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.

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.

Before you begin

Before you begin transferring your domain, you need to check whether your domain is eligible for transfer to Shopify and review your domain provider's transfer policy.

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.

Steps:

  1. From your Shopify admin, click Online Store > Domains.
  2. Click Connect existing domain.
  3. On the Connect existing domain page, click transfer in your domain.
  4. In the Transfer domain dialog box, enter the domain that you want to transfer to Shopify. Don't include www. at the beginning of the domain.
  5. Click Next.

If the domain isn't eligible for transfer, then a banner states that your domain extension isn't currently supported. Instead, you can connect your third-party domain to Shopify.

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:

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 on 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. Click Transfer domain.
  3. Enter the domain that you want to transfer to Shopify. Don't include www. at the beginning of the domain.
  4. Click Next, and then click Verify domain.
  5. Depending on which message is displayed, do one of the following:
  6. In the Verification code dialog box, enter the authorization code, or EPP code, given by your domain provider.
  7. Click Next.
  8. Click Buy and transfer.
  9. Check the email account associated with your domain. Depending on your domain provider, you might have an email asking you to confirm these changes. The email message varies, but you need to approve the domain transfer by clicking a link such as Confirm Transfer or Approve Transfer.

It can take up to 20 days for your domain to be transferred. After it's transferred, you receive a confirmation email from Shopify, and you can access your domain settings on the Domains page in your Shopify admin. If the domain transfer isn't successful, then you're refunded the 1-year renewal charge.

After you complete your domain transfer, you'll receive an email with the subject-line Control how your data is shared. The email contains a link that brings 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:

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