About WHOIS

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
  • Anonymised 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 expiry dates
  • Name servers and domain statuses
Information stored in the WHOIS database may or may not be published, based on the user's settings. The registry also controls which fields are displayed.

How to update your domain privacy settings

You can change your privacy settings at any time with these steps: 

  1. Sign in to Google Domains.
  2. Select the name of your domain.
  3. Open the menu Menu.
  4. Click Registration settings.
  5. Under Privacy protection, select one of the following:
    1. Privacy protection on to turn on privacy protection for your website.
    2. Privacy protection off  to turn off privacy protection for your website.

Note: In rare cases, like in an investigation of a dispute, you may not be able to update your contact information. 

How to look up information in WHOIS

You can use WHOIS to search for domain information in Google Domains by following these steps:

  1. Search for the domain in Google Domains.
  2. Click the Go to WHOIS page icon .

Note: If you see a green tick icon , it means that there's no match for the domain in the WHOIS database and it's available for registration.

If you want to see the anonymised email address of a domain name registrant in the WHOIS output for thick gTLDs, you need to query WHOIS directly against Google Domains' WHOIS Server. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Open a terminal on your computer.
  2. Use the following command to query against Domains' WHOIS Server, where example.app is the domain that you're querying[server]$ whois -h whois.google.com example.app
  3. If Domains is the registrar of record for the queried domain name, you'll see the WHOIS output. Otherwise, you'll see '% No entries found'.

Use the RDAP server to look up domains

As an alternative to WHOIS, you can use the Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP) to look up public domain contact info and make queries to the Domains server. RDAP includes support for internationalisation, secure access to data and the ability to provide differentiated access to registration data. Learn more about the benefits of utilising the RDAP server.

Tip: To learn how to make RDAP queries, take a look at our developer documentation.

Anonymised email address forwarding

If you turn on privacy protection or choose to limit the information that's available in WHOIS, an anonymised email address (e.g. obrs8XXXlje@proxyregistrant.email) may be shown in WHOIS to let people contact you about your domain. 

Note: If you turn privacy off for a thick gTLD, Domains returns an anonymised email in WHOIS.

The ways in which people can contact you depend 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 will forward emails sent to the anonymised email address on to the WHOIS email address that you provided.
  • If Google Domains is your registrar of record, Contact Privacy will forward emails to you only if they're submitted via the https://contactprivacy.email website.

If you choose to limit the information that's available in WHOIS, messages sent to the anonymised email address are forwarded to the contact email address that you provided when you registered.

You don't need to do anything to set up the anonymised email address or email forwarding. To view your anonymised email address, look it up in WHOIS. The anonymised email address for each domain is dynamic and may change every 5–30 days to minimise spam.

Proxy contact information for .com and .net domains

If you have a domain that ends with .com or .net and choose to show limited contact information in WHOIS, Google generally provides a proxy email address for your domain, like obrs8XXXlje@proxyregistrant.email. If someone wants to contact you about your domain, they can reach you via that email address.

WHOIS and proxy contact information for ccTLDs

ccTLDs may have different requirements and policies for the provision of registration contact information and the use of proxy contact information. For specific ccTLD policies, including the use of proxy contact information, see our overview of supported domain endings.

Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?