Transferring a third-party domain to Shopify

If you already own a custom domain and you want to manage all your domain settings from your Shopify admin, then you can transfer your domain to Shopify. After you transfer your domain to Shopify, you no longer need to use the third-party domain service where you originally bought the domain.

Before you transfer your third-party domain to Shopify

Before you begin transferring your domain, you need to:

Requirements and considerations for transferring a domain to Shopify

Before you start, review the following requirements and considerations:

  • You need to own the domain that you want to transfer. If you don't own it and it's available for registration, then you can buy it.
  • Before you can transfer your domain, you need to wait 60 days after registering your domain, transferring your domain to a different domain provider, or making changes to your registrar information. For more information, refer to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
  • You need to pay the registration fee to renew your domain for an additional 12 months. The 12 months are added to your domain's current expiry date.
  • There might be additional costs associated with transferring your domain. Contact your domain provider for information about transfer costs.
  • You need to have access to your original domain provider account and the email account that you use to log in to it.
  • You need to make sure that your email address doesn't belong to the domain that you want to transfer. During the domain transfer process, you need to respond to emails received at this email address. If your current email address is connected to your domain, then it's disabled during the transfer. For example, if you want to transfer the domain johns-apparel.com, then avoid using the email address info@johns-apparel.com.
  • You need to monitor and respond to confirmation emails to complete the transfer process.
  • You need to use a third-party email hosting service with email forwarding from Shopify. Shopify doesn't provide email hosting services, but does provide unlimited email forwarding accounts.
  • It can take up to 20 days to transfer your domain. Your domain continues working during the transfer process.
  • Only apex domains like johns-apparel.com can be transferred into Shopify. Subdomains like www.johns-apparel.com or shops.johns-apparel.com can't be transferred into Shopify.
  • Shopify won't make a copy of any additional custom DNS records. Ensure that you have saved a copy of your custom DNS records so that you can add them to your domain after the transfer is complete.

Review your domain provider's transfer policy

Before you begin the transfer process, check your domain provider's transfer policy to make sure that domain transfers are supported. Most domain providers support domain transfers, but some don't. You can find your domain provider's transfer policy by searching their help center for transfer domain:

Check your domain's eligibility for transfer

You can check whether your domain is eligible for transfer from your Shopify admin. Some domains, such as .ca and .co.uk domains, aren't eligible for transfer. Only apex domains such as johns-apparel.com can be transferred to Shopify. After an apex domain is transferred into Shopify, subdomains must be recreated.

Steps:

  1. From your Shopify admin, click Settings > Domains.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • If you haven't connected additional domains, then click Connect existing domain, and then click transfer it to Shopify.
    • If you have other domains connected, then click Transfer domain.
  3. On the Transfer an existing domain page, enter the domain that you want to transfer to Shopify. Don't include www. at the beginning of the domain.
  4. Click Next.
  5. Do either of the following:

Step 1: Connect your domain to Shopify

To avoid any interruption in service, you need to connect your domain to Shopify. If you don't connect your domain before you transfer it, then visitors to your domain might experience connection errors during the transfer process.

Step 2: Prepare your domain for transfer

Before you can transfer your domain to Shopify, you need to unlock your domain and get a transfer authorization code from your domain provider.

When you transfer a domain to Shopify, your domain's A record and CNAME record are set to Shopify's default domain records. If additional records are present on your domain before the transfer, then make a copy of those records to add to the Domains section of your Shopify admin after the transfer. For example, you might need to add an MX record to reconnect your domain to an email hosting service.

Steps:

  1. Log in to your third-party domain provider account.
  2. Confirm that the email address associated with your account is up to date and doesn't belong to the domain that you want to transfer.
  3. Make a copy of any domain records that you might need to configure your domain after the transfer.
  4. Click Unlock next to the domain that you want to transfer. You might need to approve this choice by clicking a link in a confirmation email.
  5. Click Transfer this domain, Transfer out, or similar to get a transfer authorization code from your provider.

Step 3: Transfer your domain to Shopify

After you prepare your domain for transfer, then you can start the domain transfer process from your Shopify admin.

Steps:

  1. From your Shopify admin, click Settings > Domains.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • If you haven't connected additional domains, then click Connect existing domain, and then click transfer it to Shopify.
    • If you have other domains connected, then click Transfer domain.
  3. On the Transfer domain page, enter the domain that you want to transfer to Shopify. Don't include www. at the beginning of the domain.
  4. Click Next.
  5. In the Authorization code field, enter the authorization code from your domain provider.
  6. Click Verify domain.
  7. On the Approve charge page, review the Domain to be registered section. If you want to ensure that your domain is automatically renewed before it expires, then select Auto-renew this domain every year.
  8. Review the Contact information section to confirm that the Shopify store's email address and information are correct.
  9. Read the ICANN policy and the Domain Registration Agreement.
  10. In the Charge summary section, click Approve.
  11. Check the email account that's associated with your domain for a transfer-approval message, and then follow the instructions in that message to approve the domain transfer to Shopify. If you don't approve the transfer, then it won't be processed.

It can take up to 20 days for your domain to be transferred. After it's transferred, you receive a confirmation email from Shopify. You can access your domain settings on the Domains page from your Shopify admin.

If your domain hasn't transferred to Shopify after 20 days, then review your Junk or Spam email folders for any notices about the transfer or required actions. If you didn't receive any email messages, then contact Shopify Support.

If your domain transfer isn't successful, then you're refunded the 1-year renewal charge.

Step 4: Manage your data use consent preferences

After you complete your domain transfer, you receive an email with the subject line Control how your data is shared. The email contains a link that takes you to Tucows Inc's Data Use Consent Settings. Tucows is the parent company of OpenSRS, the service that Shopify uses to resell domains to merchants. Giving consent is optional, and you can withdraw it at any time.

Next steps

After you transfer your domain to Shopify, you can do the following tasks:

Can’t find the answers you’re looking for? We’re here to help.