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How to Transfer a Domain Name in 2023 (Step-By-Step Guide)

Wondering how to transfer a domain name to a new registrar?

Transferring a domain is not a difficult process. You may need to take a few preliminary measures but the actual steps are few and quite easy to implement.

Just be sure that you really want to make the transfer. If you feel the need to revert to the old registrar or decide to move to a different registrar again, you’ll have to wait for 2 months because most registrars enforce a 60-day lock-in period.

If you’re sure about switching registrars, then go ahead and follow our guide.

📚 In the guide, we will show you how to transfer a domain name from one registrar to another without breaking a sweat.

Before that, we’ll talk about why you might want to transfer your domain, what it costs, and what happens when you transfer a domain name.

Let’s dive in!


Why transfer a domain name to a different registrar?

Common reasons to transfer a domain name to a different registrar are:

  • Price hike at your current registrar
  • Poor page speed caused by a poor hosting server
  • Poor support services
  • Better deals at other registrars
  • Desire to consolidate all your domains under one registrar

You might even want to switch for more than one of these reasons!


How much does it cost to transfer a domain name?

The cost of domain transfer depends on your new registrar. Typically you are charged a transfer fee but some registrars also charge a one-year renewal price for the domain. The domain renewal either starts from the day you paid the renewal fee or the day your domain expires at your previous registrar. The transfer fee generally ranges between $20-30 and the renewal fee is something between $10-20. So the cost of transfer is likely to range between $20 to $50. 💰


How long does it take to transfer a domain name?

Domain transfer does not take long, it’s a quick process. It involves carrying out a few preliminary steps like the removal of the domain lock and generating an authentication code. The next step is to add the domain to the new registrar and proceed to make payments. The registrar will ask you to wait for an hour or two before you can start using your website. So the domain transfer can be completed within two to three hours. ⏱️


Does transferring a domain name affect my custom email address?

Custom emails hosted by third-party services like Gmail and Outlook won’t be affected by the domain transfer. But if your email address is hosted with your domain registrar then you need to migrate the email address to the new registrar. 📧

Migration of the email address can be done by transferring your email account’s MX records to the new registrar. We recommend reaching out to your hosting support team and seeking help with the MX records transfer.


Will my website go down during a domain name transfer?

Your website should not experience any downtime during the domain transfer process. Downtime occurs when nameservers are being changed, which happens only when you are migrating from one hosting provider to another. In most cases, the hosting provider ensures that the migration happens smoothly with minimal downtime. ⚙️


Will my website content transfer along with my domain name?

The content of your website will not transfer along with your domain name. The content is stored separately on a hosting server. If you decide to switch to a different hosting company, then the content will be migrated to the new hosting server. A good hosting company will ensure that the content is transferred safely to the new server. ✍️


How to transfer a domain name

Transferring a domain name from one registrar to another is not as daunting a task as it may seem at the beginning. It involves 4 simple steps. Those are:

  • Step 1: Check if your domain is eligible for transfer
  • Step 2: Unlock the domain from your current registrar
  • Step 3: Get the authentication code from your current registrar
  • Step 4: Request a domain transfer & make payments to your new registrar

We are going to show you how to carry out each step with the help of an example. Below, you will learn how to transfer a domain name from NameCheap to GoDaddy.

Your domain registrars are probably going to be different but the steps that you need to take will be similar.

Here’s a more detailed breakdown of how to transfer a domain name:

Step 1: Check if your domain is eligible for transfer

As we said at the beginning of this tutorial, most domain registrars have a 60-day lock-in period as a security measure. Until the lock-in period is over, you can’t transfer the domain. If you’re not sure when the domain was purchased, check the invoice sent to your email or the domain renewal date on your domain registrar account.

If the domain was purchased a couple of days ago, then talk to your registrar and see if you can opt out of the lock-in period.

Step 2: Unlock the domain from your current registrar

After the 60-day lock-in period is over, domain registrars incorporate a default permanent lock. The purpose of the second lock is the same: prevention of unauthorized attempts at domain transfer.

The difference between the first lock and the second one is that the first lock can be (in some cases) removed by the registrars and the second lock has to be manually removed by the user.

The process of removal will differ from registrar to registrar.

On NameCheap, the process is fairly easy. All you need to do is log into the dashboard and go to Domain List then select the Manage button that appears right beside the domain name you want to transfer.

How to transfer a domain name: domain list in Namecheap with a red arrow pointing to the "Manage" button on the right side of the image

Next, select the Share & Transfer option.

How to transfer a domain name: domain management area of Namecheap with an arrow pointing to the Sharing & Transfer tab

Scroll down and you should see a Domain Lock section with the buttons “On” and “Unlock” located on the right.

The “On” button is in green which means the domain is locked.

Select the Unlock button to remove the permanent lock on your domain name.

How to transfer a domain name: sharing & transfer area of Namecheap with a red arrow pointing to the Unlock button near the bottom of the image

Step 3: Get the authentication code

The next step in how to transfer a domain name is to get the authorization code. It’s a unique code assigned by the registrar at the time of the domain registration. You will need to insert the code in the new registrar (shown in the next step) and it will help the new registrar identify you as the original owner of the domain name.

You can get the authentication code by selecting the Auth Code button located in the Domain Locked section. The code will be sent to your email address.

domain auth code in namecheap dashboard

Open your email account and make sure you have received the authentication code before proceeding to the next step.

Step 4: Request a domain transfer & make payments

Now, we go over the new registrar’s website which in this case is godaddy.com, and open the Domain Transfer page.

We located this particular page from the GoDaddy homepage.

You should be able to do the same from your registrar’s homepage. If you can’t find the page then you probably need to create an account with the registrar to access the domain transfer page.

We recommend doing a quick Google search to figure out how to access the domain transfer page for the specific registrar you want to switch to.

When you find it, open the page, enter the domain name you want to transfer, and hit the Search button.

How to transfer a domain name: page for adding a domain in GoDaddy domain transfer

The registrar will take you to a page where you can enter the authentication code that you received via email in the previous step. The page will also contain the price you need to pay for the domain transfer.

In our case, GoDaddy is asking for a domain renewal fee along with a transfer fee (i.e. $19.99 + $9.99).

To proceed with the payment enter the authentication code and hit the Continue button. On the next page, make the payment and GoDaddy will initiate the domain transfer.

How to transfer a domain name: add authentication code to GoDaddy transfer domain page

That’s it. Your domain will be transferred from the old registrar (NameCheap) to the new one (GoDaddy) within a few hours. Typically it takes an hour or two for the process to complete and when it’s over you will get an email notification from the new registrar informing you that the domain transfer is complete.

Some registrars may take longer but if the process continues beyond 24 hours, we recommend you seek help from the support team of your new domain registrar.

Congratulations, you now know how to transfer a domain name! 😎


How to transfer a domain name: in summary

Transferring a domain name to a new registrar may seem like a daunting task but it’s really not a complicated process. You just need to implement the 4 following steps and ensure you are providing the correct information along the way.

Step 1: Make sure your website is eligible for transfer

Step 2: Unlock the domain from your current registrar 🔓

Step 3: Get the authentication code from the current registrar

Step 4: Request domain transfer and make payment at the new registrar 💸

And that’s it. The entire process should take 2-3 hours.

🤔 Not sure what registrar is best to switch to? Check out our guide to the 👉 best domain registrars!