Transferring domains to Shopify

If you already own a domain from a third-party provider, you can use it for your Shopify online store so people who type your URL into their browsers end up on your site. You can use your third-party domain for your Shopify store by connecting it to Shopify or by transferring it to Shopify:

  • Connect your domain to Shopify - Connecting your third-party domain to Shopify points your domain name at your Shopify store. You still use the third-party domain provider to manage your domain settings, pay for your domain, and renew it. If you want to connect your domain to Shopify in this way, then see Connecting existing domains.

  • Transfer your domain to Shopify - The second way to point your custom domain at your Shopify store is to transfer your domain. Most domains can be transferred to Shopify. When you transfer a domain, management of the domain moves to Shopify, meaning you adjust your domain settings, pay for your domain, and renew your domain directly in your Shopify admin.

To transfer a domain to Shopify, you need to have registered your domain more than 60 days ago, and have access to your original domain provider account.

Be aware that to transfer your domain you will need to monitor and respond to important confirmation emails, and wait up to 20 days from the time of initiation until the transfer is complete. You will also need to pay to register your domain for another year. For example, if you still have 3 months until your domain expires and then you transfer your domain to Shopify, you will add 12 months of registration on top of that. This means you will not need to renew your domain for 15 months.

Check your domain provider's transfer policy

Most providers support domain transfers. Before you begin the transfer process, check your domain provider's transfer policy.

The easiest way to find this is to search in the domain provider's help center for transfer domain. Here are transfer policies for some popular domain providers:

Prepare your domain for transfer

Before you can transfer your domain to Shopify, you need to prepare it to be transferred.

To prepare your domain for transfer:

  1. Log in to your third-party domain provider account.
  2. Confirm that the email associated with your account is up-to-date. During the domain transfer process you'll receive emails to this account that you need to respond to.
  3. Unlock the domain you want to transfer. Typically, this will involve finding the settings for the domain you want to transfer, then clicking Unlock. Some domain providers require you to approve this choice by clicking on a link in a confirmation email.
  4. Get a transfer authorization code from your provider. Typically, this involves finding the settings for the domain you want to transfer, then clicking Transfer this domain or Transfer out.

Transfer your domain

Before you transfer your domain, your domain needs to be unlocked and you need to have a transfer authorization code. If you don't have a transfer authorization code yet, then follow the steps in Prepare your domain for transfer.

To transfer your domain to Shopify:

  1. From your Shopify admin, click Online Store > Domains.
  2. If this is the first domain you're connecting to your Shopify store, then click Connect existing domain, then click transfer in your domain:

    Transfer in your domain

    If you already have a domain connected to your Shopify store, then click Transfer domain:

    Transfer domain button

  3. Enter the domain you want to transfer to Shopify. Do not include www. at the beginning of the domain.

  4. Click Next.

  5. Click Verify domain.

  6. If the domain is ready to be transferred, you see DOMAIN UNLOCKED. Click Next to continue. If you see DOMAIN LOCKED, make sure you've prepared your domain for transfer.

  7. In the Verification code box, enter the authorization code, or EPP code, that your domain provider gave you.

  8. Click Next.

  9. Click Buy and transfer.

  10. Check the email account associated with your domain for an email from your domain provider. The email varies by domain provider, but you need to approve the domain transfer by clicking a link such as Confirm Transfer or Approve Transfer:

Example transfer email

After you've approved the domain transfer, it takes up to 20 days for the transfer to be complete. You will receive an email from Shopify confirming that your domain is transferred.

Frequently asked questions

Is my domain eligible to be transferred?

Most domains can be transferred in to Shopify. Some domains, such as .ca domains, are not eligible. To find out if your domain is eligible to be transferred, enter the domain you want to transfer into the Transfer domain text box and click Next. If the domain is not supported, then you will see this message:

Unsupported domain

Why am I seeing the domain not found error?

If your domain isn't found, then you will see a notification like this:

Domain not found

You can only transfer domains that you already own. If you don't own this domain already, then you can buy it. If you do own the domain, then make sure that you have entered the domain name correctly and haven't included www. at the beginning.

How do I unlock my domain?

Before you can transfer your domain to Shopify, you need to unlock it through your third-party domain provider. Typically, this will involve logging in to your third-party domain provider account, finding the settings for the domain you want to transfer, then clicking unlock. Some domain providers may require you to approve this choice by clicking on a link in a confirmation email.

The domain unlocking process varies by third-party provider. If you are having trouble unlocking your domain, then contact your third-party domain provider. Shopify Support can't log in to your third-party domain account for you, even if you give your explicit permission.

How do I get an authorization code?

Before you can transfer your domain to Shopify, you need to get a transfer authorization code from your third-party domain provider. Typically, this will involve logging in to your third-party domain provider account, finding the settings for the domain you want to transfer, then clicking Transfer this domain or Transfer out.

If you are having trouble getting a transfer authorization code, then contact your third-party domain provider. Shopify Support can't log in to your third-party domain account for you, even if you give your explicit permission.

After you complete your domain transfer, you will receive an email with the subject-line Set your data use consent preferences. It will bring you to Tucows Inc's Data Use Consent Settings. Tucows is the parent company of OpenSRS, the service Shopify uses to resell domains to merchants. Giving consent is optional, and once given, you can withdraw it at any time.

Will my domain continue to work during the transfer?

Your domain will continue to work during the transfer process. For example, if your domain was connected to Shopify previously and now you are transferring the domain to Shopify, then customers won't notice any difference when viewing your website using your domain name.

How will I know when my domain transfer worked?

You will receive an email letting you know whether or not your domain transfer was successful. This can take up to 20 days from the time that you initiated the transfer. If the domain transfer wasn't successful, you will be refunded the 1-year renewal charge.

After I transfer my domain, will I still need to use my original domain provider for anything?

No. Once the transfer is complete, you will no longer need to use the third-party service you originally bought the domain through. All your domain management will be done through your Shopify admin Domains page.

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