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How to transfer your domain away from GoDaddy

Usually transferring a domain from one ICANN Accredited Registrar to another is a fairly straight forward process. An EPP code is obtain from the existing Registrar, provided to the new Registrar and the transfer is completed.

However, you should expect to encounter various obstacles any time you attempt to reduce your existing payments or liabilities to (the evil) GoDaddy. GoDaddy’s raison d’etre is clearly apparent in the company’s daily business practice and their high level decision to identify their nameservers with the string “DomainCONTROL. This post is to written to assure readers that wresting control of your own domain from the scared, tightfisted, egocentric, sexist, criminal and paternalistic ‘Daddy’ is possible with determined application of the following six steps.

Step 1. Obtain user name and password of the domain name’s Owner’s GoDaddy Account.

This first step if often very difficult.

Sometimes the owner was never even made aware of their own GoDaddy account information because some family friend or fly-by-night web designer/hobbyist set up the account very early in the web site design phase. Since the GoDaddy account information was never even needed or relayed to the actual owner of the domain name this “owner” is now effectively held captive by GoDaddy in perpetuity. (Just the way godaddy like$ it.)

Other times, the owner simply can not recall this used-once, late-at-night in typical Jerry Mcquire fashion and quickly forgotten type of login information. It’s highly likely that the registrar has never even logged into the account since it was first created several years ago. It’s not uncommon for the resistrar to not even recall the email address originally used when setting up the GoDaddy account several online businesses ago.

The good news is, GoDaddy does provide a “Account Retrieval System” for retrieving customer numbers, password hints or password resets. However, if the original email address is unknown or in many cases if the original email address is no longer even a valid address, the GoDaddy Account Retrieval System will be utterly useless to the owner.

If this is the case the only method of obtaining access to your GoDaddy account is via GoDaddy’s Change of Account/Email Update Form. Directions for completing this form can be found here and will require the submission of a government-issued photo ID such as a driver’s license, military ID, or passport and/or a ‘valid’ business identification such as a Business license, or tax certificate type of documentation. No, I am not kidding.

This is where that previously mentioned “determined” aspect comes into to play if you will ever again exercise your legal ownership rights over your own domain.

Step 2. Obtain user name and password of Owner’s DomainsByProxy Account.

Occasionally it is possible to skip this step. But more often than not the GoDaddy domain registration process makes it HIGHLY likely that the registrar is using DomainsByProxy. After all the “Privacy Enhancement” provided by DomainsByProxy is only another $9.99 per year.

Here is a fun exercise. Try completely this simple statement:

Your identity is nobody’s business but …?

If you thought your identity was nobody’s business but your own you would be wrong. You see, DomainsByProxy, another company owned and operated by GoDaddy founder and Executive Chairman Bob Parsons, enthusiastically promotes the idea that your identity is nobody’s business but Bob Parsons‘. If that is not enough to just turn your stomach, I don’t know what is.

The same mind-numbing process applies here for login assitance as with GoDaddy. For domainsbyproxy.com there are password hints and a password retrieval process. Worse case, there’s an email update form that requires, among other things, a government-issued photo identification or government-issued documents for company identification.

You might ask yourself why on earth you might need two DIFFERENT login and passwords to two DIFFERENT web sites just to change your own domain named servers or to register your domain with a different ICANN Accredited Registrar. Even in the extreme and rare cases of fraud it’s not like there is not a very solid trail of WHERE exactly your precious domain name has been transferred to. The ICANN system is already double redundant. It seems more than just a little disingenuous that this convoluted system of multiple web sites, account numbers and passwords is designed to “protect the customer” as Domains By Proxy claims in its FAQ

A separate Domains By Proxy (DBP) account ultimately adds another layer of protection to your domain name — and you!

By having a separate DBP account you thwart potential domain name hijackers — they need access to both your DBP account and your Registrar customer account in order to cancel your private registration and steal your domain name. Most thieves don’t take the time to hack two accounts, and they move on to another domain name.

Domain names are not money that can be stolen and spent without a trace. Domains names only exists within the ICANN System. Where do you suppose an alleged thief is going to spirit your domain name off to? Even fungible cold hard cash can be accessed, transferred and ‘stolen’ by thieves with a single user name and password. But GoDaddy formed this sister company to propagate the myth “for your protection” that a second set of user names and passwords are required to protect your precious Domain Name from being “stolen”. Oh wait- and it only increases the cost of registering your domain name by a factor of nearly 100%.  What a bargain eh?
A domainbyproxy account number is typically an 8 digit number, very similar to your GoDaddy account number with the last few digits changed.  For a while the following work around existed for retrieving your DPB account number from within your GoDaddy account but even this method has been now been thwarted.

With these first to two difficult steps successfully accomplished the escape from GoDaddy is now within your reach.

Step 3. Remove Proxy Coverage on Domains

Log in to Domainsbyproxy.com and you should arrive within the Private Domains tab.

 

Select the domain name(s) for which you want to cancel private registration (all). Then either click the Cancel Selected button found at the very bottom of the list shown below in red circles. Or select the individual domain name you want to cancel domains by proxy coverage of and click the top icon I have shown below in blue circles.

 

Regardless of which method you chose, the end result should be the same with the text shown in the little green circle above changing to reflect Canceled.

Congratulations Domain by Proxy coverage has now been removed.

Step 4. Unlock Domain within GoDaddy

Again another totally redundant step who’s only purpose is to prevent existing GoDaddy ‘customers’ from voting with their feet and leaving in droves is the “Lock” feature within GoDaddy’s notoriously bad control panel. To remove the lock on a domain in GoDaddy do the following.

Log in to the registrar’s GoDaddy Account

 

Click My Account on the far right of the screen in black.

 

Record the Customer Number.

 

Click Update Security Settings

 

Record the 4 digit PIN displayed. ( You will need this later). Change Email to reflect your current email address.

 

Select the Products tab

 

Hit the Launch button next to Domains

 

Select All Domains by clicking the little black check-mark icon.

 

Unlock Domain by hitting the lock icon. All the domains should have the little lock icon greyed out.

 

Your domains are now clear of all the extraneous mechanism by which GoDaddy holds domain names captive. Just a few more hurdles to clear and your domain will be transferable.

Step 5. Obtain EPP code from GoDaddy to authorize domain name transfer.

From the Tools Menu Select Exportable Lists

 

Click Add New Export

Make sure “All My Domains” is displayed then click Next

 

Check mark Authorization Codes then Click Next

 

Select file type CSV, compression None. Name it something you’ll remember. Then hit Finish. This will work for 99.9% of users contrary to what GoDaddy auto-populates

 


You are now suppose to wait for GoDaddy to send you an email. It has been my experience that that email will never actually arrive. So go pour yourself a self-congralutaory drink or go indulge yourself in a nice healthy treat then come back and complete the following step.

Log back in to your GoDaddy Account one last time


Click My Account on the far right of the screen in black.

 

Hit the Launch button next to Domains

 

From the Tools Menu Select Exportable Lists

 

Check the box to select the file then click Download Now!

 

If for whatever reason there is NOT an available option to Download Call 480-505-8877. You will be prompted to enter your account number followed by the # key. Option 3 Option 1 will connect you with technical support. Have that PIN number you saved the first time you logged in at the ready.

Hopefully, you now have a .cvs file on your local hard drive containing the EPP required to complete domain transfer. Let’s check to make sure.

Step 6. Verify your work.

From inside your web browser hold down the control key and letter “j” at the same time (Control+j) and a list of your recent downloaded files should appear. Double click on the .csv file you just downloaded from GoDaddy. If it does not automatically open the most popular program  for viewing .CVS files is Microsoft Excel. With Excel you can open the .csv file and it should look something like this.

The important thing to check for is that the DomainName you are transferring OUT of GoDaddy should now be both PUBLIC and UNLOCKED. If it is not, you should review the steps above to see what you missed the first time through. As a hint, if the “Privacy” column is not reflecting PUBLIC that means DomainsByProxy will prevent the transfer until you’ve successfully remove proxy converage ( see Step. 3 above ). If the “Locked” column is not showing UNLOCKED that means GoDaddy will prevent the transfer until you’ve successfully unlocked the domain (see Step. 4 above).

The long string of nonsense characters in the  “Authorization Code” column is the EPP code required to effect the transfer via ICANN’s system. CONGRATULATIONS, with this authorization code in hand you are now finally free to transfer your domain away from GoDaddy to any one of the hundreds of ICCAN acredited registrars found on this exhaustive list.

If you get stuck along the way or would like someone to just do all of this for you, pick up the phone and call 352-356-8985 or  send us an email to [email protected] Just let us know you want to get rid of GoDaddy today. You’ll feel much better knowing your funds aren’t continuing to feed this monster.

We’ll handle the rest.

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