MX Lookup

What is it?

What is it?

"MX Lookup" refers to the process of querying the Domain Name System (DNS) to retrieve the Mail eXchanger (MX) records associated with a specific domain. MX lookup plays a crucial role in email delivery, enabling email servers to determine the mail servers responsible for receiving and handling email messages addressed to recipients within the queried domain.

Key points to remember

Key points to remember

  • DNS Query: An MX lookup involves sending a DNS query requesting the MX records for a given domain to the DNS resolver, which returns a list of mail servers designated to handle email traffic for that domain.

  • Priority Resolution: The MX records returned by an MX lookup include priority values (numeric preferences) that indicate the order in which mail servers should be contacted for email delivery. Lower priority values denote higher precedence, with mail servers sorted in ascending order of priority.


  • Fallback Handling: Email servers perform MX lookups for recipient domains during the email delivery, using the retrieved MX records to determine the target mail servers. If a primary mail server is unavailable, email servers attempt delivery to alternate mail servers based on priority until successful delivery.


  • TTL Consideration: MX lookup results are subject to the Time-to-Live (TTL) values specified in the domain's DNS records, with cached results expiring after the TTL period, prompting subsequent queries to refresh and obtain updated MX records.


  • Diagnostic Tool: MX lookup tools and utilities allow administrators, email service providers, and network troubleshooters to perform MX record lookups, verify mail server configurations, diagnose delivery issues, and ensure proper email routing.

Example of Use

Example of Use

  1. Email Delivery: When an email server attempts to deliver an email message to a recipient's domain, it performs an MX lookup to determine the target mail servers responsible for receiving and processing incoming email traffic, facilitating successful message delivery.


  2. DNS Configuration: Administrators and domain owners use MX lookup tools to verify the correctness of MX records configured for their domains, ensuring proper mail routing and delivery and troubleshooting any DNS-related issues affecting email communication.

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