What Happens After a Domain Expires?

⚠️️  Please note

The times listed in this article for what happens after a domain expires are estimates for typical TLDs. Some country code TLDs may have drastically different expiration and deletion cycles. We recommend always renewing your domains before they expire to prevent any of the following from occurring. Typically, Porkbun will delete expired domains from 35 to 45 days after expiration.

If a domain isn't renewed before its expiration date, it is considered an expired domain and it may eventually be deleted, auctioned off, or offered to other third parties. This article explains Porkbun's timeline for what happens after a domain expires. For a general illustration of the domain life cycle, click here or scroll to the bottom.

Timeline of Events for Expired Domains at Porkbun

On the day your domain expires, it passes into what is known as the Auto-Renew Grace Period, which typically lasts between 37 and 38 days at Porkbun. For the first 30 days of this period, expired domains can still be renewed for its normal renewal price with no extra fees. Please note that other registrars may have an Auto-Renew Grace Period as short as zero days or as long as 45 days and may charge additional late registration fees.

For the first 10 days of the Auto-Renew Grace Period, your expired domain should continue to function as normal. We understand that problems can occur with the payment, so we allow 10 days to remedy any failed payments, etc.

After the 10th day of the Auto-Renew Grace Period one of three things should happen: 1) the Porkbun name servers will be automatically assigned and your domain will display a notice to any visitors that it has expired or 2) the domain will be put into a status of "Client Hold", meaning it will be removed from the root zone and eventually no longer resolve or 3) the domain will be pointed to a monetized parking page.

At about 21 days into the Auto-Renew Grace Period, the expired domain may be submitted to third-party auction services. 

For days 25-26 through 36-37 of the Auto-Renew Grace Period the expired domain may be available at a third-party auction service. You may still renew expired domains until day 30 at the standard renewal fee. After day 30, however, you will no longer have this option. If you fail to take any action — and the expired domain is purchased at auction — it will be transferred to the winner at the end of this auction period. 

On day 35 - 45 after expiration (typically on day 37 or 38), if the expired domain did not sell at auction, the Auto-Renew Grace Period will end and the domain will be deleted from Porkbun or offered to other third parties. If deleted, for 30 days after deletion, expired domains are considered to reside in the Redemption Grace Period. During this second grace period, expired domains are returned to the registry (see: "What is a registry?") and may be redeemed for the normal renewal fee plus a redemption fee which varies by the registry. Please contact Porkbun Support if you wish to attempt to redeem your expired domain. 

For days 31 - 35 after deletion, the expired domain will typically be marked "Pending Delete" in WHOIS and can no longer be redeemed. Once expired domain names are marked Pending Delete, there’s no turning back—the domain will be released by the registry and may be lost forever.

After the expired domain is released by the registry, one of the following may occur:

  • The domain may be made available to the public and anyone can register it on a first-come-first-served basis—including drop catch bots, so be warned.
  • The registry may "re-tier" it as a "premium domain" significantly increasing the cost of re-registering the domain name.
  • The registry may reserve the domain so that it can't be registered by anyone, indefinitely.
  • Some registries, such as the .ai registry, may auction off the domain to the highest bidder before releasing it.

Please note that all the times and dates in this article are estimates. Many of the factors mentioned in this article are beyond our control. Porkbun makes no guarantees that the above timelines and procedures will precisely occur in all cases.

Domain Life Cycle

domain name life cycle

source: Life Cycle of a Typical gTLD Domain Name

⚠️️  Additional note

This article mostly concerns ICANN-regulated extensions such as .com and does not necessarily apply to country-code TLDs such as .de, .cx, .am, and others that do not have a grace period and may enter redemption or simply delete several days prior to expiration. Be sure to renew these domains early, before they expire. Expired country code domains may incur much higher or lower redemption fees than others. Similarly, some domains such as those on the .co TLD may stop resolving and the registry may assign their own name servers immediately following expiration.

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