can create up to 50 addresses in your new domain.