Domain Statuses – What They Are, and How to Find Them

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Domain name status codes, called Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP) domain status codes, tell you the status of a domain name registration. A domain’s status codes can tell you whether the domain registration is about the expire, whether there are any restrictions on the name, whether the domain can be transferred to a different registrar, and more.

Importance of Status Codes

Because status codes tell us so much about a domain name, it’s important that every domain owner understands their domain’s status codes. Understanding your status codes can help you:

  • prevent hijacking
  • keep track of expiration dates
  • troubleshoot issues with the domain

How to Find Status Codes

You can find a domain’s status codes by searching the WHOIS database. Every domain’s EPP codes are included in WHOIS search results.

When you perform a WHOIS search, you will get two different types of EPP status codes – client codes and server codes.

Client codes are provided by the domain’s registrar and usually set automatically when the domain is registered.

Server codes are provided by the registry and take precedence over client codes.

See the WHOIS results for Google.com, with the EPP status codes highlighted.

Name: GOOGLE.COM

Registry Domain ID: 2138514_DOMAIN_COM-VRSN

Domain Status:

clientDeleteProhibited

clientTransferProhibited

clientUpdateProhibited

serverDeleteProhibited

serverTransferProhibited

serverUpdateProhibited

Nameservers:

NS1.GOOGLE.COM

NS2.GOOGLE.COM

NS3.GOOGLE.COM

NS4.GOOGLE.COM

Dates

Registry Expiration: 2028-09-14 04:00:00 UTC

Created: 1997-09-15 04:00:00 UTC

As you can see, Google has six status codes. These codes prevent Google.com from being deleted, transferred, or updated. This protects Google from any issues with its domain name registration resulting from hijacking or fraud.

EPP Status Codes

See below for the list of EPP status codes provided by ICANN:

Client Codes

clientTransferProhibited: Tells your registry to reject requests to transfer the domain from your current registrar to another registrar. This is an important status to set as it prevents unauthorized transfers of your domain resulting from fraud. 

clientRenewProhibited: Tells your registry to reject requests to renew your domain.

clientHold: Tells your registry to not include your domain in the zone file. This is an issue as your domain will not resolve to a website.

clientDeleteProhibited: Tells your registry to reject requests to delete the domain. This is an important status to set because it can percent unauthorized deletions resulting from fraud.

clientUpdateProhibited: Tells your registry to reject requests to update the domain. This can help prevent unauthorized updates to your domain name. 

Server Codes

OK: This is the standard status for a domain, meaning it has no holds or restrictions. This is counterintuitive, but as a domain owner, you do not want OK as your status. You should ask your registrar to enact certain restrictions to prevent unauthorized transfers, deletions, or updates.

serverTransferProhibited: Prevents domain from being transferred to another registrar.

serverRenewProhibited: Indicates the registry will not allow the registrar to renew the domain.

pendingTransfer: Indicates that a request to transfer the domain to a new registrar has been received.

pendingUpdate: Indicates that a request to update the domain has been received.

pendingRenew: Indicates that a request to renew the domain registration has been received.

pendingCreate: Indicates that a request to create the domain has been received.

inactive: Indicates that DNS information has not been associated with the domain and it will not resolve. Essentially, this means no one can visit your site. If this is the case, you need to contact your registrar to resolve the issue.

serverHold: Indicates the domain is not in the registry’s zone file and will not resolve. If this is the case, contact your registrar to resolve the issue.

serverDeleteProhibited: Prevents your domain from being deleted.

serverUpdateProhibited: Prevents your domain from being updated.

addPeriod: Grace period provided to the registrar by the registry. If the registrar deletes the name during this period, they will be reimbursed by the registry.

autoRenewPeriod: See addPeriod.

renewPeriod: See addPeriod.

transferPeriod: See addPeriod.

redemptionPeriod: Indicates that your registrar has asked the registry to delete your domain. The registry will hold the domain in this period for 30 days, after which it will be updated with the pendingDelete code.

pendingRestore: Indicates your register has asked the registry to restore your domain that was in redemptionPeriod status.

pendingDelete: Automatically set if your domain has been in redemptionPeriod status AND you have not restored it within the maximum 30-day period.

Key Takeaway

You don’t need to remember all of these codes. Instead, just know the important codes that prevent your domain from being hijacking without your authorization. You should remember the “UpdateProhibited,” “DeleteProhibited,” and “TransferProhibited” codes. For more information on status codes, see the ICANN status code resources page.

When you buy a domain from Saw.com, our experienced domain brokers will work with you to make sure your domain registration is set up in a way that you are protected from these issues. We will work with you every step of the way to ensure you reach your business goals. To learn more about Saw.com domain name brokerage service, contact us for a free domain brokerage consultation.