Accepted Domains


Applies to: Office 365 for enterprises, Live@edu

Topic last modified: 2013-01-08

An accepted domain is any SMTP namespace for which a cloud-based e-mail organization sends or receives e-mail.

When to use an accepted domain

You can use accepted domains to enable subdomains or different domains within your existing domain.

Accepted domain functionality also makes additional domains available for additional user e-mail addresses, which are often called proxy addresses. For example, if your organization has used more than one domain for e-mail in the past, you may want to make sure that e-mail sent to a user at either domain is delivered to the user. Let's say you have a primary domain of and a legacy domain of In this case, you set up the cloud-based e-mail service with the primary domain,, and then you create an accepted domain for When you create users ( in the primary domain, you can also add proxy addresses ( for the users. Learn more at Proxy Addresses.

How to enable subdomains

You can set up accepted domains to support subdomains, which are also called tertiary domains. For example, consider an existing organization for which the first domain enrolled is The administrator for has enrolled the domain in cloud-based e-mail service, and uses the domain for two administrative mailboxes: and The primary domain is The administrator then creates an accepted domain for student mailboxes only. This accepted domain is Now, whenever the administrator creates a mailbox, both the primary domain,, and the accepted domain,, are available in New Mailbox. The administrator can choose which domain to use. In this example, the administrator would create student accounts in the accepted domain.

Select a domain in New Mailbox

Mailboxes and cloud-based user accounts in accepted domains are created in the same way that they are created for the primary domain. A new Microsoft account is created by using the accepted domain name that you select in New Mailbox. Your users use the new Microsoft account and the accepted domain to sign in.

How to enable different domains

Accepted domains don't have to be subdomains. The administrator can also create an accepted domain for all alumni, such as These alumni mailboxes have a different domain name entirely.

As in the subdomain scenario, both the primary domain and the accepted domain are available when you create mailboxes, and Microsoft accounts are created by using the accepted domain name. Also, as in the subdomain scenario, users use the new Microsoft account and the accepted domain to sign in.

How to set up accepted domains

The procedure to create an accepted domain depends on the manner in which you enrolled in the cloud-based e-mail service, as follows:

How to manage accepted domains

When you set up accepted domains, the domains are added to the cloud-based e-mail organization that you already manage. Therefore, any Microsoft account that has administrative rights for your organization will have full access to the accepted domains that you configure.

After you set up accepted domains, the accepted domains are available in the Exchange Control Panel. See the “E-Mail Options” section of new and existing mailboxes in the Manage My Organization > Users & Groups > Mailboxes interface.

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