Transferring a domain

When you transfer a domain to Shopify, you manage all of your domain settings directly in your Shopify admin. You can adjust your domain settings, create subdomains, pay for your domain, and renew your domain on the Domains page.

Considerations for transferring a domain to Shopify

Before you transfer a domain to Shopify, consider the following requirements:

  • You need to have registered your domain more than 60 days ago.
  • Your domain must be eligible for transfer. Most domains can be transferred in to Shopify, but some domains, such as .ca domains, are not eligible.
  • You need to wait up to 20 days after you begin the transfer for the transfer to complete.
  • You need to pay to register your domain for 12 months. The 12 months are added on to your domain's current expiry date.
  • You need to have access to your original domain provider account and the email account that you use to log in to it.
  • To avoid missing confirmation emails during the transfer process, make sure that your email address doesn't belong to the domain that you want to 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.

Step 1: 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 your domain provider's transfer policy is to search in your domain provider's help center for transfer domain. Here are the transfer policies for some popular domain providers:

Step 2: Connect your domain to Shopify

To avoid any interruption in service, connect your domain to Shopify before you begin the transfer. 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 3: Prepare your domain for transfer

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

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. During the domain transfer process, you'll need to respond to emails received at this account. If your current email address is connected to your domain, then it will be disabled during the transfer.
  3. Unlock the domain that you want to transfer. Typically, unlocking a domain involves finding the settings for the domain that 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, getting a transfer authorization code involves finding the settings for the domain that you want to transfer, then clicking Transfer this domain or Transfer out.

Step 4: 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, then make sure you've followed all the steps to prepare your domain for transfer.

Steps:

  1. From your Shopify admin, click Online Store > Domains.
  2. Click Transfer domain.
  3. Enter the domain that you want to transfer to Shopify. Do not include www. at the beginning of the domain.
  4. Click Next.
  5. Click Verify domain.
  6. Depending on which message is displayed, do one of the following:
    • If DOMAIN UNLOCKED is displayed, then the domain is ready to be transferred. Click Next to continue.
    • If DOMAIN LOCKED is displayed, then make sure you've prepared your domain for transfer.
  7. In the Verification code dialog box, enter the authorization code, or EPP code, given by your domain provider.
  8. Click Next.
  9. Click Buy and transfer.
  10. 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.

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

Frequently asked questions

Is my domain eligible for transfer?

Most domains can be transferred to Shopify. Some domains, such as .ca domains, are not eligible. To find out whether your domain is eligible for transfer, complete the following 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. Do not include www. at the beginning of the domain.
  5. Click Next.

If the domain is not eligible for transfer, then a banner will state that your domain extension is not currently supported.

Why am I getting a domain not found error?

You can only transfer domains that you already own. If you don't own the domain that you want to transfer and it's available for registration, then you can buy it. If you do own the domain, then make sure that you have entered your 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 your domain through your third-party domain provider. Typically, unlocking your domain involves logging in to your third-party domain provider account, finding the settings for the domain that you want to transfer, and then clicking unlock. Some domain providers might 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're 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, getting a transfer authorization code involves logging in to your third-party domain provider account, finding the settings for the domain that you want to transfer, and then clicking Transfer this domain or Transfer out.

If you're 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'll receive an email with the subject-line Set your data use consent preferences. The email will contain 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.

Will my domain continue to work during the transfer?

Yes. Your domain will continue to work during the transfer process. For example, if your domain is already connected to your Shopify store and now you are transferring the domain to Shopify, then customers won't notice any difference when visiting your online store using your domain name.

How will I know when my domain transfer worked?

You'll receive an email letting you know whether or not your domain transfer is successful. The transfer process can take up to 20 days from the time that you initiate the transfer. If the domain transfer isn't successful, then you'll 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 no longer need to use the third-party domain service where you originally bought the domain. All your domain management is done through your Shopify admin Domains page.

When I transfer my domain to Shopify, will I still have email hosting with my third-party domain provider?

No. Shopify doesn't provide email hosting as part of its domain services, but does provide unlimited email forwarding accounts for your domain name. If your third-party domain provider includes email hosting on the domain, then this service doesn't transfer to Shopify. You can set up email forwarding to a third-party email hosting service after you transfer your domain to Shopify. If you want to keep your existing email hosting service, then consider connecting your third-party domain to Shopify.

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