Saturday, March 28, 2015

Step-by-step guide to transfer a domain name to GoDaddy

I've transferred domain names several times, usually (maybe always) to GoDaddy. Many people don't like GoDaddy for good reasons.  I already have many domains registered there for myself and clients, and I have always found that they have really good customer service, and their prices are good, so I'm not ready to switch yet.  Note that I am speaking strictly about having good experiences with their domain registration service, I definitely do not recommend using them as a web host.

Anyway, I don't do domain transfers often, and every time I do a transfer it seems like something goes wrong.  Or nothing goes wrong, but the process is just so confusing that it seems like something is not working, when really its just taking a while, or I misunderstood something.  So finally I am going to document the process so that I can refresh my memory for future transfers.  Here are the steps that I follow to do a transfer to GoDaddy.

1) Turn off "Registrar Lock" or "Transfer Lock" at your original registrar.

2) Turn off "Privacy Protection" at your original registrar.  If you have some kind of Privacy Protection, then the administrative contact email will not be your own email, but an address at the registrar company or some other company they contract with. Theoretically, whatever address that is *should* forward to you, but it may take a lot longer or it may not work at all.  So its best to just turn off the protection.

3) Log in to your GoDaddy account.

4) Purchase the transfer on GoDaddy.  In their main menu, its under Domains, and then choose "Transfer Domains".  You'll be asked to enter the name of the domain that you want to transfer, and then you will proceed through check out. They have good prices on transfers, like $9.99/year plus a free year, so I recommend buying a lot of years now.  I also usually buy Privacy Protection.

5) Once you make the purchase, TWO emails should be sent to the administrative contact for the domain.  The first comes from GoDaddy and should contain two keys:
  • Transaction ID
  • Security Code
The second email comes from your original registrar and should contain one key:
  • Authorization Code
In the current transfer I'm doing, we did NOT turn off the Privacy Protection ahead of time and it took over two hours before we received both emails.  Hopefully you'll get them much faster if you had already turned off Privacy Protection.

5) Go back to GoDaddy and again from their Domains menu, choose "Manage My Domains"

6) Now you'll be in the domain management area.  From there, go to the Domains menu and choose "Transfers"

7) Now you should see your Pending Transfers with your domain name listed in the table.  The Status column should say "Authorization code needed".  Click on that message.  You will see the "Authorize Transfer" dialog box.

8) Click "Add Transfer Codes"

9) Now you will be asked for the Transaction ID and Security Code from one of the emails.  Enter those.

10) After adding those, you will be back at the "Authorize Transfer" box with your Transfer Code listed in the table.  Click Next.

11) Now enter your Authorization Code that came in the other email, check the box that says "I authorize the transfer..." and click FINISH!

That's it!  You'll see a message that says the transfer has been initiated, but could take 15 minutes to take effect.  If you refresh your Pending Transfers table, the Status should now say "Processing Transfer".  Clicking on that message gives a disturbing warning.  "We're waiting for approval from the sending registrar, which can take up to 7 days."  I will try to update later on how long it really took, but it does depend on your original registrar.  Some take longer than others.


  1. how long did it take after receiving "We're waiting for approval from the sending registrar, which can take up to 7 days"?

  2. my god 3rd days is running now.