A black-and-white portrait of KenKen ZinserMake sense and make better

Custom domains for iCloud Mail

Getting your DNS settings to support both custom email domains for iCloud and custom domain names for GitHub Pages

GitHub Pages lets you host a public website from a GitHub directory. They even give you the ability to customize the domain name. (This site is powered by Jekyll and GitHub Pages.)

In 2022 Apple rolled out a custom email domain feature for iCloud+ subscribers. After trying HEY.com for a little over a year, I decided the best fit for me and my preferences was iCloud and Apple Mail. Finally being able to send and receive mail with a custom domain right in iCloud just affirmed my decision. For the most part.

Getting GitHub Pages and iCloud to play nice has proven difficult, and there simply is not a ton of documentation out there on this particular setup I did get it working eventually, I’m just not 100% sure how. I’m sharing what I know in case it helps you and others troubleshoot.

When I was initially setting things up in iCloud, I kept getting error messages about the SPF and MX records.

I wound up contacting the support team at Hover, my domain registrar.

I wanted to use my apex domain (no www) with GitHub Pages, so originally I only had an @ CNAME record pointing to username.github.io.

They said that was likely causing an issue — conflicting with the sig1._domainkey CNAME for iCloud — and that I should replace it with a www CNAME record.

I was also confused about whether or not to add quotes around some of the TXT records; They told me it wasn’t necessary.

My DNS records look like this:

Type Host Value (Source)
MX @ MX value (iCloud)
MX @ MX value (iCloud)
TXT @ Value (iCloud)
TXT @ SPF value (iCloud)
A @ IP address (GitHub)
A @ IP address (GitHub)
A @ IP address (GitHub)
A @ IP address (GitHub)
CNAME sig1._domainkey User-specific value (iCloud)
CNAME www User-specific value (GitHub)

Make sure you get the latest values and instructions from Apple and GitHub.

The issue I’m having now is on the Apple side. I can’t access the custom email domain settings in iCloud, either on the web or in the settings app on iOS or macOS. I have an open ticket that required escalation to the engineering team. Coming up on four or five weeks since I last heard from AppleCare.

Your domain registrar may handle things differently. And I also wonder if my .fyi TLD has anything to do with it.

If you’re having the same issue, I’d be interested in hearing whether or not you make any progress on your end.