How to Transfer a Domain Name [A Full Guide]

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Digital identities evolve, and domain transfer is crucial in ensuring that your online brand remains cohesive.

As the name implies, domain transfer is the switching of your domain name from one registrar to another.

This guide aims to demystify the intricacies surrounding domain name transfers.

This article provides a step-by-step guide on how to transfer a domain name for users, as well as some tips when things go wrong.

Why Transfer a Domain Name?

Domain transfers are a complex process — after all, it’s the changing of a domain name from one registrar to another. They can be driven by the following factors.

  • A redefined online identity
  • Improved service
  • Reliability
  • Enhanced features from a different domain registrar
  • Strategic collaborations
  • Mergers or acquisitions
  • Cost efficiency
  • Evolving business objectives

Understanding the motivations behind transfers can help optimize your online presence and align it with your evolving goals and aspirations.

Preparing for a Domain Name Transfer

This part provides basic steps before you transfer a domain name. This includes checking for eligibility, ensuring protection, and minimizing downtime for a smooth transition.

Check Domain Name Eligibility for Transfer

Before transferring your domain name, you should first assess its eligibility.

To qualify for a domain transfer, you must have been with your current web host for at least 60 days, as ICANN enforces a 60-day Change of Registrar lock.

So, if your domain name has been created or transferred within the last 60 days, it’s not eligible for a transfer to a new host. However, registrars can have a way to opt out of the 60-day lock.

For one, if the domain is nearing its renewal date, renew it with your current domain registrar or a new web host.

Regardless of whether you have experience from a previous transfer or not, you should still research waiting periods and registry processes to know when and how to transfer a domain name from an old registrar to a new one.

This complete eligibility check ensures a smooth and hassle-free shift between registrars during the domain transfer process. In some cases, your registrar can also be your web hosting service.

Unlocking the Domain Name

The next step for a successful domain transfer is to unlock your domain. Locking your domain in the first place can help prevent unauthorized transfers to the settings.

This process is typically done through the domain registrar’s management interface. To do this, log into your account and locate the option to unlock your domain.

It can be found under the Security heading in the domain dashboard.

The gaining hosting provider requires an auth code or transfer secret to authorize. Once your domain is unlocked, you can now begin the domain transfer process.

Obtaining the Authorization Code

The authorization code, also known as the auth info code, is an important security measure for domain name transfers. Registrars create a code to assist in identifying the domain name holder.

The code links your previous registrar and your new provider and must be provided up to five days after your transfer request, usually via email.

The current registrar or new hosting provider typically generates it. It can be accessed through the domain management interface or control panel.

The domain manager helps provide a user-friendly interface for the efficient and secure execution of processes.

How to Transfer a Domain Name

Below are the steps that ensure a smooth transition during domain name transfers.

Step 1: Choose a New Registrar

The first step in transferring your domain name is choosing a new registrar. This decision sets the stage for the entire process and impacts domain management.

Some factors to consider include the following.

  • Registrar’s reputation
  • Reliability
  • Web hosting service
  • User experience

It’s ideal that you choose a reputable registrar with an efficient domain management track record.

The registrar’s suite of web hosting services should align with the domain owner’s needs and aspirations.

A user-friendly platform also simplifies domain management and facilitates a smooth transfer.

Step 2: Initiate the Transfer Process

To transfer your domain name, follow these steps.

  1. Gather essential information, including the domain name, authorization code, and other required details.
  2. Log into the new registrar’s platform. You’ll typically have one platform for managing domain names and associated web hosting services.
  3. Initiate the transfer of domain names by providing the required information. Enter your domain name and go to Transfer.
  4. Verify the transfer details of the domain names to ensure you have the right domain.
  5. The price for transferring can vary between registrars or web hosts. This may include additional web hosting services or an extended registration period.
  6. You may want to monitor the transfer status through both registrars’ or hosting providers’ platforms to ensure a well-executed transfer and a successful transition to the new web host.

Step 3: Provide Authorization Code

Transferring a domain name involves providing the EPP code or transfer secret from the current registrar to the new host.

This code is an authentication mechanism. It verifies the transfer request’s legitimacy and authorization to make sure your domain is really what you claim it to be.

You can locate the code in the current registrar’s documentation or the registrar’s management interface.

Step 4: Confirm the Transfer

Confirming a domain transfer involves the following tasks.

  • Reviewing details
  • Checking the transfer fee
  • Making payments
  • Verifying ownership
  • Submitting confirmation to the new registrar

The process may take several days. It’s ideal to monitor status through both registrars’ and hosting providers’ platforms.

You may receive confirmation emails from both registrars containing important updates or requests for additional information. Comply with these as necessary.

IMPORTANT: Before initiating the transfer, ensure that all necessary website files (such as databases and multimedia content) are securely backed up to prevent data loss during the transition.

Step 5: Wait for the Transfer to Complete

During this waiting period, domain owners should check the transfer status. They should be able to receive updates from both registrars. Be prepared for potential delays and domain downtime.

Once the transfer is successful, both registrars will send confirmation emails to the domain owner.

After receiving confirmation, verify the settings, like DNS configurations and contact info (such as the associated email address).

This is to make sure the domain is fully operational under the new registrar’s management.

Post-Transfer Steps

This part focuses on steps to follow for a seamless post-transfer transition to make sure the new domain is functioning perfectly.

Verify Domain Name Transfer

Verify and update everything you need with the new host. Here are some steps to take.

  • Reviewing confirmation emails
  • Logging into the new registrar’s platform
  • Verifying domain settings
  • Checking the expiration date
  • Monitoring domain downtime
  • Updating contact information (e.g., email address)
  • Resolving issues promptly
  • Ensuring name server accuracy

If you’re having any domain issues, immediately contact customer support.

Update DNS Settings

To update DNS configurations, go to the DNS management section after transferring a domain name to a new registrar.

Review existing DNS (Domain Name System) records and adjust as needed.

Test the DNS configuration with tools like “nslookup” and update third-party services with the new DNS information. Monitor for functionality issues and seek technical support if needed.

Renew Domain Name Registration

After transferring a domain name to a new registrar, renew the domain registration. This is to make sure you have uninterrupted ownership and continued access to your domain.

Proactively renewing domain registration also prevents service disruptions and maintains a stable online presence. This ensures domain control for the desired duration.

Renewing your domain name involves the following.

  • Reviewing the new expiration date
  • Understanding renewal policies
  • Accessing the control panel of the registrar directly
  • Initiating the renewal process
  • Reviewing and confirming renewal details
  • Making the necessary payment
  • Verifying the renewal confirmation
  • Monitoring expiration notices
  • Setting auto-renewal preferences
  • Keeping contact information updated

Common Challenges and Troubleshooting

This part tackles common issues in domain name transfers. We’ll also offer some solutions for domain owners.

Domain Name Transfer Failures

Domain transfer failures can be caused by various factors. Here are some possible causes of domain transfer failure.

  • Authorization code mismatch
  • Registrar lock status
  • Incomplete or incorrect contact information
  • Registrar-specific requirements
  • Domain redemption period
  • Pending change of registrant
  • Legal disputes or holds
  • Domain name registry restrictions
  • Technical glitches

To resolve issues, ensure that you verify authorization codes, unlock your domain, and update the contact details. You can also reacquaint yourself with transfer policies.

Resolve legal disputes with registrars and research specific TLD policies.

Domain Name Transfer Delays

Domain transfer delays can be caused by various factors, including the following.

  • Pending authorization code release
  • Delayed registry propagation
  • Pending registry approval
  • Varying processing times
  • Incomplete documentation
  • Pending payment processing
  • Locked domain status
  • Incomplete transfer initiation
  • Registry holds or disputes
  • Technical glitches

Domain owners should seek help from registrar support, verify payment details, and check domain lock status.

You should also investigate disputes and maintain regular communication for effective troubleshooting.

What to Do If You Don’t Have an Authorization Code

To resolve a domain transfer issue without an authorization code, follow these steps.

  1. You will need to contact the new host’s customer support for assistance.
  2. Check the domain lock status.
  3. Verify email communications for authorization codes.
  4. Retrieve the code from the domain management interface.
  5. Request a reset if the online process fails.
  6. Initiate a transfer without an authorization code. Confirm with the current registrar or new domain host if they support such transfers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Read this section if you have more questions on domain name transfers.

How Long Does It Take To Transfer a Domain Name?

The duration for transferring a domain name typically ranges from a few hours to seven days. The process involves multiple steps, including:

  • Authorization
  • Confirmation
  • DNS updates

The specific timeframe can change based on the policies of the involved registrars and the domain’s registry, so you may need to be more patient.

Can I Transfer My Domain Name for Free?

While some registrars offer free transfers as part of their web hosting services, most transfers involve a transfer fee.

The cost varies between registrars and often includes an extension of the domain’s registration period.

Always check the terms and conditions of the new and old registrar or web host for specific details on the transfer fee.

What Happens to My Website During the Domain Name Transfer Process?

When you transfer your domain, your website may experience temporary downtime, lasting a few hours to several days.

This downtime occurs when domain transitions between registrars and DNS configurations are updated. Visitors may see an error or blank page during this period.

To minimize disruption, choose a registrar or web host with minimal downtime. It’s also ideal to transfer your domain during periods of lower website traffic.

Can I Transfer a Domain Name That Is About to Expire?

Yes, you can transfer your domain name that’s about to expire. However, remember to check your domain’s expiration date first.

However, we recommend initiating it well before the expiration date to avoid potential complications.

If your expired domain has been inactive for over 60 days, it may be available for public purchase.

Is It Possible to Transfer a Domain Name to a Different Owner?

It is possible to transfer a domain name to a different owner. This involves changing the registrant details through a Change of Registrant or an ownership transfer.

Selling your domain successfully requires a well-documented transfer to ensure a seamless transition to the new owner and maintain the domain’s integrity.

The new host may need to confirm the transfer. Also, certain domain extensions may have specific requirements for ownership changes.


This guide provides a full overview of the process of domain transfer to help individuals and businesses ensure a smooth transition to a new registrar or web host.

Each transfer may present unique challenges, but the general steps remain the same. Utilizing domain transfer services can further enhance the efficacy of the transfer process.

For those facing complexities or uncertainties in transferring their domain names, seek professional help from web host support.

Odys Global Founder and CEO

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