How To Transfer a Domain to Other Registrar: A Simple Guide for Beginners
Published: 06 Aug, 2023


Creating a great website starts with picking the right domain name. Good names get taken quickly. So, when you find one you like, use a domain search to make sure it's available. You might have to pay if the owner wants to sell it. 

But just finding an available name isn't enough. You also need to register it with a domain name system (DNS) registrar. Sometimes, the same company can be your registrar and web hosting service. But you can choose different providers for each.

What if you want to change your domain registrar? That's when you do a domain transfer. In this article, we'll talk about:

- What is a domain transfer?

- How to transfer a domain.

- Troubleshooting and FAQs about domain transfers.

Let's begin!

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 domain 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 may want to initiate a domain transfer for a number of reasons.

Maybe your current registrar has suddenly increased their prices, or your website is taking more time to load. Or, maybe you've found a better deal somewhere else and prefer to consolidate multiple domains under a single DNS registrar.

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to transfer a domain.

How to transfer a domain.

Transferring a domain involves moving the registration of your domain name from one domain registrar to another. Here's a brief description of the steps involved in transferring a domain:

1/ Check if your domain can be moved

According to ICANN's rules, if you made or switched your domain name in the last 60 days, you can't transfer it yet. Do the math before you try to move it to make sure you're not wasting time.

2/ Update your contact info

Both the company you're leaving and the new one you're moving to need to get in touch with you while the transfer happens. So, your contact details need to be current. 

Login to the control panel of your current domain company and see your account info.

Confirm that your name, phone number, and address are right. If something's missing or wrong, it might slow down the transfer or stop it.

3/ Set up your email sending domain name

Setting up your email domain name is important for your business. Your domain registrar, the company you bought your website's address from, often provides email services connected to your domain. This means you can use email addresses like, which can help your business grow.

When you switch to a different company to manage your domain, the email accounts linked to your domain might stop working. So, before you start the switch, make sure you have another email address ready. This way, you won't miss important messages.

4/ Unlock Your Domain

Go to your domain registrar's control panel. Look for the "unlock domain" option. You might find it in the "Domain" or "Security" section.

Usually, domains are locked to prevent accidents. Unlocking it allows changes.

Depending on your registrar, you might click a button or ask them to unlock it for you.

5/ Get an Authorization Code

To move your domain, you need an authorization code. It's like a password to protect your domain.

This code makes sure only authorized people can move your domain to a new provider.

You'll usually get this code within five days through email.

Some registrars can generate this code in their control panels.

6/ Create a New Account

Sign up for an account with your new domain provider.

Visit their transfer service page and type in your domain name. You don't need to include the "www." at the beginning, just the main part of the name and its ending (like .com, .org, etc.).

7/ Enter the Authorization Code

Use the authorization code from your previous domain provider.

Make sure to type it in exactly as given. If it's not correct, the transfer might not work, and you might have to start again.

8/ Confirm the Transfer

After you enter the authorization code, both your old and new providers will get in touch.

They'll want to verify your contact details and get your approval for the transfer.

Make sure your contact information is accurate with both providers and be ready to explain why you're changing.

9/ Pay for the Transfer

You'll need to pay for the domain transfer. Your new provider might ask for payment for a year's service, but there are often deals that give you the first year for free.

10/ Finalize the Transfer

Once your old provider releases your domain, the new provider needs some time to set up your domain and servers. This usually takes a few days to a week.

During this time, your website will still be accessible from your old provider.

11/ Choose Between a Public or Private Domain

When you register a domain, you can decide whether you want your contact information to be publicly visible or kept private. If you choose private, your registrar's contact details will show up when someone looks up your domain, instead of your personal info.

This is helpful if you're using your home address or if you want more privacy. 

However, private domains are usually more expensive compared to public ones.

12/ Switching to Your New Provider

Before you deactivate your old domain service, make sure your new account is up and your domain is fully transferred. Confirm that everything is working smoothly.

Once you're sure, you can cancel your old service to stop getting charged for it. This ensures you have a seamless transition.

Frequently Asked Questions About Domain Transfers

How long does it take to transfer a domain?

The domain transfer process usually takes about five to seven days. However, if your information is outdated or if they can't confirm your identity, it might take longer.

Is transferring a domain free?

No, it's not free. The cost varies among registrars. Some, like GoDaddy, charge a flat fee for the transfer itself.

All registrars will charge you a renewal fee when your domain's renewal is due. 

Some combine both costs into one payment. You can also get a domain name for free.

What if I don’t know my DNS registrar?

You can find out your registrar by searching your domain name on the ICANN Lookup tool. Look under "Registrar Information."

Why can't I transfer a domain I just bought?

If your DNS registrar has placed your domain under a 60-day Change of Registrant lock, or if you've recently transferred it, you can't change your registrar for the next 60 days.

How can I get an authorization code?

Each DNS registrar has its own process. You can find instructions for popular registrars like GoDaddy, NameCheap, and more on their respective websites.

What if my transfer request was denied?

There could be various reasons, like discrepancies in information or the domain owner's objection. Make sure your info is accurate, and follow the registrar's instructions. Resolve any outstanding fees and check the domain's lock status. Sometimes, a 60-day Change of Registrant lock might apply.

Can I transfer an expired domain?

Yes, you can. If your domain recently expired, renew it with your current registrar and then initiate the transfer. Ensure it's not deleted and within the Redemption Grace Period (up to 60 days after expiration).

Does transferring affect my site's SEO?

Generally, no. If the transfer is done correctly, your SEO shouldn't be affected. Just provide accurate information during the process.