Enabling Cloudflare broke our email


Mac Mail reports “Connections to the server “b…com” on the default ports timed out.”

Host support says I can either ask Cloudflare for help “getting the mail for b…com to the server at ****”.

Or, I will need to change the DNS MX record for bigbeartools.com to eventually point to **** (typically accomplished by having a DNS A record for mail.b… pointing to ****, and then the DNS MX record pointing to mail.b…)

Does that sound right?


Try setting the “server” to mail.example.com (Replace example with your site) or directly to the IP address of the mail server.

Mail clients don’t use MX records for receiving/configuring mail.

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Thank you, Judge.

What is the “server”?

I’ll attach a screenshot of the page I’m looking at in Cloudflare DNS.


You should be able to go into your mail clients settings and change the “server” field for your inbox to mail.example.com.


Unfortunately, our host’s mail settings look like this:


I fixed it by forcing server address for incoming and outgoing on mail clients. However, I also added an A record for mail.bigbeartools.com pointing to the server IP and then an MX record.

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Your initial problem was that it appears that you didn’t have an A record defined for bigbeartools.com. However your fix is absolutely fine and in many ways preferable to just creating the missing entry as it means if you ever do add a record for bigbeartools.com it may be proxied by Cloudflare.

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