Private registration

When you buy a domain, you choose a privacy setting. This setting determines how much of the personal contact information that you provided when you registered your domain displays in a WHOIS lookup:
  • Privacy protection off: Provides some or all of your personal contact information
  • Privacy protection on: Does not provide your personal contact information

About privacy protection

Privacy protection helps you avoid spam and contact information abuse. With privacy protection on, when someone does a WHOIS lookup for your domain, they see alternative contact information provided by a third-party privacy provider. For example:

  • [encrypted_string][privacy_provider]

This alternative information acts as a passthrough, meaning that you still receive contacts and enquiries about your domain. The third-party provider forwards physical mail and email sent to the alternative addresses to your personal address. 

Using privacy protection means that you agree to the terms of service for your third-party provider: Tucows for domain endings where Google Domains is the registrar of record and Key Systems GmbH for domain endings where Key Systems is the registrar of record. To confirm your registrar of record, check the reference of domain ending details.

How to change your privacy setting

Some domain endings do not support privacy protection. To confirm if you can use private registration with your domain, check the reference of domain ending details.

You can change your privacy setting at any time. Follow these steps: 

  1. Open Google Domains.
  2. In the left-hand navigation menu, click My domains.
  3. Select the name of the domain whose privacy setting you want to change.
  4. Click the Settings tab and scroll to Privacy protection.
  5. Select a privacy option:
    • Privacy protection off (public registration).
    • Privacy protection on (private registration).

Public registration for .com and .net domains

Beginning 22 May, domains that end in .com and .net automatically redact (or hide) some registration information in WHOIS lookups, even if you're using public registration. By default, only the following information is shown:

  • Organisation name
  • County
  • Country  
In this scenario, WHOIS lookups do not provide a working email address. As a result, the domain owner can't receive contacts or enquiries about their registration. To enable people to contact you, consent to show all your information.

How to show all your information publicly

With .com and .net domains, you have the option to publish all of your information. Follow these steps:

  1. Change your privacy registration setting to Privacy protection off.
  2. Select Publish your info to WHOIS directory.
  3. Select I agree on the consent dialogue.
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