Email Setup

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Overview

  • This article provides instructions on how to setup your email address for your hosted domain with us.
  • You can manage your email addresses through the (Panel > ‘Mail’ > ‘Manage Emails’) page on your account panel.

How to configure your email settings in the DreamHost Panel

Adding an email address to your domain

The following appears at the top of the page when you open the ‘Manage Email’ page on your account panel:
Email setup1.fw.png

Description of fields on the Manage Email page

  • Create New Email Address: This button should be clicked to create a new email address as it says.
  • Bulk-Edit Forwarding-Only Addresses: This button is for the creation of a “forward-only” email address. This allows you to add multiple forwards very quickly.
  • Show these domains: This section will have a menu that lists all of your hosted domains with us. You can view the email users under that domain by highlighting the domain name and then clicking the ‘Show Selected Domains’ button. (You can select multiple domains to view as well by holding the ‘Control’ button and clicking the domains you wish to view.)
The following are the three columns that list information for each email address:
  • Mailbox: The details listed under this column will include the email address, the name of the mailbox, and a link to the ‘mailbox manager’ interface for that user. Also the details of the mailbox size for that address along with a percentage on how full the mailbox currently is.
    Note2 icon.png Note: The panel updates every 24 hours. If you recently deleted a large amount of email, you will notice the size has not changed; it can take up to 24 hours for the new size of the mailbox to show correctly.


  • Also forwards to: This field will show any forwarding aliases you have set up for the email address you’re viewing. If there are no forwarding aliases set up for the email address, it’ll show this message:
“There are no additional forwards; messages are only delivered to this mailbox.”
  • Actions: This column consists of three buttons for each email address: Edit, Disable, and Delete.
-Edit: The edit button will take you to another page where you can make changes to your email address such as increasing the mailbox size.
-Disable: This button will disable the email address within an hour. Clicking this button will change what you see for that user on the ‘Manage Email’ page by striking a line through the user’s mailbox name and mailbox size as well as setting a new message under the ‘Also forwards to’ column. The new message will read:
Deleted with bounce.
(What this means is that any email sent to this disabled user will be deleted and rejected back to the sender with a bounce error.)
-Delete: Clicking this button will delete the user, but a pop-up window will come up prompting you to verify this request first with the this message:
REALLY DELETE user@domain.com AND ALL EMAIL IN ITS MAILBOX PERMANENTLY?!!
Clicking “OK” deletes the user and the mailbox for that user. This requires a few minutes, but once this is done, you no longer see that user listed on the ‘Manage Email’ page for that domain. This is unlike when you disable the user, which will still keep the user name on the ‘Manage Email’ page in case you wish to set it up as a hosted email address again in the future.

Forwarding email addresses

Email setup2.fw.png

The columns in the screenshot above are for forward-only email addresses, which do not have an active mailbox. Because of this, these users are listed separately from the users that do have active mailboxes.

Note2 icon.png Note: Forward-only email addresses are email addresses that do not have an active mailbox because these users are meant to forward all emails sent to it to another email address.


Description of fields in the forward-only email page

  • Forwarding-Only Addresses: In this column, you will only see the email address of the forwarding user because there is no active mailbox to show any details for.
  • Forwards to: This column will show the email address of the user that will receive the messages sent to this forwarding user. You can add more than one if you’d like.
  • Actions: This column has two options for each user listed: Edit and Delete.
-Edit: The edit button will take you to another page where you can make changes to your forward address.
-Delete: Clicking this button will delete the user, but a pop-up window will come up prompting you to verify this request first with the message:
Really delete forwarduser@domain.com? (There is no email stored with it.)
Clicking “OK” will delete the user and the mailbox for that user. This will require a few minutes, but once this is done, you will no longer see that user listed on the ‘Manage Email’ page for that domain.

Creating an email address

By default, your domain is not set up with MX (mail hosting) records with us when the domain is set to be hosted. The MX records and all other mail hosting records are applied to the domain once the first email address is created.

To create an email address, you can simply click the ‘Create New Email Address’ button to get started.

Fully hosted email

A fully hosted email address is an email address that has an active mailbox to log into for sending and receiving messages. These fully hosted email users will have access to their own mailbox, as well as access to the Webmail interface and the Mailboxes interface. You can set these users up on third party mail programs as well if you do not wish to access your mailbox through the Webmail interface.

Email setup3.fw.png

Description of fields in the fully hosted email page

Email settings

Email Address
To the left of the “@” symbol, enter your desired alias. To the right of the “@” symbol, select the domain or sub-domain the user will be created under.
Malibox Login
Like it says, "just use the full email address!"
Mailbox Name
This is the name that will appear on the panel's ‘Manage Email’ page for this mailbox.
Pick a new password for me
If you do not have the system set to pick the password for you, you can set your own personalized password here.
Note2 icon.png Note: The custom password must be 8 characters long and cannot contain the username of the user it’s being set for. Example: The ‘user@dhwiki.dreamhosters.com’ user cannot have ‘user’ in the password. It will post the following error when attempting to set the password this way:


Bad Password: password contains username


Change Password? / New Password Again
This field will appear if you elect to set your own password. Here, you will have to enter the custom password entered in the ‘Password’ field again to verify that you have it correct.
Limit total disk usage
See also: Disk Usage Warning
In this section, you can set the size of your user’s mailbox. The field will be populated with the default size of 200MB. You can edit the size of the mailbox by entering a different number value.
Note2 icon.png Note: If you uncheck the box for ‘MB.’, it will set the user’s mailbox size to unlimited. Unlimited mailboxes will show on the ‘Manage Email’ page for the user as ‘<10 MB / N/A MB (N/A%)’ under the ‘Mailbox’ column.


Email me daily warnings
You can enable the option of having our system email a notice to this email address when the total disk space for the mailbox is within 10% (showing 90% on the ‘Manage Email’ page for the user) or if it’s within 100MB of space left for that user. Simply check the box for this option to enable it. (This is an optional feature, so you can choose not to enable it if you wish.)
List all email addresses to forward to, one per line
This is an optional field where you can list emails this address will forward to. If you are not planning on automatically forwarding mail from this user to another user you can simply leave this field empty.
Note2 icon.png Note: ‘catch-all’ users cannot be set to forward mail to other users in the panel.


Important icon.png Important: There are two mail hosting providers that we do not allow forwarding: Comcast and AOL. When attempting to set up a forward to either of these hosts, you will receive the following error message (in red):
Email setup4.fw.png


Inbox archiver settings

See also: Inbox Archiver

The next section, which is labeled “Tidy inboxes keep mail servers happy!” on the ‘Fully Hosted Email’ section, is for the Inbox Archiver settings for your user, which is what archives old messages from your Inbox to another folder so the Inbox doesn’t become too full of messages, which can result in login issues with your user.

Remove read messages when inbox reaches
The messages you have read will be removed from the inbox when the total number of emails in the inbox reaches this number. Older emails will be moved first.
Note2 icon.png Note: The number you set here must be between 1 and 2000.


Remove read messages from inbox older than
The messages you have read will be removed when they get older than the number of days you set in this field.
Note2 icon.png Note: The value entered here must be between 1 and 9999.


Even remove unread messages
If you check this box, messages that were not yet read will be removed from the inbox as well.
Save removed messages
In this field, you can set the folder name you want the messages to be archived to. By default, this field will be populated with ‘old-messages’, so all messages that the Inbox Archiver archives will move the messages to this folder as long as you have the checkbox marked.
Note2 icon.png Note: It is vital that you have the checkbox marked for this setting if you wish to keep the old messages stored. If you do not have the checkbox marked, the messages caught by the Inbox Archiver will be deleted instead.


Email me when messages are removed
Tick this checkbox to have the system email you (at this address) when the previous rules have been applied and the messages have been archived.

Once you’ve set up the user as a fully hosted email user, you can simply click the Save Changes button at the bottom of the page to save the new information.

If the user was set up properly, you should see this message at the top of the ‘Manage Email’ page:
New fully hosted email.png
Note2 icon.png Note: If this is the first email user created for the domain, the MX record and the other mail records will be set for the domain once the user has been created. This will require up to 6 hours for the DNS to resolve for each mail record. Because of this, the user will not be accessible until the DNS has updated.


  • To learn more about all the types of email addresses you can create, check out the Email addresses page.

Setting up Forward-Only Email

A forward-only email address is an email address that does not have an active mailbox to access as this user’s primary function is to forward all emails sent to it to another email user. The message will be stored on the user that is set to receive the forwarded email.

Email setup6.fw.png
Email Address
To the left of the “@” symbol, enter your desired alias. To the right of the “@” symbol, select the domain or sub-domain the user will be created under.
List all email addresses to forward to, one per line
Enter the email address or addresses you wish to have this user forward to. Make sure you have each email address to forward to set up on its own line within the empty field.
  • Click the Forward to These Addresses! button to create the forwarding.

Setting up Garbage Email

A garbage email address is similar to a deleted or disabled email address in that it does not have an active mailbox to receive any messages into. The difference with the garbage email address and the deleted/disabled email address is that the messages sent to the garbage email address are deleted silently, whereas the deleted or disabled email addresses are rejected with a bounce notification sent to the sender.

When messages are sent to the garbage email address, the sender will not know that the message was deleted (which is what is meant by “deleted silently”), and the user of that garbage email address won’t see the message either since it will be deleted.

Email setup7.fw.png
Email Address
To the left of the "@" symbol, enter your desired alias. To the right of the “@” symbol, select the domain or sub-domain the user will be created under.
  • Click the Create Garbage Account! button to get that garbage email address activated.

Sending and receiving email using your new email address

See also: Webmail

After you’ve created your email address (and if this is the first email address created under the domain) the domain will need some time for the mail record DNS to propagate, which can take up to 6 hours for each record.

Below are the records that are set to the domain once the first user is created:

  • mail. (A)
  • mail. (MX)
  • mail. (MX)
  • mailboxes. (A)
  • www.mailboxes. (A)
  • webmail. (A)
  • www.webmail. (A)

There are two MX records for the domain’s mail hosting along with the records for the sub-domains to Mailboxes and Webmail. Each record can resolve at different times, so one service may be active while another has yet to update.

During this time, messages sent to your user will be rejected with a bounce notification containing the error below:

“Recipient Address Rejected”

Until the DNS resolves, the messages sent to your user will continue to be rejected. However, your user should be able to send messages out even when the DNS has yet to resolve. This often causes confusion as to why a user can send, but cannot receive emails. Give it a bit more time for the DNS to resolve before the new user can receive incoming mail.

If your domain is already setup with the records for mail hosting, the newly created user should be fully active within 15 minutes of it being created.

To send and receive emails, we offer the Webmail interface through Squirrelmail by default. This can be accessed once the DNS resolves for the webmail record. You can access the webmail interface with the following URL: webmail.MYDOMAIN.com (replacing ‘MYDOMAIN.com’ with your actual domain name.)

Migrating email from your previous host to DreamHost

See also: Transferring Emails

DreamHost only has one method to upload mail from your old mail host to our mail servers, which is done through an IMAP connection to our mail servers.

First, you'll need to contact your current mail host to find the best way to backup the mail that is hosted on the old host’s mail servers. Once you have your messages and folders from the old host backed up locally on your computer, you can review the Transferring Emails wiki for more information and details on how to migrate that content to our servers.

The process simply requires you to set up the user as an IMAP user connected to our servers and then drag and drop the backed-up contents from your computer to the user’s inbox so it’s uploaded to our servers.

Note2 icon.png Note: The backing up or uploading of emails cannot be done through the Webmail interface. Webmail is a read-only interface, so this process must be done through a third-party mail program.


Internet Standards Email Addresses

Internet standards specify some email addresses that all domains should have and use for standard purposes. There's no internet police that will punish you for not having them, but having these email addresses is not too much trouble and can help avoid problems.

Address Purpose
postmaster@example.com contact for any email issues, should exist for any domain that has email service
webmaster@example.com contact for any website issues, should exist for any domain that has a website or http service
hostmaster@example.com contact for any DNS issues, should exist for all domains since they all use DNS for everything
abuse@example.com contact for any "inappropriate public behaviour"