Is it posible to use ghs.google.com for a secondary domain within your Google Apps organisation?


  • acmepaper.com (Primary): mail.acmepaper.com -> CNAME ghs.google.com - acmestaples.com (Secondary): mail.acmestaples.com -> CNAME

When in the settings tab to change the service url's the option for a custom url is only shown for our primary domain.

If i change the DNS settings for the subdomain, will google recognise that, or does ghs.google.com only work for the primary domain?

  • 1
    What are you actually trying to do? Any CNAME record pointing to ghs.google.com will work in the sense that you'll have a cname record pointing to ghs, but what effect are you hoping that it will have for your Google Apps configuration?
    – Benj
    Apr 5, 2012 at 9:52
  • you can point mail.acmepaper.com to ghs.google.com. Then when someone naviagtes to mail.acmepaper.com they get their google apps mail. Its the same for docs/calendar/blog/start/etc.acmepaper.com. Google recognises you are coming from an apps registered domain, what im wondering is will this work for SUBdomains linked to an apps account (eg. acmestaples.com)
    – OrangeBox
    Apr 6, 2012 at 8:18

3 Answers 3


This isn't currently supporting, but there may be work-arounds.

According to Google's help site:

Custom URLs work only for user accounts in your primary domain. Users who sign in with a domain alias address or an address in any other domain associated with your Google Apps account must instead access services using the default URL. (See other limitations with multiple domains.)

At the same time, a support forum discussion from 2009 implies that you can get around it in this way (but I haven't had a chance to test whether this still applies):

  1. Set up your custom url mapping, so mail.example.com points to ghs.google.com
  2. Set up Google Apps to recognize this address and map it to the appropriate service (i.e. Gmail) or Site.
  3. Set up a REDIRECT (not CNAME) to point your second domain to the first, so mail.otherexample.com would redirect to mail.example.com, which is mapped to Google Apps Mail.

This isn't as elegant, but gets the job done.

  • great answer. like you said, not ideal but gets the job done. Thanks!
    – OrangeBox
    Apr 6, 2012 at 11:26
  • Should this be set up as a Temporary redirect, or as a Permanent redirect? Jan 2, 2014 at 4:26
  • I don't know for sure, and haven't worked with Google apps for a while... but I think it shouldn't matter. If you do a permanent redirect, it will be cached in DNS and browsers, which will make it hard for you to later point that domain at another destination, so it depends on what you need.
    – Benj
    Jan 2, 2014 at 15:42

I found a good work around; Create a REDIRECT (NOT CNAME) (as mentioned above) to https://mail.google.com/a/YOURSUBDOMAINNAME/&ss=1

Then you will have the same functionality and the right login as your primairy domainname.


Although this was not supported by Google Apps in the past it is now supported!

Note the Customize a Google Apps service address page no longer lists the inability to use secondary domains in the Requirements and restrictions section. I have personally used it and it works 100%.

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