Tutorial: Host your domain in Azure DNS

You can use Azure DNS to host your DNS domain and manage your DNS records. By hosting your domains in Azure, you can manage your DNS records by using the same credentials, APIs, tools, and billing as your other Azure services.

Suppose you buy the domain contoso.net from a domain name registrar and then create a zone with the name contoso.net in Azure DNS. Since you're the owner of the domain, your registrar offers you the option to configure the name server (NS) records for your domain. The registrar stores the NS records in the .NET parent zone. Internet users around the world are then directed to your domain in your Azure DNS zone when they try to resolve DNS records in contoso.net.

In this tutorial, you learn how to:

  • Create a DNS zone.
  • Retrieve a list of name servers.
  • Delegate the domain.
  • Verify the delegation is working.

If you don’t have an Azure subscription, create a free account before you begin.


You must have a domain name available to test with that you can host in Azure DNS. You must have full control of this domain. Full control includes the ability to set the name server (NS) records for the domain.

In this example, we'll reference the parent domain a contoso.net.

Create a DNS zone

  1. Go to the Azure portal to create a DNS zone. Search for and select DNS zones.

    DNS zone

  2. Select Create DNS zone.

  3. On the Create DNS zone page, enter the following values, and then select Create. For example, contoso.net.


    If the new zone that you are creating is a child zone (e.g. Parent zone = contoso.net Child zone = child.contoso.net), please refer to our Creating a new Child DNS zone tutorial

    Setting Value Details
    Resource group ContosoRG Create a resource group. The resource group name must be unique within the subscription that you selected. The location of the resource group has no impact on the DNS zone. The DNS zone location is always "global," and isn't shown.
    Zone child leave unchecked Since this zone is not a child zone you should leave this unchecked
    Name contoso.net Field for your parent zone name
    Location East US This field is based on the location selected as part of Resource group creation

Retrieve name servers

Before you can delegate your DNS zone to Azure DNS, you need to know the name servers for your zone. Azure DNS gives name servers from a pool each time a zone is created.

  1. With the DNS zone created, in the Azure portal Favorites pane, select All resources. On the All resources page, select your DNS zone. If the subscription you've selected already has several resources in it, you can enter your domain name in the Filter by name box to easily access the application gateway.

  2. Retrieve the name servers from the DNS zone page. In this example, the zone contoso.net has been assigned name servers ns1-01.azure-dns.com, ns2-01.azure-dns.net, *ns3-01.azure-dns.org, and ns4-01.azure-dns.info:

    List of name servers

Azure DNS automatically creates authoritative NS records in your zone for the assigned name servers.

Delegate the domain

Once the DNS zone gets created and you have the name servers, you'll need to update the parent domain with the Azure DNS name servers. Each registrar has its own DNS management tools to change the name server records for a domain.

  1. In the registrar's DNS management page, edit the NS records and replace the NS records with the Azure DNS name servers.

  2. When you delegate a domain to Azure DNS, you must use the name servers that Azure DNS provides. Use all four name servers, regardless of the name of your domain. Domain delegation doesn't require a name server to use the same top-level domain as your domain.


When you copy each name server address, make sure you copy the trailing period at the end of the address. The trailing period indicates the end of a fully qualified domain name. Some registrars append the period if the NS name doesn't have it at the end. To be compliant with the DNS RFC, include the trailing period.

Delegations that use name servers in your own zone, sometimes called vanity name servers, aren't currently supported in Azure DNS.

Verify the delegation

After you complete the delegation, you can verify that it's working by using a tool such as nslookup to query the Start of Authority (SOA) record for your zone. The SOA record is automatically created when the zone is created. You may need to wait at least 10 minutes after you complete the delegation, before you can successfully verify that it's working. It can take a while for changes to propagate through the DNS system.

You don't have to specify the Azure DNS name servers. If the delegation is set up correctly, the normal DNS resolution process finds the name servers automatically.

  1. From a command prompt, enter a nslookup command similar to the following example:

    nslookup -type=SOA contoso.net
  2. Verify that your response looks similar to the following nslookup output:

    Server: ns1-04.azure-dns.com
    primary name server = ns1-04.azure-dns.com
    responsible mail addr = msnhst.microsoft.com
    serial = 1
    refresh = 900 (15 mins)
    retry = 300 (5 mins)
    expire = 604800 (7 days)
    default TTL = 300 (5 mins)

Clean up resources

You can keep the contosoRG resource group if you intend to do the next tutorial. Otherwise, delete the contosoRG resource group to delete the resources created in this tutorial.

Select the contosoRG resource group, and then select Delete resource group.

Next steps

In this tutorial, you created a DNS zone for your domain and delegated it to Azure DNS. To learn about Azure DNS and web apps, continue with the tutorial for web apps.