Bluehost: How to Transfer a Domain to Another Registrar

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There are two situations when you want to transfer a domain from Bluehost:

  1. To another registrar like SiteGround, Hostgator, or some other web host.
  2. To another person – like if you sold the domain name or something

In both these situations, the process is the same with only one difference – for 1, you don’t have to change your contact details. Bluehost is a registrar as well as a hosting provider. Here’s the complete Bluehost discount list for all their plans in case you’re looking to host with them!

And now, a step by step tutorial on how to transfer a domain away from Bluehost.

Step 1: Access the Domain Transfer Interface

First, log into your account from the Bluehost website. On the left-hand side, click the tab labeled “Domains” as shown here:

Domains Tab Select Domain to Transfer

This will bring up a list of domains under your control on the right-hand pane. Place a checkmark next to the one you want to transfer, and it’ll open up the domain transfer options next to it like this:

New Set of Tabs on the Right Hand Pane

The domain transfer interface has a number of tabs as you can see. And we need to access almost all of them to transfer the domain away from Bluehost.

Step 2: Unlock the Domain

By default, the domain you have with Bluehost is locked. This prevents anyone from transferring it away from you – presumably as a security measure. So we need to disable it by clicking the “lock” tab as shown here, and then toggling the button labeled “UNLOCK your domain”:

Bluehost Unlock the Domain

Now we need to change the contact details if necessary

Step 3: Disable Domain Privacy if Enabled

When you purchase a domain with Bluehost (or get one for free), you have the option to active domain privacy. The keeps your details out of the public WHOIS database. However, to transfer the domain to someone else, you need to disable domain privacy. This is so that the receiving registrar can look up the contact details of the new owner and inform them of the change.

To remove domain privacy, click the tab labeled “privacy” as shown here:

Disable Domain Privacy

In the screenshot above, I haven’t purchased domain privacy so there’s nothing for me to do here. But if you have purchased it, this is the place to turn it off.

Step 4: Change the Contact Details

This step is only necessary if you’re selling the domain and need to modify the contact details to indicate someone else. Changing the details (even if it’s to another of your own addresses) qualifies as a “registrant change”. The process is as follows:

  1. You change the contact details
  2. You receive a verification e-mail on the old contact address with a link to verify
  3. An email is then sent to the new contact address with a “verify” link
  4. Only then are the contact details changed, and a “transfer lock” is initiated

To change the contact details, click the “contact” tab in the interface and update the information for all the fields you need.

Bypassing the Transfer Lock

For all gTLDs (Generic Top Level Domains) like com, org, net, and info, registrant changes like contact details automatically create a 60-day “transfer lock”, that prevents another such change during that period.

Again, it’s a security measure to protect against spammers and other fraudulent transactions.

However, if yours is a legitimate transfer, you probably want to disable the transfer lock so that the recipient can sell it again if they want. A big orange box will appear as soon as you start typing in changes to the contact details as shown here:

Opt out of Transfer Lock when Changing Contact Information

Click the checkbox that says, “Opt Out of 60-Day Transfer Lock (Recommended)”. And only then, should you click the green button saying, “Update Contact Information”. If you do this, then the new owner can do as they please with the domain as soon as they receive it.

(Optional) Step 5: Change your DNS Servers if Transferring Registrars

While the transfer is in progress, you can’t mess around with DNS entries. To avoid downtime on your site, make sure you make your DNS changes pre-emptively if necessary to point to a new host.

Step 6: Providing the EPP (Extensible Provisioning Protocol) Code

The final step in the Bluehost domain transfer process is to copy the unique EPP code for your domain and give it to the recipient. The person receiving the domain will enter the EPP into their new registrar’s interface and thus initiate the transfer.

You can get the EPP by clicking the “transfer EPP” tab like this:

Bluehost - EPP Code to Transfer a Domain

The EPP code is provided as shown in the screenshot above. Copy this exactly as is and give it to the new owner. If you just want to transfer your domain to another registrar, you need to use this EPP when your new registrar asks for it.

(Optional) Approve the Transfer Faster

Domain registrar transfers take a bit of time. There’s a verification period of a few days, and this can be annoying to deal with. To speed things up, go to the EPP tab as before and click the “Approve” button. This will skip through the process and the new owner will receive their shiny new domain in just a few minutes!

And that completes the Bluehost domain transfer procedure from start to finish. I hope you found this guide useful!

About Bhagwad Park

I've been writing about web hosting and WordPress tutorials since 2008. I also create tutorials on Linux server administration, and have a ton of experience with web hosting products. Contact me via e-mail!

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