How do I add an email address?

This article explains how to add an email address to your DreamHost panel.

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 subdomain 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 (Panel > ‘Mail’ > ‘Manage Emails’) 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.

The custom password must be 8 characters long and cannot contain the username of the user it’s being set for. Example: The ‘user@example.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.

If you uncheck the box for ‘MB.’, it will set the user’s mailbox size to unlimited. Unlimited mailboxes will show on the ‘Manage Emails’ 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 DreamHost email a notice to this email address when the total disk space for the mailbox is within 10% (showing 90% on the (Panel > ‘Mail’ > ‘Manage Emails’) 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.

There are two mail hosting providers DreamHost does not allow forwarding to: 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

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. This 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.

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.

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.

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 Create Address 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 (Panel > ‘Mail’ > ‘Manage Emails’) page:
    New fully hosted email.png

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.

Sending and receiving email using your new email address

By default, your domain is not set up with MX (mail hosting) records with DreamHost 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.

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 configured 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 subdomains for 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 configured 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, DreamHost offers the Webmail interface through atmail 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.example.com (replacing ‘example.com’ with your actual domain name

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 behavior"

See also