What is Registry lock?

What is a Registry lock?

The Registry Lock service can prevent your domain names from getting hijacked. This feature blocks domain modifications, such as the DNS server changes, the transfer of the domain to another Registrar, and stops the domain name from being deleted at a Registry level.

This service is recommended for your most valuable domain names as it aims to minimize the risk of unwanted changes, terminations, or transfers. You can secure your domain with a Registry Lock with Namecheap's Domain Vault. Currently, we only offer this for the following domains: .com. .net, .cc, .name, .bar, .college, .design, .fm, .ink, .love, .protection, .rent, .rest, .security, .storage, .theatre, .wiki, .xyz, .tickets, .car, .auto, .autos, .bond, .icu, .cfd, .cyou,but expect to roll it out for other TLDs in due course.

Enabling or disabling Registry Lock will require additional authentication steps between a User, Registrar, and the Registry.

Why is it important to lock a domain name at the registry level?

Registry-level locking of domain names provides additional levels of authentication between the registry and the registrar of the domain name. If an end customer requests a change to a registry-locked domain name, an authorized individual at the registrar must submit a request to the Registry to unlock the domain name. The Registry performs a second layer verification in such cases.

How can I be sure my domain name is locked?

You can use the Whois lookup tool to check if your domain names are locked at the registry. Type your domain name into the Whois lookup bar. In the results, there are up to four "Status" fields: Delete, Renew, Transfer, and Update.

Delete, Transfer, and Update are the critical statuses for locking your domain name. Using Update as an example, if the status for Update says "serverUpdateProhibited" then your domain name is locked at the registry level and cannot be unlocked (allowing for changes) without "out-of-band" authentication between Registry and Namecheap. The "Server" and "Prohibited" status must appear for all three statuses (Update, Delete, Transfer) for the domain name to be on Registry Lock.

If the Whois results for your domain name ONLY indicate "ClientUpdateProhibited" this means that your domain name has been locked by your registrar, but not at the registry.

Here is an example of the Whois results for a registry-level-locked domain name, with the key statuses highlighted:

Actions that are blocked by Registry Lock:

  • Nameservers updates.
  • Domain deletion/expiration (your domain is auto-renewed at Registry to avoid deletion or unwanted expiration. To delete the domain you will have to remove the lock before you can initiate a manual deletion).
  • Domain transfer out to another registrar.

Actions that are not blocked by Registry Lock:

  • Contact information updates.
  • Host records updates.
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