The rigmarole of transferring any domain

Even with the amount of experience we have in all our Flying Monkey Tribes, this is something we end up spending an inordinate amount of time organising and sorting out for any new clients.

Anyway, here is the simplest step by step process you can take to transfer a domain name from one registrar to another.

Transfer a domain name from one registrar to another
Transfer a domain name from one registrar to another

The Olde Days

Seems that webmasters of old were just paranoid and felt that they needed the defense of holding all the keys and manning all the doors to stop any client from leaving their stable.

They had the domains registered in THEIR names and not the righful owners. Not only is this ethically questionable, but legally wrong!

We spend half of our time trying to track down these olde school webmasters through long dead email accounts! We say again:

Ensure that your domains are all registered to YOU and that YOU have the security and log in details for all your online assets.

So lets start

First off, have the Help/Support/FAQ section of the current (i.e. old) domain register open in a tab. These will give you the correct terms/names used by this registrar.

Also a good idea to have the Support Chat option for your new Registrar ready to go (sometimes they can just chat you through it, or indeed get on with the changes for you!).

The support at GreenGeeks and BlueHost are this helpful and if you just ask them,, they log in and get it all rolling for you, all you need to do is click on links in the emails.

First off we need to do some pre-transfer set-up to ensure when we start the ball rolling, that there’s no gremlins in the way.

Verify that the domain name is eligible for transfer

Log in to your ‘old’ register account and get yourself to the Domain Management screen.

Now this is where many folk stumble before they even start, as they don;t have access to the old registrar, or email for the domain registration. Their olde webmaster still has the keys, has disappeared and the email is a dead email! You will need to contact the Support for this old Registrar if this is the case to see if you can navigate access to the account… (sometimes impossible!)

To make sure your domain name check the following (any of which will lock the domain from moving…):

  1. The initial registration of the domain name was at least 60 days ago
  2. The domain has been with your current registrar for at least 60 days.
  3. The domain name is not on hold with your current registrar

Preparation is EVERYTHING: Simple Steps to Prepare your domain for transfer

Privacy Settings

Disable the Whois privacy protection tool or Private Registration setting for your domain in your Domain Management screen. You need to have all your info public when doing a transfer.

Unlock the Domain

Be sure the domain is unlocked before starting the process, or your transfer will be denied.

Domains are usually kept locked to prevent unauthorized transfers, so when you’re ready to initiate a transfer make sure to go into your domain control panel and unlock it.

Check Email Address on Domain is Live and You can get to It

Make sure the contact email in your current account is up-to-date.

Much of the transfer process relies on email notifications at every step, and if you’re not going to get the notification, it throws a huge spanner in the works.

On the flip side, some registrars will deny a transfer if you’ve changed any registrant details within a few months of renewal, so be sure to look through your registrar’s transfer FAQ before changing any contact information.

That Funky Code thingy…

For most types of domains, you need a special code from your current registrar to get this rolling. Because literally nothing is simple in the world of domain transfers, this code goes by a multiple of different names: EPP, authorization code, AuthInfo code, transfer key, transfer secret, and more.

Not only that, but simply finding it is SELDOM obvious! You will have to look around for a while to find it – and take note that some registrars give is simply in your Domain Management or cPanel control panel, while others will only email it to you.

Again, if you get stuck, your registrar’s transfer FAQ and Support Chat will give you some clues.

Watch you email and act fast when it comes in

Keep an eye on your email after you’ve submitted the transfer request and when you get an email from your new registrar, be sure to choose the option to accept the transfer.

You should also get an email from your old registrar and/or see a note in your control panel that a transfer is pending, at which point you can manually approve the transfer by logging into your control panel and clicking in the right place.

If you don’t complete both these steps, your transfer will be either delayed by several days or blocked entirely.

Remember the settings on old Registrar

Make a note of any services you may be using from your current registrar, such as domain parking, forwarding, email, custom DNS, or others. Cut/copy/paste thew whole screen for all these settings somewhere secure (like into Evernote or Google Keep).

You will need to make sure that your new registrar offers the same services, and then once the transfer goes through, you will need to go through and set up the equivalent services again.

You should be aware that there WILL be a time lag between when a service stops at the old registrar and when you can re-start it at your new registrar.

Get going!

I know it seems like a lot to remember, but once you’ve done this a few times, it does go a bit faster, but it’s always a bit of a slog.

So we say again:

Ensure that your domains are all registered to YOU and that YOU have the security and log in details for all your online assets.

This makes it all easier in the future if you ever have to do it again.

Good luck!

Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top