The Differences Between a Domain Alias and a Secondary Domain in Google Workspace

Quick and easy-to-follow introduction for Google Workspace administrators

Secondary domains vs domain aliases

In Google Workspace, you have two options when adding domains.

You should choose the correct option before adding the domain, but it’s not a big deal if you don’t. You can just remove and re-add the domain to update the type.

Domain aliases in Google Workspace

What you can do with a domain alias:

  • After adding a domain as a domain alias, all users will automatically get additional alias email addresses based on all email addresses at the primary domain in your account.

For example, if you have two users – [email protected] and [email protected], and then you add the domain alias “domainB.com”, your users will get additional email addresses – j[email protected] and [email protected] on the same user accounts.

What you can’t do with a domain alias:

  • You can’t manually create email aliases at a domain alias
  • You can’t add users or groups with a primary (login) email address at a domain alias
  • You can’t make a domain alias the primary domain

Secondary domains in Google Workspace

What you can do with a secondary domain

  • You can create new users or groups with a primary (login) email address at the secondary domain
  • You can create email aliases manually
  • You can switch a secondary domain with the current primary domain if your account allows it

What you can’t do with a secondary domain:

  • You can’t automatically create email aliases based on your primary domain

How to choose the right option for your account

The only option that you don’t get with a secondary domain is the automatic creation of email aliases based on the primary domain.

Overall, you get much more options with a secondary domain – this is the preferred choice a lot of the time.

Follow these steps to add a new domain to your Google Workspace account.

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