iCloud+ Custom Email Domain - my experience migrating from Google Suite

Ok, so I’ve had a custom email domain for my family for over 10 years with the original Google apps, which when Google started charging for as a Google Business Suite, I was grandfathered into a free legacy Google suite program.

It was sweet - free Gmail basically with my own custom domain name for my wife and kids.

Last week Google basically sent an email out to the free legacy Google Suite users saying that from June this year we would have to upgrade to a paid subscription.

I found out that Apple had started a custom email domain for their iCloud+ subscribers based on their iCloud mail system last year, which is great timing. I’m already paying for it. Plus I have Family Sharing set up.

Over the weekend, I managed to export emails from different accounts from Gmail, set up the custom domain in iCloud, and share the custom domain via Family Sharing. Made DNS changes at my domain registrar. Wait a bit.

And it’s done! The time consuming part is uploading the emails from Gmail back onto iCloud - this is still going on as we are talking about hundreds of thousands of emails - but I wanted the old emails accessible via all my devices.

But now I have my emails on the Apple ecosystem at no extra cost, and utilising the full 2 Tb worth of iCloud storage, which is more than enough.

Just thought I would share this experience in case it helps anyone else.


Thanks for the post! As a fellow user, right now I’m doing nothing due to the survey Google are asking people to fill out if they only use it for personal use.

Fingers crossed something comes of it, and they offer a subset of the full Google Workspace at no or low cost.

More: https://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/gsuite_legacy

Thanks - I am aware of that potential, but decided to bite the bullet and use iCloud+ which I was already paying for. Suits what we want to do, and seems to work well.

Thanks Erwin. Stuff like this may come in handy at some stage…

Hi Erwin,

Quick question. Did you have to remove the DNS records from Google when you were adding the iCloud DNS records, or did you add the iCloud records on top of the existing records? Am having a problem with this right now.


You don’t have to touch the settings at the Google end. The main thing is adding the iCloud information to the domain registrar DNS host records, and then making sure the iCloud account has your domain added.

So the domain registrar DNS host records is changed from pointing to Google, to pointing to Apple/ iCloud.

Follow the instructions here to change the DNS host records at your domain registrar:

Also - pro-tip - I had trouble initially getting the confirmation email to the email address - to get around it - just skip adding an email, and set up DNS. You can then go back to add the email without needing to confirm. And then wait for DNS to propagate (can take 24 hours) and then test that the emails are working.

Also, use this to check your mx records:

Enter your domain in it.

Hope the above helps.

Thanks! Will try and let you know!

Just found this post. I’m in the same situation, and have started the process. Where I’m stuck is figuring out how to upload the emails exported from Gmail to iCloud. Can you elaborate how you did that? Thanks.

I’ve done the migration too, all I did was have both Gmail and iCloud set up in Mail on one of my Macs - drag the emails from Gmail folder to equivalent iCloud folder - I did it in batches of a few hundred at a time.
And, because Gmail sticks everything in one bucket and tags it, I worked through it methodically to avoid duplication. Deleted, then sent, then in labels, then inbox, then archived. Maybe unnecessary, not sure.

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Thanks. In the end I’ve settled on the same approach. I was wary, fearing problems and data loss risks doing it that way with so much data. So I had gone to the trouble of downloading it all as a backup using a command line thingy called “GYB”. But anyhow I’ve gone with the simple drag within Mail.app, and it seems to be going ok now, and not far from finished.