Has your domain entered a "pending delete" status?

If you have not renewed your URL name, your domain will go through several stages before it re-enters the registry, and you may have trouble determining what a particular stage means for your domain ownership.

Although you can't really learn how to delete a domain, read ahead to learn more about the "pending delete" status and what you need to do to maintain ownership of your domain.

What Are "Pending Delete" Domains?

Domains with a "pending delete" status are domain names that have expired, having exceeded their grace and redemption periods, and will soon re-enter the general registry.

At the end of the "pending delete" stage, registrars will unregister you from the domain and eventually transfer the domain to another entity.

You can review your domain status through services like WHOIS and ICANN.

Just search for your domain name on WHOIS to see its status, the day you registered it, the day you renewed it—and other similar domains currently available.

The Life Cycle of a Domain

When you register a web address under your name, you maintain ownership of it for a predetermined period.

Once the URL name expires, it enters a multi-phase process that gives you, the domain owner, ample time to renew the domain or surrender it to your registrar.

Let's review the life cycle of a domain name, which has a number of steps.

1. Active Status

Active domains are those that are up and running and have not expired.

Our SpamZilla.io domain is currently active so typing our web address into your browser will bring you to our website.

2. Expiration Date

When you register a domain, you rent it for a period ranging from one year to ten years.

Once your domain registration exceeds its term, it will enter the "expired" period of its life cycle.

While it is safest to renew your website name before it expires, you will still have plenty of time to do so after this date.

3. Grace Period

After your domain expires, it enters a grace period in which you can renew it for no additional cost.

Depending on your registrar, this phase may last anywhere from one day to 40 days.

4. Redemption Period

If you do not recover your domain during the grace period, it will enter into one final stage before you lose your registration permanently: the redemption period.

This stage, which enables you to have your URL restored, typically lasts for up to five days.

To recover your domain during the redemption period and see it restored, you will need to pay a fee ranging from $50 to $100.

5. "Pending Delete" Domain Status

If you have not renewed your domain during the grace or redemption period, it will enter "pending delete" status for five calendar days.

During this stage, your registrar will process the domain cancellation, and expired domain services like SpamZilla will prepare to offer the domain to their customers.

Once your web address enters the "pending deletion" stage, it will be challenging to recover.

You have dropped your ownership of the domain, so it technically belongs to your registrar.

6. Registry, Auction, or Closeout Sale

After five days in the pending deletion phase, your registrar will unregister you from the domain and do one of three things:

  • Release the domain name to the registry
  • Auction it off
  • Sell it in a closeout sale

As you can see, expired domains do not actually disappear forever—they just become available for purchase on the expired URL name market.  

Eventually, your registrar will transfer the web address to a new owner.

Domain Name "Pending Delete" Status vs. Domain Status "Deleted"

As a domain owner, you should view "pending delete" and "delete" statuses the same way.

"Pending delete" indicates that the deletion is processing, while"delete" shows that the cancellation is complete.

Can You Recover a "Pending Delete" Status Domain?

In most cases, you will not be able to recover a deleted domain.

However, you can follow these tips to attempt to regain ownership of the website name after it enters the "deleted" stage:

Request a renewal through customer support: Your best solution to recover deleted domains is to contact the customer support number to see if they can cancel your deletion or help you restore the domain to your account.

Place the domain on backorder: If your web address is about to enter the registry, you can place it on backorder to attempt to be the first person to purchase it. Some registrars allow you to backorder domains through their websites.

Search for the domain in the registry: You can also try searching for and purchasing the web address yourself. Keep in mind that if your domain is at all valuable, it will probably sell quickly.

If you have lost ownership of your web address, now may be the perfect time to register a new name through SpamZilla.