How to change your primary Workspace domain (must-read before transition)

When you think you need to change a primary Workspace domain, you’d better make sure this is exactly what you need to do. Could you do with adding a secondary domain maybe?

Often Google Cloud services carry a lot of business data, email accounts, aliases, and contacts are synced to multiple devices, and the Gmail address is a sign-up account for multiple services as part of 2-way verification.

When you change the primary domain in Workspace for a bigger organization, you may want to refer to professional companies that are trained to do it and have endless checklists to make sure the transfer is smooth. Otherwise, you may trigger a whole avalanche of lost data, be locked out of subscriptions, and have an interrupted sales process.

If you are a smaller company with just a few emails, or if your IT manager is rather skilled to perform the switch to a new primary domain in your Google Workspace, below we provide a full DIY guide for you. [Jump straight to the algorithm here.]

What Is a Primary Workspace Domain?

The Primary Google Workspace domain is the domain name [e.g.], that a company uses to create its corporate account on Google Cloud Services. 

A Google Workspace account is a business account, and it suggests a domain name is used during the registration process. While it’s possible to manage several domain names inside one Workspace account, only one is used to sign up for the service and it’s the one that is called a primary domain.

Why Change Your Primary Workspace Domain

Reasons for Workspace change domain are usually one of these:

  1. A company goes through rebranding, changes its name, and consequently a domain name too.
  2. A company goes through bankruptcy but some parts of it remain functional, yet it needs to get a new domain instead of the old one with a tainted reputation.
  3. A company may go through a merger and acquisition process.
  4. A company may have a new venture altogether.

Can any primary domain be modified? Not really. Let’s see the rules.

Can You Change ANY Primary Domain In Workspace?

No, some of the accounts will not be able to move away from their old primary domains. These are not eligible for transfer:

  1. If you bought your primary domain name at the time of account registration.
  2. If you are using a free trial.
  3. Accounts purchased at Google Domains.
  4. Accounts with unverified primary domains. You will need to complete a verification process, and wait for it to synchronize for up to 24 hours, and only then will you be able to do a name swap.

If your business is none of the above, you can start with the process. But before you get to it, let’s go through the things that may go wrong during the shift, just to make sure entrepreneurs pay due attention to this complex technical task.

Google Workspace Change Primary Domain” Mission Gone Wrong

As with many new technology transition projects, this one is ridden with dangers at every click. Companies who took the mission lightly experience face these negative outcomes:

  1. Losing email correspondence.
  2. Losing critical company data.
  3. Being locked out of accounts where they used the email addresses attached to the primary domain for authentication and not being able to get into them.
  4. Losing access to Google sites and respective revenue-generating activities.
  5. Not being able to use email inboxes for outgoing and incoming business correspondence.

The key learnings? If you can do with adding a new domain as the secondary one or creating an alias – consider this milder alteration as a less critical change. If you absolutely need to have a new primary domain, consider hiring a professional for the mission for bigger projects with hundreds of emails. 

Feeling confident enough in your IT skills and ready to DIY? This is the algorithm.

How To Change Your Primary Domain In Workspace [For Workspace Admins Only]

This is a complex multi-step process, so we’ll break it down into phases:

Phase 1. Preparation.

Ensure you have access to the domain host or domain reseller admin panels to tweak domain settings when needed.

Ensure you brief your team about the action necessary on their part for a seamless uninterrupted shift to a new domain. Google suggests these sample notifications depending on whether you keep an old domain alongside or not.

Phase 2. Create a New Domain in your Google Workspace Account

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console at
  2. Go to Menu 
  3. Choose the Account whose primary domain you need to switch
  4. Select Domains 
  5. Click Manage domains
  6. Select Add a domain
  7. Type the new domain name: “”
  8. Select Secondary Domain, then Add and start verification

Phase 3. Perform Transfer of a Secondary Domain to a Primary Role

  1. From Google Admin Console go to Menu
  2. Choose the Account whose primary domain you need to switch
  3. Select Domains 
  4. Click Manage domains
  5. Select Change Primary Domain
  6. Type the domain name that you need to make a primary one
  7. Save.

Phase 4. Follow-up & Troubleshooting

There are a lot of other activities you will have to perform depending on the Google Workspace account, number of aliases, emails, data on Google Cloud, and so on.

Some of the key info to take into account and follow up on are:

  • You’ll have to rename all your users as well as groups [,] if you are getting rid of the old primary account.
  • Decide and execute what is the best course of action for your case: getting rid of the old domain, making it secondary, or turning it into an alias.
  • Update your Google Workspace account settings so that all financial and technical notifications hit your new email.
  • See if any of your existing marketplace-purchased apps need to be reinstalled to a new domain email.

Workspace Change Primary Domain: Mission Possible

While the UX of the Admin section of Google Workspace is rather intuitive, knowing some of the main challenges of the process of transferring your business to a new primary domain is critical—especially for larger companies.

When treating this technical project lightly, companies may encounter all kinds of reversible and irreversible issues with varying degrees of financial and reputational damage. 

Once you know that you do want to get rid of the old primary domain for solid reasons and creating an alias or secondary one is not the option for you – make sure to conduct a full inventory of your settings, and communicate changes to the team. This process is a natural step of business progression and the Google Workspace capabilities have stepped up to enable this shift most seamlessly.

2 Comments. Leave new

  • Am I the only one who is like freaking out to delete anything major, like an unused domain? I just keep the old domains hanging there just in case.

    And I keep paying for it too just in case.

  • Being a small company with under a dozen colleagues, this guide for Workspace domain change worked like magic. But if I had like 100 accounts, I would sure outsource this – the consequences of the mission going wrong sound like a big No to me.


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