How to Change Your GoDaddy Whois Privacy Settings – Domain Name Wire

Here’s how to view some of your information in Whois.

GoDaddy now adds Domains by Proxy Whois privacy to all domains by default. But there may be cases where you want your data to be exposed in Whois. In this tutorial, I’ll walk you through how to change your proxy domain settings.

The Current State of Whois at GoDaddy

GoDaddy has added Whois privacy to all domains to prevent its customers from receiving spam. Anyone who has registered domains over the past few years has been subjected to countless spam and text messages trying to offer services. Some of them even claimed to be affiliated with GoDaddy. (This is a problem for all registrars, not just GoDaddy).

Disabling the public Whois was therefore a simple solution.

As a side benefit, it helps GoDaddy comply with many new privacy regulations.

Now when someone looks up your domain in Whois, they’ll see something like this:

All owner information is hidden. If someone wants to contact the owner of the domain, they can access the URL in the Registrant Email field and fill out a form that will be sent to the owner. (ICANN requires registrars to provide a means of contacting the domain owner.)

Why would you want to expose your information

There are circumstances where you might want your information to be public.

The most common use case is domain investors who want to make it easy for potential domain buyers to contact them. While people can use the contact form on GoDaddy’s website to contact the owner of any domain, it’s not as simple as emailing a contact in Whois. And they can’t include a message in their first contact.

A domain investor may also want to enable Whois for an individual domain to prove ownership to a potential buyer.

ICANN requires registrars to allow customers to register to view their Whois information, and GoDaddy has several options for doing this.

How to Change Your Whois Privacy Settings on Individual Domains

If you want to change Whois privacy settings for individual domains, click on the domain in your account manager. Scroll down until you see a box titled “Whois Privacy Settings”.

Image of GoDaddy Whois Privacy Settings section in Account Manager

There are two options in the box. First, you can disable proxied domains to show all your personal information in Whois. To do this, click on the button “Show personal data on WHOIS” at the top right.

GoDaddy will notify you that your information will appear in the public Whois. It also provides instructions on using TXT records to prove domain ownership without exposing Whois.

The other option in this section is to enable email forwarding for email addresses. Forwarding is disabled by default, but you can register to enable forwarding.

I don’t know why you would do that. Even if you enable it, GoDaddy won’t show the email address in Whois, so only the most knowledgeable users (and those attorneys) will know to try to contact you with that email address.

How to Bulk Change Your Whois Privacy Settings

If you are using the standard domain manager, select the domains for which you want to modify your Whois settings. Then click on the Settings button at the top and choose “Turn off privacy protection”. You will get a confirmation box asking you to verify that you want to do this.

GoDaddy domain control panel with option to disable Whois privacy

If you’re using the new Beta Domain Manager, select the domains for which you want to change your Whois settings. Then click on the Privacy link in the box at the bottom. (Don’t click the privacy button at the top of the page; it’s just a filter.)

Screenshot showing the GoDaddy beta account manager with the option to turn off Whois privacy

A box will appear allowing you to disable privacy. You will get a confirmation box asking you to verify that you want to do this.

Think before exposing your information

Before most registrars removed Whois to comply with privacy regulations, I assumed that most domain investors would want to agree to have their information in Whois. But now that my information is protected, I appreciate the reduction in spam and robocalls. This is particularly the case of new registrations which trigger a deluge of requests. As long as there is a way for people to contact you a landing page, the registrar’s contact box it may not be necessary to expose your details in Whois.