How To Transfer a Domain Name

How To Transfer a Domain Name



About transferring a domain name

Transferring your from another Web hosting service might seem like a complicated task, but if you follow a few preliminary steps, and use the information provided in this article, the transfer can occur smoothly.

Things you must do

To help ensure a smooth transfer of your current domain name, make sure of the following:

  • Your domain name is unlocked. How do I check if my domain is locked?
  • Your domain name has not been registered within the past 60 days. (See domain name transfer.)
  • The e-mail address associated with the domain name is current and you are able to receive e-mail. How do I check my e-mail address?
  • You have a copy of all your Web site files on your personal computer, CD, or other data-storage system. (See domain name transfer.)
  • You have not cancelled the service with your current Web hosting service until after you have signed up for a Microsoft Office Live account, as you will be asked if you want to transfer an existing site during the sign-up process. (Except for Windows Live Custom Domains or MSN Personal Address domain names, which must be cancelled before signing up for Microsoft Office Live.)

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Things you should know

Before you transfer your domain name, be aware of the following regarding domain name transfers and Microsoft Office Live:

  • The transfer of a domain name can take several days, so you will experience some downtime when your site and your e-mail are not available.
  • Your contact information — name, postal address, phone number, and e-mail address — will be transferred to an accredited domain name registrar, Melbourne IT (MIT), and be visible in a public domain name registry, such as WHOIS Information. (If you have a domain name through Yahoo! or MSN, your registrar already is MIT.)
  • If your domain name is currently registered with another Microsoft product, either Windows Live Custom Domains or an MSN Personal Address, you must first cancel this account in order to release your Passport namespace for use by Microsoft Office Live. Once you have cancelled this account, you may sign up for Microsoft Office Live.
  • Microsoft Office Live does not provide advanced domain name service (DNS) management features. These features include such things as editing DNS settings, including IP Addresses and mail servers, for your domain name.
  • If you subscribe to Microsoft Office Live Essentials, instead of using the Microsoft Office Live Site Designer, you can activate Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003 and use the Export feature to copy the contents of your old Web site to Microsoft Office Live.

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The basic steps

Once you have made sure that your domain name is unlocked and available for transfer, you can begin the transfer process. Because Microsoft Office Live registers your domain name through Melbourne IT (MIT), the procedure for transferring domain names that are already registered with MIT is different from transferring those that have a different registrar.

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If your current registrar is MIT:

  1. You:     On the Find a domain name page, click Transfer current domain. You will be taken to the Transfer your current domain name page. (If you clicked Already have a domain name? on the Microsoft Office Live home page, you will also be taken to this page.)
  2. You:     In the Transfer your current domain name page, type your domain name, and then click Next.
  3. Microsoft:     Performs a series of checks to make sure the transfer of your domain name can take place.
  4. You:     If your domain name passes these checks, you are asked to input the registry key that MIT has given you. Then click Next to continue with the sign-up process for Microsoft Office Live , which entails providing your contact and credit card information, and agreeing to terms of service.

If your domain name does not pass these checks (your domain name is locked or you've registered your domain name within the past 60 days), you will not be able to continue the Microsoft Office Live sign-up process. You must resolve the situation and then begin the sign-up process again.

  1. You:     If your domain name is a .org, you will also be asked to supply an authorization code.
  2. MIT:     During the next 24 hours, MIT will transfer your domain name to Microsoft Office Live. During those 24 hours, you will not receive any e-mail sent to your previous domain name e-mail address.
  3. Microsoft:     Once your domain name is transferred, the Microsoft Office Live team will send you an e-mail message indicating a successful transfer.

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If your current registrar is not MIT:

  • You:     On the Find a domain name page, click Transfer current domain. You will be taken to the Transfer your current domain name page. (If you clicked Already have a domain name? on the Microsoft Office Live home page, you will also be taken to this page.)
  • You:     In the Transfer your current domain name page, type your domain name, and then click Next.
  • Microsoft:     performs a series of checks to make sure the transfer of your domain name can take place.
  • You:     If your domain name passes these checks, you see a screen indicating your current domain name registrar, and explaining that an e-mail will be sent to you requesting authorization. Click Next to continue with the sign-up process, which entails providing your contact and credit card information, and agreeing to terms of service.

If your domain name does not pass these checks (your domain name is locked or you've registered your domain name within the past 60 days), you will not be able to continue the sign-up process. You must resolve the situation and then begin the sign-up process again.

  • You:     If your domain name is a .org, you will also be asked to supply an authorization code.
  • Current Registrar:     May send you e-mail regarding the domain name transfer.
  • MIT:     Will send you an e-mail message with instructions regarding the transfer of your domain name to Microsoft Office Live. This message contains a link to a Web page where you must authorize the transfer of your domain name within five days.
  • You:     You must authorize the transfer within five days. Once authorized, there is a waiting period of five days before the actual transfer occurs.
  • Current Registrar:     After five days, your current registrar transfers the domain name to MIT — this process takes up to 24 hours. During those 24 hours, any e-mail sent to your previous domain name e-mail address will not be received.
  • Microsoft:     Once your domain name is transferred, the Microsoft Office Live team will send you an e-mail message indicating a successful transfer.

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Locked out?

If your domain name is locked at your current registrar, you will see a screen like the following:

Domain Transfer

To unlock your domain name so that it can be transferred, you need to contact your current registrar. To find out who your registrar is, the date of registration, and the status of the domain name (locked or unlocked), perform a search in the WHOIS registry.

To find out more specific information, such as the e-mail address and contact information associated with a domain name, check the WHOIS Information Web site.

Please note that it can take up to six hours after you unlock a domain name for its status to be updated. Sometimes registrars fail to accurately update the WHOIS information, which creates a "registrar-lock" status for the domain name. This causes the following failed-transfer problems:

  • If the WHOIS data indicates the domain name is "locked" when it really isn't, you will be unable to transfer your domain name. You must contact your current registrar to make sure your domain name is unlocked.
  • If the WHOIS data says the domain name is "unlocked" when it really isn't, the attempt to transfer your domain name will fail.

In either one of these events, you will see a screen similar to the following indicating that your domain name is locked.

Domain Transfer

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You recently registered your domain name

If you registered your domain name within the past 60 days, you will receive an alert indicating when you can attempt your transfer again.

After the 60 days has elapsed, you can return to the Microsoft Office Live site and go through the sign-up and domain name transfer process again.

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Authorize the transfer

The authorization process depends on whether your current registrar is already MIT.

Current registrar is Melbourne

If your current domain name is through MSN or Yahoo!, your domain name registrar is already Melbourne. Authorization requires only that you input a registry key (provided by Melbourne when you contacted them to unlock your domain name) when you see the following dialog box:

Domain Transfer

If you do not have a registry key, click the click here link to go to the MIT Web site and obtain the registry key. Enter the registry key and click Next. You will then continue the sign-up process for Microsoft Office Live, which entails providing your contact and credit card information, and agreeing to terms of service. Your domain name transfer will occur automatically and should take about 24 hours.

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Your domain name is a .org

If your domain name ends in .org, you will also see the following dialog box, in which you are required to enter an authorization code before initiating the transfer with Microsoft Office Live. Contact your current registrar or check your records for your authorization code, which is between 6 and 16 characters. Then, click Next to continue the sign-up process for Microsoft Office Live, which entails providing your contact and credit card information, and agreeing to terms of service.

Domain Transfer

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Current registrar is not Melbourne

Once your domain name is unlocked and ready for transfer, you will see the following screen, indicating that you will receive an authorization e-mail and asking you to make sure the administrative contact for your domain name is correct.

Domain Transfer

Click Next to continue with the process for signing up with Microsoft Office Live, which entails providing your contact and credit card information, and agreeing to terms of service.

Once you initiate transfer, and have successfully signed up for Microsoft Office Live, the following screen appears in the Member Center.

Domain Transfer

MIT will then send you an e-mail within the next 24 hours asking you to authorize the transfer of your domain name from your current registrar (who may also send you mail regarding the transfer). MIT's message includes a link to a Web page where you authorize the transfer. You must following the instructions in the e-mail message to authorize and transfer your domain name.

Once MIT sends out the e-mail to you, the following alert will appear in the Member Center when you log in to Microsoft Office Live, reminding you to check the e-mail account associated with your existing domain name:

Domain Transfer

(This alert may continue to appear, even after you authorize the domain name transfer. It will disappear after the transfer is complete, usually within five to seven days, depending on your previous registrar.)

 Important   Check the e-mail account that is associated with your current domain name. If the WHOIS Information associated with your domain name is incorrect or out-of-date, you will not receive the necessary e-mails. You will need to contact the domain name registrar and update it.

If your domain name ends in .org, you will need to follow the same procedure detailed above in Your domain name is a .org.

Once you authorize the transfer of your domain name, there will be a waiting period of five days; after those five days, the actual transfer of you domain name will occur.

Also, after your domain name has been successfully transferred, and if you subscribe to Microsoft Office Live Essentials, you will be able to edit your pages using Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003. For information on accessing and activating FrontPage 2003 as your Web site editor, see the Microsoft Office Live Help entitled Using Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003.

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Domain name transfer failures

To speed up the transfer process, respond to the authorization e-mail as soon as you receive it. If you fail to follow the instructions in the e-mail and authorize the transfer within five days, your domain name transfer will not take place, and the following alert will appear in the Member Center informing you of the reason for the failure:

Click Retry transferring the domain name to retry the transfer. This takes you back to the authorization letter; click on the link to return to the authorization page and authorize the transfer.

Domain Transfer

If your transfer fails due to some other reason, the following message appears in the Member Center:

Domain Transfer

Click Retry transferring the domain name to retry the transfer. You will again be asked to authorize the transfer of your domain.

If your re-initiation of the transfer is successful, you will see the following screen in the Member Center.

Domain Transfer

If the transfer failure alert does not disappear from the Member Center after a few attempts, you will need to contact Microsoft Office Live Support.

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What to do while you wait

Domain name transfers can take several days. While you wait for the transfer to take effect, you can begin working on your new Web site at Microsoft Office Live (click Site Designer under the Web Site heading in the Member Center), although it will not become "live" (viewable on the World Wide Web) until the domain name transfer is complete.

During the actual domain name transfer, the following message appears in the Member Center:

Domain Transfer

Please be aware of the following regarding e-mail during this time:

  • You will not receive any e-mails sent to your previous domain name address.
  • You will not be able to create a new e-mail address on your transferred domain name until the transfer is complete.
  • After the transfer, you will need to re-create in Microsoft Office Live any e-mail accounts associated with your previous domain name.

Once your domain name has been successfully transferred, you will receive an e-mail from the Microsoft Office Live team at your new Microsoft Office Live e-mail address indicating that the transfer is complete. Once the Microsoft Office Live team notifies you that the transfer of your domain name has been successful, test your site on Microsoft Office Live to ensure it is working properly, and then cancel your former Web hosting account.

If you cancel the Microsoft Office Live service, you maintain full control of your domain name through the Web site of MIT. However, you cannot transfer your domain name to another registrar for 60 days after signing up with Microsoft Office Live. (Note that once you cancel your Microsoft Office Live subscription, you are responsible for paying the annual registration fee for the domain name.)

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