When Do Domains Drop?

Domain names are valid for a specific duration. In most cases, this duration is one year from the time the owner registers the domain. If you fail to renew your domain after its expiry, the registrar renders it expired or dropped.
A dropped domain is a domain name that isn’t renewed in time. Domain names expire because owners abandon them, lack renewal funds, or forget about their existence. But when do domains drop? Read on to find the answers.

How Domains Drop

Dropped domain names don’t become inactive abruptly. Instead, registrars give owners a grace period to renew them. The grace period varies, but here’s the general process of how they expire.

Expired Status

If an owner fails to renew their domain registration, the domain name enters into an expired status. This is a 30- to 40-day grace period during which the domain name is salvageable by the owner. However, all the domain’s services aren’t operational. If the owner decides to renew, then the domain ceases to be a drop domain name. Most registrars don’t impose a penalty, meaning owners can renew their expired domains at the standard renewal fee.

Redemption Period

If the domain’s owner fails to renew the domain name after the grace period, the name will go into a 30-day redemption period. This is a critical stage where the registrar might put the affected TLD into an auction. During this period, a drop domain begins losing its WHOIS information. Domains in the redemption stage are still renewable. That said, the owner can only renew it if the registry hasn’t auctioned it off. If the owner decides to renew, they will pay the regular renewal fee plus an additional reactivation cost. The redemption fee varies depending on the registrar, but expect to pay about $100.

Deletion Phase

When the redemption period elapses, the domain enters the pending delete phase. It stays in this stage for one to five days. At this stage, the domain cannot be renewed or newly registered. On the 6th day, the domain drop deletion occurs. The registry erases its existence, and it will drop from the ICANN database. The actual time the TLD drops varies depending on the registry. It’s advisable to check the registry information for each TLD. An approximate time is between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Pacific time. Once drop domain names get deleted, they become available for registration. Anyone, including the previous owner, can register it as a new domain. So, when do domains drop? The entire drop period takes about 75 days from the day the domain expires, while the actual drop takes place a day after. 


Not all domain names dropped follow this process. The explained procedure mostly occurs in gTLDs. Examples of such domains include:
  • .com
  • .net
  •  .biz
  • .info
Dropped .eu domains enter a 40-day quarantine period after their expiry. During this period, owners can choose to restore their TLDs. If this period elapses, the names become available for registration to the general public. Expired .de domains follow a different path altogether. After their expiry, they immediately revert to the registry and go through the transit phase. You can still recover your TLD after it enters this state.

How Do You Identify a Dropped Domain Name?

Identifying a drop domain name is straightforward. The WHOIS lookup feature can quickly tell you the status of a domain name. When using this feature, disregard the expiration date it shows. This is because the registry’s WHOIS often adds a year to expired domains. Instead of checking the expiry date, focus on the “domain status.” The status of a drop domain name will either be “pending redemption” or “pending delete.”

How to Find a Dropped Domain

Identifying a drop domain is easy, but acquiring one is something else. You could snatch valuable, expired domains from Verisign’s servers, but this process requires more resources and is time-consuming. A better option is to work with domain snatching companies like GoDaddy, Enom, Pool, to name a few. Of course, you still have to outbid competitors in an auction to land the expired domain of your choice. If you aren’t sure of the dropped domains you want, you can analyze a list of expired domains in auctions. However, don’t fall blindly for a dropped TLD.

Things to Consider When Dealing with Drop Domains

Below are the vital things to consider before acquiring drop domains.

Domain and Page Authority

Unlike new domains, dropped domains have higher domain authority. The higher the authority, the better the chances of ranking in SERPs. So, before bidding for a drop domain, check its authority using domain checking tools.


Previous users might have used the dropped domains for spammy purposes. That’s why you have to investigate the domain’s history, particularly its backlinks.

AdSense Ban

If you intend to monetize your drop domain, you need to ensure AdSense hasn’t banned it. More things to check include trademarks and trust flow. If a drop domain passes all these tests, proceed and purchase it. You may need to use domain backorders to secure expired domains.

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