How to Set Up Zoho Mail: A Complete and In-Depth Guide

How to Set Up Zoho Mail: A Complete and In-Depth Guide

Zoho Mail is a popular third-party email service known for its minimalistic and ad-free user interface. If you want to have a reliable external email server to use alongside your domain, it’s well worth checking out. In this article, we will learn how to set up a Zoho Mail account to send and receive emails.

Creating a Free Zoho Mail Account

The free version supports up to five users, with a 5GB storage space limit for each one. However, you are only allowed to use a single domain name with this version of Zoho Mail. For small projects, this is a good tradeoff, considering that it also comes with features such as Calendars, Docs, and Sheet – all of the necessary tools for collaborative work.

To start using Zoho Mail’s services, you need to sign up first. It is a fairly straightforward process since all you need is a valid phone number and your own domain.

  1. Visit the Zoho Mail Pricing page, scroll down and sign up for the Forever Free Plan using the domain you already own.
  2. Fill in the sign-up form. You will be asked to create an administrator email with your username and domain. The one used for contact details can’t be identical to the one used for administration.
  3. After successfully signing up, you will receive a message on your phone with a verification number. Enter Verification Code and click Verify My Mobile.

That’s it! You have successfully created a free account on Zoho Mail.

Configuring a Zoho Mail account

Now that our Zoho Mail account has been registered, we can move forward to the next step. Before we can begin using it, we have to configure it first.

Verify Domain Name

Zoho Mail requires you to verify the domain name you just entered on the Sign Up page. You are given three methods for this – TXT, CNAME, and HTML – but in this example, we will use the CNAME method.

  1. Find your hosting provider’s DNS Manager from the list.  Since we’re using a domain hosted on Hostinger, we are going to choose Others.
    Verifying your domain in Zoho using the CNAME method
  2. Next, select the CNAME Method and copy the values in both rows to proceed further.
  3. Jump over to Hostinger’s hPanel and open the DNS Zone Editor -> CNAME (Alias) -> Add New.
  4. Paste the values you saved earlier. You can set the TTL to 14400.
    Creating a CNAME in hPanel
  5. Go back to your setup page and click Verify by CNAME.

Your domain name has been successfully verified! You can now Add Users and Create Groups.

Creating MX Records in DNS Manager

The next step is adding new MX Records, so your new Zoho mailbox can start receiving emails from your custom domain.

  1. In Configure Email Delivery, save all the MX Records values – we’ll need it later.
    Configuring email delivery settings in Zoho
  2. Once again, visit the hPanel’s DNS Zone Editor section, and locate MX (Mail Exchanger) -> Add New.
  3. Before creating new MX records to work with Zoho Mail, Remove the existing ones, including Hostinger’s. Then, create a record for each value in a row you’ve copied. The final result should be similar to this:
    Creating a new MX record in hPanel
  4. Click Next to move on to the next configuration phase.

Configuring SPF and DKIM

Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) are two email authentication methods needed to prevent email spoofing and phishing. Essentially, it prevents illegal conduct by unauthorized users impersonating your account.

Zoho Mail gives you an option to configure these two settings from the get-go.

Setting up SPF and DKIM authentication methods in ZohoHow to Set Up SPF?

SPF prevents attempts to impersonate someone by specifying which hostnames or IP addresses are authorized to send emails from a domain. Setting up SPF records to work with your Zoho Mail account only takes a few clicks.

  1. Copy the TXT Value from the SPF table.
  2. Go to DNS Zone Editor -> TXT (Text). Remove the existing SPF record. Either pick Add SPF Record or choose Edit. Here’s an example:
    Setting up a SPF record in hPanel

How to Set Up DKIM?

DKIM adds signatures to each email message. If you want to learn more, here’s a more in-depth guide on DKIM.  To configure DKIM in Zoho Mail, do the following:

  1. Select Proceed to Configure DKIM. From the Domain List, click the pencil icon near your domain name to Edit.
  2. Click Add Selector, and input Zoho as the Selector Name -> Save.
  3. Access DNS Zone Editor -> TXT (Text) -> Add New. Enter the values and click Create.
    Creating a DKIM record in hPanel
  4. Once done, hit Verify on the setup page.

Congratulations! You have finished configuring your Zoho account to receive and send emails from your domain. The next two steps provide the option to migrate an existing email and activate mobile access, but these can be skipped.


Zoho Mail is a great way to manage your own mail server with relative ease. In summary, we learned how to:

  • Create a free Zoho Mail account
  • Configure the account to use it for your custom domain

If you have any questions, let us know in the comments below!

The Author


Domantas G. / @domantas

Domantas leads the content and SEO teams forward with fresh ideas and out of the box approaches. Armed with extensive SEO and marketing knowledge, he aims to spread the word of Hostinger to every corner of the world. During his free time, Domantas likes to hone his web development skills and travel to exotic places.


Andrea Reply

September 25 2019

Nice tutorial. If you have a WHM/cPanel VPS and use Zoho for email and the VPS only sends outgoing email from web scripts, CSF/LFD and cpanel, then is incoming SMTP actually required? If not, how does one lock it down [and any ports that can be closed off] to help stop bots/hackers?


    Domantas G.

    Replied on September 26 2019

    Hey Andrea, I think you mean outgoing SMTP, no incoming. If you are using 3rd party service to send emails and use postfix server, see this link

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