Changing your domain nameservers to Cloudflare

Understand how to update nameservers at your domain registrar to successfully activate Cloudflare.

This article formerly appeared under the title Step 3: Change your domain nameservers to Cloudflare.


Overview

To route web traffic through the Cloudflare network, update the nameservers at your domain registrar to resolve your domain’s DNS with Cloudflare's nameservers. Updating your nameservers does not change where your website is hosted.

Changing nameservers is not required for Business and Enterprise domains on CNAME setups.

To start:

  1. Enter your domain at ICANN WHOIS if you are unsure of the registrar. Note the value of the Registrar field:

    image2.png
  2. Log into the administrator account for your domain registrar.
If you didn’t copy the Cloudflare nameservers when initially adding your domain to Cloudflare, click on the Cloudflare Overview app to identify your Cloudflare nameservers as shown in the video below.

  • Replace the current nameserver records in your registrar account with your domain’s Cloudflare nameservers. Allow up to 72 hours for nameserver changes to globally propagate.
If your European domain registrar fails to update to Cloudflare’s nameservers, refer to our guide on exceptions for European registrars.

Contact your registrar's support center for the most accurate information. See below for instructions on changing nameservers at popular registrars:

 

1and1

FlokiNET

Name.com

Blacknight

Gandi

NameCheap

BlueHost

GoDaddy

Network Solutions

DirectNIC

Google Domains

OVH

DNSMadeEasy

HostGator

Rackspace

Domain.com

HostMonster

Register

Dotster

Internetbs

Site5

DreamHost

iPage

Softlayer

EasyDNS

MediaTemple

Tucows

Enom

MelbourneIT

Yahoo!

Fast Domain

Moniker

Yola

101Domain

 

  1. Refresh the Cloudflare Overview app. If Complete your nameserver setup still appears, Perform the following steps:
    • Ensure the ICANN WHOIS Name Server output correctly spells the Cloudflare nameservers and confirm Cloudflare's nameservers are the only nameservers listed.
    • If the ICANN WHOIS Name Server output is correct, click the Re-check now button in the Cloudflare Overview app.
  1. If Complete your nameserver setup no longer appears in the Cloudflare Overview app, you have successfully updated your registrar nameservers and your domain is active at Cloudflare.

image1.png

Once your domain is active on Cloudflare, review our best practices for active Cloudflare domains.

If you run into issues, refer to our Troubleshooting FAQ for new Cloudflare customers.


Confirm traffic is proxied to Cloudflare

Some online tools such as GTmetrix don't recognize Cloudflare as a Content Delivery Network (CDN) because we don't operate like a traditional CDN.  Instead, confirm your domain traffic actively proxies through Cloudflare by browsing to https://www.example.com/cdn-cgi/trace. Replace www.example.com with the domain and hostname proxied to Cloudflare.  If proxied to Cloudflare, output similar to the following appears in the browser:

  fl=4f177
  h=www.example.com
  ip=2001:1900:2200:7525:749f:9ed1:444c:80b4
  ts=1562191016.292
  visit_scheme=https
  uag=Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_12_6) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML,
  like Gecko) Chrome/74.0.3729.157 Safari/537.36
  colo=SJC
  http=http/2
  loc=US
  tls=TLSv1.3
  sni=plaintext
  warp=off

If you don't observe similar output:

  1. Confirm your DNS record is orange-clouded in the Cloudflare DNS app,
  2. Enter your domain at ICANN WHOIS to confirm the Name Servers only list Cloudflare nameservers for your domain, or
  3. Contact Cloudflare Support.

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