This article provides an overview of:
  • What’s in the WHOIS database
  • How to update your domain privacy settings
  • How to perform a WHOIS lookup
  • Anonymized email address forwarding

What’s in the WHOIS database

The WHOIS database stores information about domains such as the following:
  • Registration contact information for registrant, admin, and technical contacts
  • Sponsoring registrar
  • Creation, update, and expiration dates
  • Name servers and domain statuses

Tip: Info stored in the WHOIS database may or may not be published, based on user settings. The registry also controls which fields are displayed.

How to update your domain privacy settings

You can change whether your domain contact info is publicly available. Sometimes, like during a dispute investigation, you may not be able to change your contact info.

  1. On your computer, sign in to Google Domains.
  2. Select the name of your domain.
  3. Open the Menu Menu.
  4. Click Registration settings.
  5. Turn “Privacy protection” on or off.

How to find contact info in WHOIS

You can get domain contact info in the WHOIS database.

  1. In Google Domains, search for the domain.
  2. Under “Results,” click More options.
  3. Click Find out who owns this domain.

Tip: If there’s no match for the domain in the WHOIS database, next to the name, you can find a Green check that indicates it’s available for registration.

Thick & thin domain registries

ICANN classifies domain registries as “thin” or “thick” based on how much info is in the domain’s WHOIS entry. “Thin” entries, such as .com and .net, return only technical data about the domain. “Thick” entries, such as .info or .biz, include detailed contact and administrative info. Learn more about thin and thick entries.

Anonymized email address forwarding

If you don’t want to show your email address on WHOIS, Google Domains may provide an anonymized email address to people who want to contact you about your domain. This anonymized email address every 1–2 days to minimize spam.

Any emails this address gets are forwarded to the contact email address you provided when you registered. However, if you respond using your real email address, the reply comes from your real email rather than the proxy email.

Situations that use an anonymized email address include:

  • If your privacy protection is turned on
  • If you have a thick domain registry, whether your privacy protection is on or off

How people can contact you depends on your registrar of record. To find out who your registrar of record is, check the list of domain endings:

  • If Key Systems is your registrar of record, WhoisProxy takes emails sent to the anonymized email address and forwards them to the WHOIS email address you provided.
  • If Google Domains is your registrar of record, Google Domains forwards emails to you only if they’re submitted via https://domains.google.com/contactregistrant.

Any messages sent to the anonymized email address are forwarded to the contact email address that you provided when you registered.

These anonymized email addresses, or email forwarding, get automatically set up by Google Domains. To view your anonymized email address, find it in WHOIS. The anonymized email address for each domain changes every 1–2 days to minimize spam.

Proxy contact info for gTLDs

If your domain name ending has 3 or more letters and you choose to turn on privacy protection, Google generally provides a temporary proxy email address for your domain, like “obrs8XXXlje@proxyregistrant.email.”

WHOIS & proxy contact info for ccTLDs

ccTLDs may have different requirements and policies for the provision of registration contact info and how they use registered or proxy contact info. For specific ccTLD policies, such as the use of proxy contact info, go to our overview of supported domain endings.

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