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A Solution to Swapping Primary Domains in Google Apps

  • April 25, 2014

swap-a-google-apps-domainHighly successful Google Apps pilot programs often face a very common issue of needing to swap a primary domain in Google Apps.  A Google Apps test domain is set up and the test group's usage organically grows to the point that the entire company is already using Gmail by forwarding as well as Drive and Calendar.   But you can't swap a Primary and Secondary domain in Google Apps.  It just can't be done.  We have an easy solution which just may be right for your company.

 

Primary Domain Swap in Google Apps -- Issue Background:

We've registered and set up a domain in Google Apps - Coolheadtech.com.   

Users log in as  xxxx@coolheadtech.com

We want to change our domain name.  None of our Google Apps users should see, use or login with the old domain name.

Our new domain is    weirdornot.com

 

Solution:

This article will show you how to add a secondary domain and re-provision/rename all Google Apps users to the new domain name.  The primary domain name remains only for the Super Administrator.

In the Domain section of the Google Apps Control Panel, Add a new domain..  

Be sure to choose Add another domain and not domain alias. If the domain is already in as an alias, remove it and add it back as a secondary domain.

add-new-domain-google-apps

 

After You've verified domain ownership,Proceed to the user's page of the Google Apps Control Panel.

Navigate to Users, click/tap the user to rename and Click the Rename Button.

 

In the Dropdown for Primary Email address, choose the new Google Apps primary domain.

rename-user-to-new-primary-domain

 

Important Notes when Renaming Google Apps Users to a New Primary Domain.

  • Google Apps adds the old email as an alias, you need to remove it if you want to stop mail delivery to the address.
  • Google Talk's Chat List is removed (Hangouts appear to be OK)
  • Gchat may be unusable for up to 3 days 
  • It may take up to 10 minutes for the rename to complete so the user can log in.
  • The user now sees @weirdornot.com as their primary domain

After you've completed the process for all users you can go to the Personalization and Company sections in the Google Apps Control Panel and re-brand using the new Domain information.

If you have any questions about this procedure or any Google Apps Admin question, come join Google Apps Admins on Linkedin.

 

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