Tried moving DNS and email stopped working with "domain not found" error

Hi there,
This morning I tried moving my DNS to Cloudflare. I was using my domain registrar’s DNS before. I moved across all my records (Cloudflare detected most of them) but then when trying to send an email to my address or from my adress to any others I kept on getting a “domain not found” error.

I have no website at the moment and so no records for the root domain or www - could this be the issue?

In the meantime I switched back to using the nameservers from my domain provider

I’ve been looking through the support articles and the name field of my MX records are set @ or the root of my domain … so from what I understand I don’t need an A record pointing to mail?

That depends. If your domain is example.com and your MX record points to mail.example.com and you don’t have an A record for that hostname, how will sending email servers know to connect to the IP of that server?

One other important detail: Cloudflare does not proxy email protocols. It only proxies HTTP and HTTPS on specific ports, so make sure that you set the A record for your mail server to :grey: DNS Only.

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All my MX records point to another domain. So for example.com my MX record points to mxext1.mailbox.org.

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You should be fine then.

I thought so, but kept on getting a “domain not found” error - so not quite sure what t do

How are you testing? What is generating the “domain not found” error? Is it an MUA (client mail application), an MTA (email server application), or just your own DNS tests?

If you are doing an A record query instead of an MX query for your domain, you will see a “not found” response, but that would be expected, and shouldn’t matter. I say shouldn’t because there certainly could be some defective MTA software out there that looks for an A record when it shouldn’t, but I don’t suspect that is happening.

So I tried sending an email to this email address from my work email and another email address and both returned that response. I also tried sending an email from this email address and that failed too.

Could it be that I didn’t leave the settings / transfer long enough to propogate everywhere? Also on my domain registrar’s site I have all the DNS settings still there too - does this matter if the authoritative nameservers have all been changed to Cloudflare?

If you have the same MX record in your registrar DNS and your Cloudflare DNS, there will be no change to propagate.

It shouldn’t matter. The nameservers listed in your whois get published to the root of the parent zone. If a resolver doesn’t know the answer to a query, it will check with the parent zone to determine which authoritative servers it should ask. When your nameservers have been updated to Cloudflare, that is where resolvers will be directed.

The term propagation is a bit of a misnomer. The word implies that zone data is moving around the network, when in fact it is really just what we call the process of waiting for the TTL to expire on any cached records.

You can always test your propagation with online tools such as the following:

Thanks for the help - I have since changed my NS back to my registrar - but perhaps I’ll give it another go later

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I tried again but still get the same error: Recipient address rejected: Domain not found (in reply to RCPT TO command).

Any ideas as to what I can try?

Did you get that error trying to send to your domain email or from your domain email?

What application are you using to send the email?

Mainly Send to my domain - I’ve tried Outlook on iPhone and Mail on Mac, this morning I tried to send from my domain and still have the same issue.

I checked the propagation again and it still hasn’t propagated everywhere. What’s especially interesting are the locations near me haven’t propagated yet

Update: So my email just started working :). In the end all that I did was … wait … the one thing that I can’t bare to do. I left all the SPF, DMARC, DKIM and DNSSEC records as is in Cloudflare. I did however add the MX records back to my registrar’s DNS settings - not sure if that did anything, but I’m hesitant to mess with a working solution! Ps the NS change still hasn’t propagated to all of the locations, but seems to be enough to get my email working!

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