DNS

How to Verify Your Google Apps Domain via TXT Record or HTML File

Introduction

Google Apps requires domain verification in order to ensure that you are the sole owner of your domain name and that no one else can use it without your permission (to send mail, for example). In this tutorial, we will cover the two easiest ways to verify your domain with Google Apps – adding a TXT record through cPanel, or uploading a HTML file to your website. Verifying your domain via TXT record is usually the fastest way if you have access to cPanel, while using a HTML file is more appropriate if you are a webmaster and only have access to FTP or a File Manager.

What you’ll need

Before you begin this guide you’ll need the following:

  • Access to the cPanel of your hosting account.
  • A registered, fully operational domain name that is pointing to your hosting account .
  • Your Google Apps domain’s security token. The token is a 68-character string that begins with google-site-verification=. You can find it in your Google Apps Admin console.OR
  • HTML verification file. You can find it in your Google Apps Admin console. The filename looks similar to google4ddabfacdb4f6795.html.

Option 1 — Verifying domain via TXT record

  1. Login to the cPanel of your hosting account.
  2. Find and open the “Advanced DNS Zone Editor“. It can also be called “DNS Zone“, “Zone Editor” or similar.Finding Zone Editor tool
  3. You will see an editor for your DNS zone. Input the following values into each box:
    • Type : Select TXT
    • Name : This should be your base domain name with the period at the end. In our example, it is “3h4enk3x.com.” . It can also be an ‘@’, or even blank (if your cPanel allows such blank records).
    • TTL : Type in 3600. DNS changes do not take effect immediately. “Time to live” indicates how fast this DNS record should propagate across the world. In our case, a value of 3600 seconds means that nameservers across the globe will request an update of this record every hour.
    • TXT Data : Input your Google Apps domain’s security token. In our example, it is google-site-verification= rXOxyZounnZasA8Z7oaD3c14JdjS9aKSWvsR1EbUSIQ

    Creating TXT record

  4. Click Add Record to create your new TXT record. It will be added to your Zone File listed in the DNS zone editor. Success!Record added successfully
    Record is now created
  5. You will now have to wait until the changes take effect. This process can take up to 72 hours to complete, however, it is usually done within a few hours.

Option 2 — Verifying domain by uploading a HTML file via File Manager

  1. Login to the cPanel of your hosting account.
  2. Find and open the File ManagerFile manager location
  3. Once inside the File Manager, find and open the public_html directory.public_html location
  4. IMPORTANT! We need to find and rename our .htaccess file, if it exists. It is usually located in the public_html directory..htaccess location
    • If you see the .htaccess file in your public_html directory immediately, simply right-click it and select “Rename”.

    renaming file

    Rename the file to ‘.oldhtaccess’

    new htaccess filename

    • If you do not see the .htaccess file in your public_html directory, you will have to enable the showing of hidden files. Simply find the Settings page of the File Manager and open it.

    FM settings page location

    Once inside, check the Show Hidden Files (dotfiles) option and click SAVE

    show hidden files checkbox

  5. Your .htaccess file is now renamed and we can proceed. Navigate back to public_html and select Upload.Upload button location
  6. Drag-and-drop your HTML verification file (i.e. google4ddabfacdb4f6795.html) into the area specified, or use the Select File button and find your HTML verification file via the file browser that will be opened. Your file will then be uploaded to public_html.Uploading files via File manager
  7. Your file is now uploaded. All that remains is for you to access the file via your web browser. Simply open a new web browser tab and type in the URL to your uploaded verification file, such as http://domainname.com/google4ddabfacdb4f6795.html . Be sure to use the names of your actual domain and HTML file. If the file was uploaded correctly, you’ll see in your browser google-site-verification: followed by the code in your HTML filename.
  8. Return to your Google Admin Console and proceed with verification by clicking Verify domain and email setup or Verify. Google will then attempt to verify your domain. Note that it may take an hour or so for this to work.
  9. IMPORTANT! Once your domain is verified, remember to rename your ‘.oldhtaccess’ file back to ‘.htaccess’. Refer to step 4 of this tutorial if you need help with renaming files.

Conclusion

We have learned how to quickly create a TXT record and verify your domain with Google Apps. We also learned how to verify your domain by uploading a HTML file to public_html. There are also additional resources available at https://support.google.com/a/answer/6248925?hl=en if you are having difficulties finding your Google Apps domain’s security token, HTML verification file, or if you need direct support from Google.

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