Email settings in cPanel

This tutorial covers the following:

  1. How to Manage Email Accounts in cPanel
  2. How to Create MX Records
  3. Email forwarders
  4. How to create Email Auto Responder
  5. Set Default/Catch-all Email Address
  6. How to Setup Email Filters
  7. cPanel Email Deliverability Tool – SPF, DKIM and PTR Records
  8. How to Use the cPanel Email Address Importer

 

1. How to Manage Email Accounts in cPanel

 

cPanel provides an easy to use interface to manage all aspects of your email accounts. The provided options are ever-expanding with new standards and technologies added to email services.

To manage the Email Accounts associated with your hosting, you must learn:

 

Further reading:

7 Ways to Build Your Email List

Any listserv or mailing list service?

Email Problems: What Should I do?

How Did My Email Get Compromised and What Can I Do to Stop It?

How to Check and Send Emails Using Webmail

How to Solve Email Bounce Back Issues

How to configure Email Client

 

How to Create an Email Account

For starters, please log in to cPanel and click on the Email Accounts icon under the Mail Section.

That will redirect you to the Email Accounts page via which you can create, delete, and manage your existing accounts. To create a new email address, click on the Create button at the bottom of the description settings.

Now you have to enter your email account name and password. There are 2 methods of creatng a password:

  • Set password now - Add your own or let cPanel generated a strong password for you (recommended).
  • Provide alternative email - Receive a password configuration link via email to complete the setup.

We highly recommend the use of a unique and robust password as that will protect you from random guesses and sequential access. The latter can happen when you use one password for multiple websites, and one of them gets compromised, which makes your other accounts vulnerable. This, along with not using dictionary words as whole passwords are all parts of the security best practices that help you protect your online identity.

Next, you have to set up your email's quota. The Storage Space is the maximum size of your email account. If this quote is reached, all new emails will bounce back to the sender until enough space is available. You can configure the size manually or select the limit quota for your hosting plan if you are using a shared package.

Note:

The Storage Space field only works with whole numbers so you can go to a lower unit of size measurement for more precise tuning.

You may set up your contact information and subscribe to quota warnings.

One of the newer features in cPanel's email account creation tool is the Automatically Create Folders for Plus Addressing option. This action will create a folder when this email address receives a message that uses plus addressing.

For example, the server will put a message sent to john+wpcamp19@example.com in the email account john@example.com under a folder called "wpcamp19". Bear in mind, that plus addressing is excellent for filtering emails into folders and labels, especially if you receive event or customer-specific emails or forward such from another email of yours.

Click on the Create button to complete the setup once you are ready with all of the fields.

 

Further reading:

How to grow your mailing list ethically

Managing the Mail Function in CPanel

Webmail Programs in CPanel

What is Email Spoofing?

What is Spamming?

How to create an email forwarder in cPanel

How to enable spam assasin in cPanel

How to fix error 500 no such user here

 

How to Manage Email Accounts

 

Once you have created an email account, you should be able to see it included in the email accounts list. In this section, you can enter and manage your email accounts as well as configure email clients manually or via automated scripts. As accessing your email account from within cPanel is self-explanatory and only requires you to choose which webmail client you want to use, we will go straight to the Manage section.

 

Change Password

 

As you can see, the first option here is almost the same as when creating an account. However, once created, you cannot change the name of the account, but you can switch the password.

 

Edit Email Storage Quota

 

You will also be able to edit the email storage limit via the allocated storage space selector. Do note that selecting a value lower than the current utilization of your email, it will automatically be colored red. Any future emails sent to you during the time this account is above the storage limit will not be received, so always check your current usage before making changes.

Warning:

cPanel calculates mailbox quotas every four hours, which means that you might not get instant notification once your account has exceeded its quota.

 

Manage Restrictions and Plus Addressing

 

The Restrictions section is a set of new radio buttons you will see, which is only available in the management menu. With these three options, you can suspend receiving incoming and outgoing mail as well as logging in to this email account.

Note:

Suspending an email account will also suspend any aliases and forwarders that redirect email to that account.

Some of the other options include Hold, which is available for Sending Outgoing Email. This change will keep all outgoing emails in a queue, which will be delivered once the Allow state is re-applied.

Of course, you can change the plus addressing option if you wish to enable or disable it depending on your needs.

Don't forget to hit the Update email settings button when you are done changing the limits of your email account.

 

How to Delete Email Accounts

 

The extra option in the Manage menu is the account eraser one. Clicking on the Delete email account button will remove all of that account's data from the server.

That is why you should make sure you have all of your essential emails locally saved or moved to another email account before proceeding with this step. Once done, this is not revertable and the only way to access the removed emails is via a backup resotration.

 

How to Configure Email Account Extras

As you can see, some additional options regarding email accounts are available on the right part of the screen. We have already created separate tutorials for each of these features which you can find here:

  • Free up Email Storage
  • Manage Email Filters
  • Send Automated Responses
  • Connect Devices (this directory offers a list of configurable mail clients and devices including Apple and Adroid products)

As new features are added to this menu, we will do our best to update this tutorial with the latest and greatest tips for cPanel Email Account management.

You now know how to manage your emails, and with our extra tutorials, you can further expand the usefulness of your email accounts.

 

2. How to Create MX Records

 

MX records make our lives easier as they let us be flexible with our emails and mail structure. For more information on this DNS records and how to setup them via your client area.

As a lot of users want to configure the email accounts hosted with us to work with Google Apps, we will show you just that, this time via cPanel. This way your domain's incoming email will appear in Gmail.

The first thing you will need to do is to log into your cPanel account and navigate to the Email ? MX Entry option or simply type MX Entry in the search field.

Now you must choose the domain for which you wish to change your MX records.

For the email routing option you can go with Automatically Detect Configuration, but we suggest to use Remote Mail Exchanger just to be 100% sure your emails will go where you specify.

In the Add new Record fields, input the priority and destination. In our case we will use the top priority mail server - ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM

Don't forget to remove all unnecessary MX records once you are done using them. This will guarantee a smooth transition each time you decide to make a change. Aldo due note, that you will experience a small propagation period once you change your MX records. If you also add the alternative Google MX records and by some chance the main server is unavailable, your mail will be redirected to another Google mail server and still reach its destination. Here are the alternative MX records with their respective priority:

  • ALT1. ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM - 5
  • ALT2. ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM - 5
  • ALT3. ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM - 10
  • ALT4. ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM - 10

Specifically for this example, you will also have to use the Google Apps Setup Wizard in configuring the email you want to use, after you have changed your MX records.

Congratulations, you now know how to add MX records for your email accounts on a certain domain. You can also easily edit destinations and priorities by clicking on the edit button corresponding to the record you want to change.

 

3. How to setup Email Forwarders

 

Email Forwarders is a nice feature which allows you to have all received emails to an additional email address.

For example, if you would like to send an email to all your employees in your sales department you can create an email account called sales-internal@yourdomain.com and create forwarders from sales-internal@ to the personal email accounts of all employees working in the sales department. This way when you send an email to sales-internal@ all your employees will receive the email under their personal mail box.

It is important to note that the original email will be delivered to the recipient mail box before being forwarded to any additional email addresses. You should have this in mind in order to avoid situations in which your mail box run out of quota and your mails are not forwarded. If an email account is out of quota all further messages are not delivered thus they will not be forwarded as well.

To create an email forwarder, please click on the Forwarders icon under the Mail section in your cPanel.

To create your first forwarder simply click on the Add Forwarder button. Next, input the name of the email account that will be forwarded and the destination email address to which your emails will be directed.

When you are satisfied with your configuration, please click on the Add Forwarder button. Now your emails will be forwarded to the destination email account.

 
 
 

4. How to create Email Auto Responder

 

The auto responder tool is a great cPanel feature that allows you to send a message back automatically to anyone who sends an email to a specified account. This can be useful for times when you are on vacation or unavailable, or if you have a generic message that you wish to send from a support email address.

Please note that if you do not create a forwarder or email account with the same address as the auto responder, mail will only be handled by the auto responder before it is discarded.

To create an auto responder, please login your cPanel and refer to the Auto Responders icon under the Mail section.

To create a new Auto Responder, please click on the Add Auto Responder button on the next page. This will load the form required to create an auto responder. Fill in all the fields and setup the time frame for which your auto responder will be active by editing the start /end options.

When you are ready click on the Create/Modify button to complete the process.

 

5. Set Default/Catch-all Email Address

 

Default email address is another useful email related feature in cPanel. This tool allows you to configure a single email address to receive all incoming messages for your account. For example, if you would like to have several email addresses such as support@ sales@ billing@ but still you prefer to receive all incoming emails into a single email account, you can set it as default/catch-all address.

To achieve this, please login your cPanel and refer to the Default Address icon under the Mail Section.

On the next page select your domain name from the drop down menu for which you wou

ld like to have your emails rerouted. Additionally, please make sure you have the correct option selected - Forward to email address and input the desired destination email.

Be advised that in order to have all emails directed to this default email address the destination emails should not exist. In other words, if an email account exist, a message sent to it will not be directed to the catch-all mail box. You will need to set an email forwarder for your existing accounts if you would like to have their mails forwarded as well.

When you are satisfied with your settings click on the Change button to save your default email configuration.

 

6. How to Setup Email Filters

 

Email filters is another feature of the cPanel control panel which can help you manage your email delivery. Email filters are very similar to the Email Forwarders with two significant differences.

First, the email filters apply before the message is delivered to the destination email address. This means that if you have an email filter to redirect a mail to another account the email will be delivered to the third account and the email will not be present into the original destination email account inbox.

The second difference is that the email filters can have rules so you can configure an email filter to match only certain emails. For example, you can configure an email filter to redirect all messages sent from admin@example.com to another mail box. Still, any other emails sent will not match this rule and will be delivered into your email account.

To setup an email filter, please click on the Email Filters icon in your cPanel.

On the next page, select the email account for which you would like to setup your email filter by clicking on the Manage Filters link and proceed by clicking on Create a new Filter. Next, you need to configure your rule by inputting the rule name, the matching rule and the actions that will be taken upon matching the rules.

For example, lets redirect the email admin@example.com to john@example.com.

From the Actions drop down menu select Redirect to email and input john@example.com. When you are satisfied with your settings you can click on the Create button to save your configuration.

 

7. cPanel Email Deliverability Tool – SPF, DKIM and PTR Records

 

As we all know, spam is a serious issue online, and at the same time, something we are all well familiar with. There is probably no internet user who has not come in contact with spam, especially via emails.

Currently, according to different sources and studies, 45 to 55% of all emails are spam. That is more than 15 billions spam emails per day. Due to the increasing damage for businesses done by spam, more and more systems are being implemented to push back spammers. In all of this, some legit emails may get caught in the crossfire and be sent to a spam folder or even be discarded. There is where authentication records come into play to help spam filters understand when an email has a legitimate source. The Email Deliverability toolkit is available in cPanel to help you easily utilize these anti-spoof and spam prevention records.

To increase the Email Deliverability for your domain, check the following sections:

 

What are DKIM, SPF, and PTR

Email Authentication Records (also called protocols, techniques, technologies or systems) are a set of values which are generated for a specific domain/DNS zone. Due to this, they cannot be later altered by a 3rd party with malicious intent. These are the marks that receiving servers look into when an email is sent towards them. If these marks are not corresponding with the zone/domain from which the email is coming, the incoming server will mark them as spam.

DKIM Record

DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) is a record that adds to the header of each email an encrypted domain name identifier string. Trust ratings are based on domain name reputation so legit businesses will experience no issues. Spammers, on the other hand, will have a bad reputation due to continuously being added in blacklists. Once the receiving server detects this and the DKIM reputation checks out, the authentication is validated.

The DKIM is unique and is not entangled with other parts of the email such as the "From:" field so it cannot be manipulated via spoofing.

SPF Record

The Sender Policy Framework (SPF) is one of the first significant strides against spoofing. The now popular DMARC protocol uses the result generated from the SPF and DKIM checks to link to the author's "From:" domain name. As a prerequisite technology, SPF lacks the reporting capabilities of DMARC but together, they relay enough information to the receiver regarding the trustworthy rating of the origin of the email.

So, when the outgoing email server isn't included in the SPF record connected to that specific domain, the email will be considered questionable and can be rejected by the receiver.

In short, with the SPF record, you can specify which IP addresses or hostnames are authorized to send email from a specific domain.

PTR Record

The Pointer record (PTR) is also called a Reverse DNS Record as it maps an IP address to a hostname unlike other DNS records that do the opposite. When entering an IP address, the PTR records will resolve to the associated domain. The PTR record compliments the A record, and in authentication checks, both are required. If there is a mismatch in these two records, the email will be marked as spam.

 

Configuration Process of Email Authentication Records

 

Before cPanel v78, users had to use the Authentication or DNS Zone Editor to manage their DKIM or SPF records. However, with v82 cPanel introduced a full-service toolkit called Email Deliverability, which can be used to manage not only DKIM and SPF but also PTR records with only a few clicks with more records potentially in the pipeline in future versions. This new feature will also automatically detect pre-existing issues with the records mentioned above and offer fast repair options. All of this is done to improve your email deliverability without the need for you to learn specific syntax of records and edit them manually.

To check your email records' validity, please access your cPanel ? Email Deliverability.

Once there, you will see a list of all the domains you have added in cPanel. In this example, you can see there is an issue with the SPF record for the particular domain. To fix it you can simply click Repair and then confirm the change or preview the configuration of all records via the Manage button.

The DKIM record is valid in this example, but if there was an issue with it or it was not even generated, that would have been addressed here easily.

Next is the SPF record, which in our case lacks an IP address as part of its value. Click on the "Install the suggested record" button, and after a few seconds, you will receive a confirmation of the successful change.

Lastly, you will be able to check your PTR record. In our case, the same is valid. We are observing nominal behavior from the Email Deliverability Interface with no issues being detected.

As you can see, with just a few clicks and no prior knowledge on the topic, you can alter authentication records and increase the deliverability of your emails considerably. Of course, for more advanced users, there are also customization options in which Additional Hosts, MX Servers, and IP Addresses can be added.

 

Synergy with SpamExperts

 

We use a complex Spam Filtering system for all outgoing emails on our Shared Hosting servers. It is called SpamExperts, and it is the world's leading vendor when it comes to spam filtering and prevention.

The SpamExperts integration is available on all our Shared Hosting plans, and it is also available as an add-on for our Cloud VPS/Dedicated CPU clients. The spam filtering is only available for outgoing emails, and it does not cover the incoming messages received by your email accounts.

When you connect to a mailbox (which is protected by SpamExperts) using SMTP, and you send out an email message, it will be forwarded to the SpamExperts Cloud Service. They will filter all spam emails and held them back in a queue, while sending all legitimate emails towards their final destination - Gmail, Hotmail, etc. Your emails have been sent from the SpamExperts Cloud using their IP addresses, not the Shared IP address assigned to your hosting account with us. Because of that, the SPF record set for your domain name must include the specific hostnames. That will verify that your emails are indeed passing through the SpamExperts Cloud.

The default SPF record for domains that are protected by our SpamExperts outbound filters is:

v=spf1 a:5817.submission.antispamcloud.com a:release.antispamcloud.com -all

Of course, you can also include the IP address of your server as a permitted sender by clicking on the "Install the suggested record" button. That was the issue detected by cPanel.

Notes

  • You can't update two or more domains at the same time if their records exist on the same zone. The bulk records update is possible only in case the domains' records exist on different zones.

  • If you are using a remote server for your emails, you will not be able to use this particular cPanel function. In such cases, you will need to configure the DKIM and SPF records manually.

Even if you are confident in your current records configuration, we recommend that you check the new Email Deliverability function via your cPanel.

 

8. How to Use the cPanel Email Address Importer

 

Creating an email account is a relatively simple procedure by itself. However, if you are moving a lot of email accounts to a new domain, it can truly be a daunting task.

You will be happy to hear that there is a fast way of doing it with cPanel. This method can also be used if you have a preset with domains you want to have on a new production website like info@, marketing@ sales@, etc. Furthermore, you can use this to create email forwarders in bulk for a domain associated with your hosting account.

To master the address importing feature in cPanel, you need to learn:

 

How to Prepare a List for Importing

As you will be importing email accounts of forwarders in bulk, first, you will have to make a list of all the items which you want to import. That can be done both via Excel Spreadsheet (.xls) or Comma separated value sheet (.csv) files. As both files can be created by a multitude of programs on different OS, you will have no issues finding the appropriate tool for your particular setup.

Note

cPanel will not import email address lists saved via the .xlsx file format.

In both formats, you can only use the username of the email or username@domain.com, as we have in our examples. The latter will be converted to username@, followed by the domain which you have selected in the configuration options.

The quotas are set in Megabytes (MB), so if you are doing this on VPS or Dedicated Server and you want one of the accounts to have 4GB quota, you will have to input that as 4096.

How to Use the .xls File Format

For this example, we have used Microsoft Excel and Notepad++ for creating the two list formats. In .xls, you can separate the elements in different categories:

  • Email, Password, and Quota - for Email Accounts.
  • Source and Target - for Forwarding.

These are called column headers and only added for your convenience. They are not required for the import, and you will have the option to skip the first rows of a file when importing.

 

How to Use the .csv File Format

 

For .csv, we suggest using commas as a delimiter. However, you can also use space, semicolon, tab, or other symbols that do not appear in your email or passwords.

 

How to Import Email Accounts

 

To start the email accounts import process, first you must navigate to cPanel ? Address Importer.

The Email Accounts option will be selected by default, so you can directly use the Browse button to upload your import list.

Selecting a .xls file will add the option to remove the column headers, and selecting a .csv will provide you with an option to choose the delimiter, as mentioned at the start of the tutorial. Click Next to proceed.

Here, you will see your list as it was perceived by the Address Importer and will be able to change up the column headers if your file has the quotas before the passwords, for example.

Below that, you can use a drop-down menu to select the domain for which you want to add these email accounts, and then click Next.

Finally, you can do a last check of the list with the emails now having the correct domain as part of their address. Click Finish to initiate the actual process.

You will get a confirmation for all of the added email accounts, so check that everything is processed correctly.

As a confirmation, if you now access your Email Accounts section in cPanel, you will see the newly added accounts.

 

How to Import Email Forwarders

 

To import a list of email forwarders, access the cPanel ? Address Importer tool.

This time, select the Forwarders option in Step 1 of the setup.

As in Section 2, here you will have to browse select your .xls or .csv file list created as per the instructions in our introduction section and the appropriate delimiter.

If you are having issues creating the list, you can always click on the link labeled Example, which contains two example files that you can just edit with your own data, save, and use.

When choosing the headers from the drop-down menus, select Source and Target if they are not pre-applied by default. The Target will be the email that will receive the emails forwarded from the Source.

As you will see from the next image, the target's email address must be correctly added from the start. The selection of a domain for which the forwarders will be created will only affect the Source and not the Destination (Target). This is why all of our Source addresses became @example.com, but the Destination remailed @domain.com. All of this should be taken into consideration when creating the import list.

Finally, hit the Finish button to initiate the generation of forwarders. You will be able to track the progress and see if all forwarders are set correctly.

Depending on what you are trying to accomplish, the Address Importer can be a great tool in quickly creating email accounts or forwarders in bulk on your hosting plan.

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