How to Determine When a Domain Name Will Expire

How to Determine When a Domain Name Will ExpireAlthough many people say, “I own xyz.tld” (where xyz is the domain, such as apple, and tld is the top level domain, such as com), people don’t really own domain names. Instead, they are leased to an individual, business or organization for at least a year, and at most 10 years.

While domain names can be renewed in perpetuity, often times domain names will expire. If you desire a domain name and do not want to approach the owner about buying it from them, you can simply wait for it to expire. But how do you determine when a domain name will expire?

Follow these steps to determine when a domain name will expire:


1. Start a WHOIS Lookup


A WHOIS Lookup can be performed on many different websites, but the easiest place to do a lookup of a domain name is at DomainTools.com.

Visit http://whois.sc to begin the process.


2. Type In The Domain Name of Interest


In the “Enter a Domain or IP Address…” input box, type in the domain name of interest, such as DomainSherpa.com, and press the “lookup” button.

How to determine when a domain name will expire - type domain


3. Scroll Down to the Bottom of the Record


At the very bottom of the record, you will see some timeline information for the domain name, such as the date the domain name was created (“Record created on”) and when the domain name is due to expire (“Domain expires on”) should it not be renewed.

How to determine when a domain name will expire - view record results

As you can see above, the DomainSherpa.com domain name is due to expire on March 14, 2020, if not renewed prior to that date.

If the domain name is renewed prior to the expiration date, or within 30 days thereafter (many registrars allow a grace period), an additional 1+ years is added to the domain name registration. In this case, continue to monitor the domain name using either a free DomainTools.com account or DomainHole.com account.

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20 Responses to “How to Determine When a Domain Name Will Expire”

  1. Rizwan Khan says:

    Hi, looking for some advice. The site I’m looking at throws the following when i searched for its info
    Updated Date: 23-feb-2015
    Creation Date: 25-mar-2009
    Expiration Date: 25-mar-2016
    >>> Last update of whois database: Thu, 10 Dec 2015 01:01:49 GMT <<<

    So it should be expired right? However when I search it on godaddy it says the site is already registered and there is a landing page when I go to the domain.

    Any clues to as what could be going on as the domain should be expired.

    Thanks
    Riz

    1. Hi Riz,

      Yes, according to http://www.domainsherpa.com/understanding-the-domain-name-lifecycle/ it should be expired.

      BUT, the last update of the whois database you’re using was December 10, 2015. Try using an updated whois service.

      I like the DomainTools service: http://whois.domaintools.com/domainsherpa.com

      Hope that helps,
      Michael

  2. Abhinav Mishra says:

    Awesome Article, I was looking for this article, Thanks For Sharing.

  3. nephat kiragu says:

    Thanks for the help.

  4. Jatin says:

    Hi Michael,

    I was looking for information on this topic and finally i found it.
    This was really very helpful. Thanks for sharing this post.

  5. Dan Haghiac says:

    I was searching exactly on this topic on how to see when a domain will expire. The article is helpful.

  6. Pia says:

    Hi Mike,
    I’m interested in a domain that looks like it was recently renewed
    Dates:
    Created on 2014-05-28
    Expires on 2017-05-28
    Updated on 2016-06-01
    but
    Registrar Registration Expiration Date: 2016-05-28.

    Is this an indication that the domain entered the grace period was auto-renewed on June 1st?
    The site content is non-existent for a good while now, I am expecting that the current owner would let it expire. Is this a good time to place a back-order?

    Thanks a lot!

    1. Hi Pia,

      If the domain now has an expiration date of 2017, then it was likely renewed by the registrant — whether auto-renewed or manually renewed. Not sure it really matters.

      I own plenty of domain names that have no site content that I renew year after year.

      It’s never a bad time to place a backorder. Set it and forget it.

      But you’ll want to read this first: http://www.domainsherpa.com/how-to-grab-an-expiring-domain-name/

      Good luck,
      Michael

  7. Vikash says:

    Thanx for this great content. Its amazing

  8. Bhanu says:

    Hi,

    Thanks for the information, just need to know the expiration date of .be domain.

    I am having one .be domain but even in the registry DB the Expiration date is not showing.

    Thanks

    1. I don’t see the expiration date of this ccTLD either: http://www.dnsbelgium.be/en

      You’ll need to contact the registry to ask them how to determine the expiration date of a domain name: http://www.dnsbelgium.be/en/about-us/contact

  9. CC says:

    Hi Michael, I have some quick newbie questions. I hope I am posting this in the right place here. I understand that the great benefit to buying expired domain names is that one may find an expired name that is aged, that has helpful backlinks and have many other great characteristics that allow the name to rank higher in google searches. I get why that is beneficial, and I even have a list of all the tools one can use to check the history and stats (whois, alexa, semrush, domaintools, majesticseo etc)

    However, does a mediocre, expired domain name hold more value than a good hand registered domain name?

    I will definitely try to do due diligence in researching and eventually buying great, expired domain names. However, articles on the internet and even private advice, seem to suggest that many/most/all of the great hand registered names are gone, or I may never be able to find them myself.

    As a newbie, should I try to stick mostly to expired names because that’s where the money is?

  10. Jan says:

    I want a domain name and it expires in a few months do I still have to buy it off the person or when it expires I could use it

    1. Hi Jan,

      It sounds like you’re assuming that the current registrant will allow the domain name to expire at the specified expiration date. That is likely not a correct or good assumption, as many people will wait until the final few days before renewing in the case they sell it — then they won’t have the additional renewal cost.

      If you have access to DomainTools.com or domainIQ.com (paid services) you can see the whois history and how long they’ve owned it. If a long time, then they’ll likely continue to renew it.

      If you don’t want to wait, reach out to the current registrant and discuss a purchase price.

      Good luck,
      Michael

  11. erfan says:

    Hi,

    What if a domain company purchased the domain I want and are selling it for $2000. What should my offer be or should I just wait till it expires? Its expires next summer.

    thanks!

    1. Most companies that invest in domain names will do so with a 3-5 year time horizon. If there are no inquiries and no traffic, they may let it expire.

      It’s a business decision. If you want the domain name, make a reasonable offer. Maybe start at 40 to 50% of the asking price and negotiate from there.

      Good luck.

  12. Sorident says:

    I have a question. When I search my domain it says nothing about an expiration date. My domain is http://www.sorident.ro . Does that mean that it never expires? Is it possible? Thanks for the answer.

    1. It looks like they do expire and require renewal: http://www.nic.ro/help/billing-renewal.html

      It’s best to contact the registry at nic.ro and ask for assistance.

  13. Robert says:

    Hi,
    Can I ask a question?
    How to find an expired domain and buy it?

    1. Hi Robert,

      Try this resource for registering an expiring domain:
      http://www.domainsherpa.com/how-to-grab-an-expiring-domain-name/

      Best,
      Michael

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