Domains, Upgrades

Transfer a Domain to Another Registrar

This guide explains how to transfer a domain registered with WordPress.com out to another provider (known as a registrar), such as GoDaddy or 1&1.

Please note that your domain must be at least 60 days old before you can transfer it away. If it’s a new domain, you can change the name servers instead.

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Step One: Prepare the Domain Transfer

Follow these steps to prepare your domain for transfer:

  1. Go to Upgrades → Domains in the left sidebar of your site’s dashboard.
  2. You will see a list of all domains associated with your site. Click on the registered domain that you wish to transfer.
  3. Click on Transfer your domain. If you don’t have this option, make sure the domain is owned by you and not another admin on the site. Only the owner can transfer their domain.
  4. In the Advanced Options section, click on the Transfer lock on toggle button to disable the transfer lock.
The Transfer Domain screen showing advance options to transfer the domain to another registrar.
Advanced transfer option to transfer the domain to another registrar.

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Domain transfer takes approximately 5 – 7 days to complete. If you want your domain to start working with your new provider sooner than that, you can first change the name servers to the new host before starting with the transfer. Once the transfer is initiated, name servers, DNS records and domain contact details can only be changed after the transfer is complete.

  1. If you are happy to continue, click the Get authorization code button. This code may also be referred to as an “auth code” or “EPP code” by your new registrar.
  2. A banner message at the top right of the screen confirms that you have been sent a transfer code via email. Please allow up to 15 minutes for the email with the code to arrive. You will provide this code to your new registrar as discussed in Step 2.
Banner confirming the domain authorization code emailed to the domain registrant email address.
Requesting the domain transfer authorization code.

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You can request the domain transfer code while the domain is locked, but the domain must be unlocked to complete the transfer.

If you didn’t receive the email, make sure the email address on file for your domain is correct. It’s possible that your WordPress.com account email is different from the email address associated with your domain. You can request another code by clicking the Get authorization code button in the previous screenshot.

Note: For domains ending in .nl, .com.br, and .net.br, we need to request authorization codes directly from the domain registry. For .nl, codes are typically sent within a week. For .com.br and .net.br, they are sent within 72 hours.

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Step Two: Confirm the Transfer With Your New Registrar

Once you have the authorization code, visit your new registrar’s site and start the transfer. This process will include providing them with the authorization code you should’ve received by email.

Here are instructions provided by some popular domain registrars:

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Step Three: Wait for the Transfer to Complete

Once you confirm the transfer, there is a waiting period of five days. During this period, you will receive an email to confirm or cancel the transfer. Once you confirm, the domain will be transferred within five days.

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Do not cancel your domain at any point in this process. If you cancel the domain, you will immediately cease to be the owner and the transfer will fail. Once the transfer completes, we will automatically remove the upgrade from your account.

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Cancel Your Domain Transfer

If you wish to stop the transfer of the domain, return to the Advanced Options section in Step 1, and click the Transfer lock off toggle button. You will see a message at the top right of the screen confirming that your domain is now locked. That will re-lock your domain, and cancel the domain transfer. Where applicable, it also re-enables privacy protection.

"Transfer lock off" toggle to cancel the domain transfer.
Cancel domain transfer.

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FAQs and Troubleshooting

What if my new registrar says they can’t start my transfer because my contact information is not public?

GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) went into full effect on May 25, 2018. This law prohibits registrars from sharing or publicly publishing registrant contact information for many registrants. Therefore, most registrars have implemented GDPR-compliant processes in place so that they can process transfers without requiring registrant information to be publicly available. If your new registrar is still requiring your contact information to be publicly published in WHOIS, they need to have an alternative process that is GDPR-compliant. You can ask them to bypass the gaining FOA (Form of Authorization) and use the EPP or auth code to start the transfer.

You may also want to share this ICANN policy document with your new registrar. Appendix G of ICANN’s Temporary Specification is a recent modification to the Transfer Policy due to GDPR. This says that if the registrar can’t get the registrant’s contact information from the public WHOIS, they’re not required to send a Form of Authorization (FOA) via email. They can bypass the FOA and accept the auth/ EPP code and then submit the transfer to the Registry.

At this time, most major registrars have GDPR-compliant processes in place. However, we are aware of some smaller registrars who do not. Please contact support at your new registrar for assistance as this is an issue with their processes.

I have an email address on my domain. What will happen to my email?
Your email address may stop working after the transfer. Contact your email provider and your new registrar for information on how to reconfigure your email.

Make sure you have a different address on file for your WordPress.com account and domain information. Otherwise, we may not be able to contact you in case you need help.

I can’t receive the authorization code email because that email address is no longer valid.
See these instructions for updating the contact information for your domain. Once you update the email address to something you can access, you can resend the code as explained in step 1.

Why must privacy be disabled? Does that mean my contact information will be made public?
Most domain names registered at WordPress.com have GDPR protection, which means registrant contact information is not visible publicly, regardless of whether or not the domain has Privacy Protection in place. For these domains, disabling privacy will not result in contact info being publicly published.

For some domains, contact information for non-EU owners will be publicly accessible with privacy disabled.

You can see our Register a domain support document for more details on GDPR and private registration, including information on how your domain’s registrant contact information will be presented in public WHOIS.

What if my new registrar says they can’t start my transfer because my email address is listed as abuse@wildwestdomains.com?

If your new registrar is claiming your email address shows up publicly as abuse@wildwestdomains.com, that’s incorrect. This is an ICANN-required registrar abuse email address and is in no way related to registrant contact information. The other registrar will need to manually look up your domain to get the correct information or bypass the gaining Form of Authorization (FOA) as mentioned above.

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