Configure SPF and DKIM in cPanel


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Added: 10.03.2014 23:26:29     Last updated: 11.05.2019 14:01:52

This guide details how to configure SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) in cPanel. The guide requires you to first log into cPanel.

SPF makes it possible for email servers to identify and stop emails with false senders. Normally, anyone can impersonate any email address, for example bill.gates@microsoft.com. When SPF is used, the email server which receives emails from bill.gates@microsoft.com can check if the email server that is pretending to send on behalf of bill.gates@microsoft.com, is really allowed to send on behalf of bill.gates@microsoft.com.

DKIM is designed to verify the sender email address' domain and the email's integrity. DKIM prevents a lot of fraud methods, but is not a complete solution. Google and Yahoo has used DKIM on their servers since 2004.

In short, the use of SPF and DKIM will:

  • Lower the likelihood of having the emails you send marked as spam
  • Increase the likelihood that emails that other people send pretending to be you, will be identified as spam

 

Step 1:
Click the icon for "Email Deliverability" as shown below:

Email Deliverability email in cPanel

 

Step 2:
Find the email account you want to manage and press the "Manage" button.

Manage account

 

Step 3:
Press the "Generate Local DKIM Key" button to activate DKIM for the account.

Generate DKIM key

 

Step 4:
1. Press the "Install the Suggested Record" button to install a standard SPF record in the DNS Zone File.
2. Click "Customize" to set up a custom SPF record.

Activate SPF

 

Customized SPF record
Sometimes the SPF record has to be customized to work correctly. For instance, if your domain is using a 3rd party calendar service that sends out appointment reminders on your behalf, the 3rd party has to be added as an approved sender in your SPF record.
1. To add an allowed sender by A-record, click here.
2. To add an allowed sender by MX-record, click here.
3. To add an allowed sender by IPv4 address, click here.
4. To add all allowed senders in the SPF record for another domain, click here.
5. Checkbox to exclude all senders not listed in the fields above.
6. Press the "Install a Customized SPF Record" button to save the settings and write the SPF-record to the DNS Zone File.

Customized SPF

 

Finished
We have now been through how to activate SPF and DKIM for your domain in the cPanel.