How to setup MX records with DigitalOcean?

I just pointed my 1and1 domain and nameservers to my new DigitalOcean droplet and the DNS propagated and the domain is pointing to the droplet just fine. Emails aren’t working though, and I have no idea what MX records to enter to make it work. I don’t really know much about networking stuff.

I setup one that I just saw somebody else mention in a post, but it doesn’t work.


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Accepted Answer

@Jazcash Have you setup a mail server on your DigitalOcean droplet? Otherwise you need to point to somewhere that handles your email. DigitalOcean does not run a mail-service, like many other webhosting companies, since they provide full virtual private servers instead, so you can do it if you want.

2019 Update

My domain was purchased with Dreamhost. I added the following to my DigitalOcean DNS to get email working again.

Type Hostname Address Priority (MX only)
MX @ mail server address 10
MX @ mail server address 20
MX mail mail server address 10
MX mail mail server address 20
A mail mail server IP address

There will typically be two mail server addresses, like,

These values should be found in your registrar’s control panel or support can give them to you.

Use this tool to verify:

Thanks for the help guys! I am leaving this here for additional clarification/discussion.

Helpful reading

Note: The following solution works, but may not be optimal (with my current understanding). If it is incorrect, I will update this post.



I called 1and1 about the same thing. I am in the US so they gave me:

MX Servernames: - I set priority to 10 - I set priority to 20

I’m not sure if the priorities are right but I have my mail routed properly.

Hey, I also have the DNS servers pointed to DO’s nameservers. To forward the mail to 1and1’s mail servers, use these MX records in the DNS records on DO:

Type MX — Value — Priority 10 Type MX — Value — Priority 20