The Simple Guide to Transferring a Domain to Another Registrar (2023)

One of the most important steps in creating a great website is choosing the right domain name. Popular domain names go quickly — so, once you've found a great fit for your site, use a domain name search to make sure it's not taken, or pay the asking price if the owner is looking to sell.

The Simple Guide to Transferring a Domain to Another Registrar (1)

Finding an available name isn't enough, however, since you also need to register your domain name with a domain name system (DNS) registrar. In some cases, your registrar can also be your web hosting service, but this isn't required — you can choose to host and register your site with different providers.

But what happens if you want to change your domain registrar? That's where a domain transfer comes into play.

What is a domain transfer?

A domain transfer is the process of switching your domain name from one registrar to another. To be eligible for a transfer, you must have been with your current registrar for at least 60 days, since ICANN enforces a 60-day Change of Registrant lock.

You might want to initiate a domain transfer for a number of reasons. Maybe your current registrar has suddenly increased their prices, or your site is taking more time to load. Maybe you've found a better deal somewhere else and prefer to consolidate multiple domains under a single DNS registrar.

Whatever the reason, we've got you covered. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to transfer a domain.

How to Transfer a Domain

  1. Update your contact information.
  2. Set up your email sending domain name.
  3. Unlock your domain.
  4. Request an authorization code.
  5. Make sure your domain is eligible for a transfer.
  6. Create an account with your new registrar.
  7. Enter the authorization code.
  8. Authorize the domain transfer.
  9. Pay for your domain transfer.
  10. Finalize the domain transfer.
  11. Decide on a public or private domain.
  12. Cancel your previous service.
(Video) How to Transfer a Domain Name From One Registrar to Another EASY!

1. Update your contact information.

Both the registrar you're leaving and your new DNS registry provider will need to contact you during the transfer process. As a result, it's critical that your contact information is up to date.

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Log in to your current registrar's control panel and check your account details. Make sure your name, phone number, and physical address are all correct — any missing information could cause the transfer to take longer or be rejected.

2. Set up your email sending domain name.

Your domain registrar often provides email service tied to your domain name — this lets you send emails to and from addresses like and can help grow your brand or business.

But, when you transfer to another registrar, these email accounts are typically deactivated which potentially leaves you out of the loop. Make sure you have a backup email address ready to go before starting the transfer process.

3. Unlock your domain.

Look for the “unlock domain” option in your registrar's control panel. Every provider is different, but you'll often find it under the “Domain” or “Security” section of the main account screen.

Domains are locked by default to prevent accidental changes or deletion. You may be able to unlock your domain with a single click, or you may need to request manual unlocking from your registrar directly.

Once your domain is unlocked, you're able to transfer the name to another registrar.

(Video) Transferring Domains: What You Need to Know

4. Request an authorization code.

To transfer your domain, you'll need an authorization code (also called an Auth-Code, Auth-Info Code, or AuthInfo Code). This code is there to protect your domain from being transferred by an unauthorized party.

Additionally, this code serves as the bridge between your old registrar and your new provider and must be supplied within five days of your request, typically by email. Some registrars permit auto-generation of codes directly from their control panels.

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5. Make sure your domain is eligible for a transfer.

Per ICANN rules, if you've created or transferred your domain name in the last 60 days, it's not eligible for a transfer. Do the math before making the switch to ensure you're not wasting your time.

6. Create an account with your new registrar.

Next, head to your new registrar and make an account. Find its transfer service page and enter the domain name you're transferring. The “www” isn't required — simply enter the name of your domain and its suffix, such as .com, .net, .info, etc.

7. Enter the authorization code.

Enter the authorization code that was provided by your previous registrar. Double-check the code and make sure you entered it exactly as provided — if the code doesn't match, your transfer won't be successful and you may need to start over.

8. Authorize the domain transfer.

Once you enter the authorization code, you'll be contacted by both your old registrar and your new provider. You'll be asked to confirm your contact details and officially approve the transfer. Ensure the contact info you've provided to both registrars is correct and be prepared to answer questions about why you're leaving your current service.

9. Pay for your domain transfer.

Now you'll need to pay for your domain name transfer, typically using a credit card or online service like PayPal. Your new provider may require you to pay for a year of service, but it's also possible to find promotions that offer the first year for free.

10. Finalize the domain transfer.

Once the domain is released by your original provider, your new registrar will need time to configure your domain and servers. This typically takes anywhere from a few days to a week. During this time, your website should remain accessible from your previous registrar.

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(Video) How to Transfer Your Domain Name to Another Host - 2022

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11. Decide on a public or private domain.

Some providers allow you to obscure public WHOIS information for your website. When searched, your website will return contact information for your registrar rather than your personal details. This is useful if you're running a business out of your home or don't want your phone number displayed. However, private domains are more expensive than public domains.

12. Cancel your previous service.

Don't deactivate your old registrar service until your new account is running and your domain is fully transferred. Once you've confirmed that everything works, cancel your old service to ensure you're no longer being charged.

Transferring Your Domain Name: FAQs and Troubleshooting

How long does a domain transfer take?

The domain transfer process usually takes 5 to 7 days, but it can take longer if your information is out-of-date or they can’t verify your identity.

Is it free to transfer a domain?

No, although the fee and structure varies. Some registrars, like GoDaddy, charge a flat fee for the transfer itself. All registrars will charge you a registration fee when your domain is up for renewal. Some will bundle both costs (renewal and transfer fee) together. You also have the option to register a domain name for free.

I don’t know who my DNS registrar is. What do I do?

Look up your domain name on the ICANN Lookup tool. Under the “REGISTRAR INFORMATION” title, you will find out the name of your registrar.

I’ve just purchased a domain. Why can’t I transfer it to another registrar?

Your DNS registrar has placed your domain name under a 60-day Change of Registrant lock. Additionally, if you’ve recently made a previous transfer, you can’t change your registrar for the next 60 days.

How do I get an authorization code? Where can I find this code?

Every DNS registrar will be different, so we’ve compiled a list of helpful links to help you get an Auth-Code. Find your registrar’s specific instruction below:

My domain name registrar denied my request. Why? What do I do?

There are a few reasons why your request may have been denied.

There could be a discrepancy between your information and that of the domain owner. Alternatively, they can’t verify that you’re the owner. Make sure your contact information is up to date, and be sure to send what they need from you (ID, domain purchase receipt, and so on).

The domain name owner may have sent an objection to the transfer. If you’re not the domain name owner, be sure to get in contact with them to resolve the issue.

(Video) How to Transfer Domain from One Registrar to Another Registrar | Cheap Domain Transfer 2022

If you owe your DNS registrar any fees from previous domain purchases, they may have put your domain name on hold. Be sure to pay any outstanding amount owed.

Your domain name may still be under “Lock” in your portal. Make sure this setting is set on “Unlocked.”

Alternatively, you may be under the 60-day Change of Registrant lock, in which case you’ll have to wait 60 days to make the transfer.

What if my domain has expired? Can I still transfer it to another registrar?

Yes. If your domain has recently expired, you can still transfer it to another registrar. You’ll need to renew it with your current registrar, then initiate the transfer.

Make sure that the domain name hasn’t been deleted by your current registrar and that you’re still in the Redemption Grace Period (up to sixty days after expiration). If more than 60 days have passed, your expired domain may be made available for purchase to the public.

With your domain transferred and ready to go, it’s time to create a solid SEO strategy that will drive organic traffic to your website. Download our SEO Starter Pack to revamp or jumpstart your SEO efforts.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in February 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Topics: Web Hosting


How do I transfer a domain from one registrar to another? ›

To transfer your domain name to another registrant, you can initiate a change of registrant by contacting your current registrar. Your registrar will then ask for your confirmation via a secure mechanism (which typically will take the form of an email to the registered name holder).

Is it easy to transfer domain to another host? ›

The process of transferring a domain is easy, but it takes some time. Firstly, you'll have to wait at least 60 days after purchasing a domain before you can transfer it, but you'll also have to wait for both your current domain name registrar and the host you're switching to to authorize the domain name transfer.

How long does it take to transfer a domain between registrars? ›

A domain transfer usually takes about 5-7 days to complete. There are a few variables involved — including the cooperation of the prior registrar, and the domain owner ensuring the domain is unlocked with the correct authorization code provided.

Can I transfer a domain name to another provider? ›

Let's say you already have a great domain name, but you're not happy with your domain registrar. Don't worry, you can transfer your domain to another registrar.

Why do you have to wait 60 days to transfer a domain? ›

Registrar Lock is a security feature that prevents unauthorized or unintended domain transfers. In most cases, Registrar Lock is enabled by default, so first thing it must be disabled on the side of your current Registrar. You have to wait at least 60 days from the registration date before transferring your domain.

How do you transfer ownership of a website? ›

Transfer a domain name to another person
  1. Disable WHOIS/domain privacy. ...
  2. Ensure admin email is up-to-date. ...
  3. Unlock the domain. ...
  4. Get the transfer authorization code. ...
  5. Request a domain transfer. ...
  6. Approve transfer request email.
24 Jun 2020

Does transferring a domain affect website? ›

Nope! When you transfer a domain name from one registrar to another, that's literally all you're doing. You're not moving your email or hosting. During the domain transfer process, your nameservers don't change — they'll stay pointed to the same pre-transfer nameservers.

Does transferring domain affect email? ›

It depends,if you have your email hosted with hosting provider (saparate server) and not with the domain provider then definitely the name server is untouched while transferring the domain and hence emails are also not getting affected. How do you set up a custom domain and email for your business?

Can I buy a domain and host it somewhere else? ›

You definitely can buy a web domain name from one company and host the site on another companies servers or your own. You just need to change the DNS server settings to point to the IP you want the domain name to resolve to.

Why does it take 5 days to transfer a domain? ›

Mostly for security reasons and other procedures in place. People had their domains stolen or hijacked and even 5 days is actually not enough for most folks to stop an illegal transfer. They could be on vacations or just not checking their email. The 5 day waiting period is just there for your security.

Why do domain transfers take so long? ›

Domain transfers can take a long time because of the process that is involved in transferring a domain from one registrar to another. The process can be complicated and time-consuming, but it is important to make sure that the transfer is done correctly to avoid any problems.

How long does it take Godaddy to transfer a domain? ›

Domain transfers usually take 5 to 7 days to complete.

Does transferring domain affect email? ›

Moving your domain name doesn't mean you have to move your email hosting. Are you using a third party to host your email? If so, it shouldn't be affected by transferring a domain name. does not make changes to the name servers for your domain during the transfer process.

What happens when you transfer a domain? ›

A domain transfer refers to the process of changing the designated registrar of a domain name. Once a transfer has been made, the new registrar will maintain all relevant information regarding the domain and the registrant.

How do I transfer my domain with authorization code? ›

You can find it using the following steps:
  1. Log in to your account.
  2. Select “Domains” in the left menu bar.
  3. Select the domain you plan to transfer.
  4. Click on the “Transfer out” tab for that domain.
  5. Click “Copy” to copy the code, or click “Generate a new code”.
  6. Provide the code to your new registrar when requested.

Does GoDaddy charge for domain transfer? ›

Transferring a domain to GoDaddy costs a flat fee of $9.99, and you get a free year of registration. Upon the expiration of your domain, you will be charged annually to maintain the domain.


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