A domain I want is in the "pendingDelete" stage according to WHOIS.

I have been monitoring it since "redemptionPeriod", and it entered into pendingDelete five days ago today.

After checking a few services (SnapNames, etc), they report it is scheduled to drop on the 11th (7 days, by my calculations), but I'm not quite sure what to believe.

The domain isn't highly valuable. It is only valuable to me and one other company. I can see no backorders placed on the big name sites, so I'm thinking of trying to get it without a backorder service.

Any insight as to when it will actually drop? I've read 11AM-2PM PST, but I'm unsure.

  • It's depend on Registrar. I'm monitoring a domain, it was be "pendingdelete" status more than 5 days. See this image
    – Ha Noi
    Commented Jun 17, 2017 at 8:17

4 Answers 4


The Process:

The exact drop time varies by registry - from 30 to 60 days. It can take up to 75 days for the domain to actually drop. Contact the registrar to find out what their hold time is.

The domain will stay in pendingDelete for about 5 days. There is no set time for when a domain is dropped, though it does appear to start in the 11am-2pm PST (2pm - 5pm EST).

The domain finally dropped around 3:44 EST. The domain started with a C, so I thought that a bit late.

The domain was registered almost instantly by HugeDomains - a company that squats thousands of domains to resell at exorbitant prices ($1,200+).

Moral of the story: Back-order through a reputable company - multiple ones if you can.

The cost of back-ordering is much better than missing the domain all together. Auctions are rare, but even then, it's usually worth it.

[ Extra Data ]

I did an experiment tracking the status of several expiring domains over 3 days. The short version is: *if you search outside of the WHOIS Database, your domain is significantly more likely to be purchased by a competitor (i.e., reseller).**

Searching using only the WHOIS Internic does not guarantee others will not purchase the domain, but from the data I collected, the few that were purchased were registered with the intent to be used (not squatted) by parties far after the domain expired and became available again.

  • I agree about "if you search outside of the WHOIS Database...". But is it the same as whois command in Linux shell or this site is more basic DB without mediators? I found that whois command displays info with delay - the domain can be alread free for registration but whois still shows pending delete. If I try to register via registrar, I guess info that domain is free will be available (while whois still displays old status until next update).
    – i486
    Commented Jun 17, 2023 at 10:29

This Image will help you on domain process of preregistration and renewal

This Image will help you on domain process of preregistration and renewal

See more : https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/gtld-lifecycle-2012-02-25-en

  • This is all true... but only for gTLDs. ccTLDs can be similar but no guarantees. The RGP and pendingDelete periods can also vary in length, and they are not strict by the second, like deletion being 5 days but don't expect the domain to be purged by the registry exactly at the 5 days mark second for second for various technical and business reasons. Commented Apr 22, 2022 at 14:11
  • @PatrickMevzek if you have any monitoring system to keep checking whois of that domain every 15 seconds then you can get correct deletion time.
    – Shiv Singh
    Commented Apr 22, 2022 at 15:57
  • Absolutely not true. First you have no guarantee that whois is updated in real time. None, whatsoever. And even if it is, you will get very quickly rate limited if you query it so often. Then you have the difficulty of properly parsing whois content, which is free form. You should at least invest time in learning about RDAP here, which is the better successor of whois. Some domains can appear as reserved in whois. Then, whois is not an "availability check tool". It may be the closest thing to such, as available publicly, but it is not. You can NOT compete with registrars having EPP API. Commented Apr 22, 2022 at 17:16
  • if you want to go with Availability then i suggest you to use resellerclub API i am using it for WHMCS billing sytem : manage.india.resellerclub.com/kb/servlet/KBServlet/faq1189.html
    – Shiv Singh
    Commented Apr 22, 2022 at 17:31
  • There is no need to advertise any specific company. Any good registrar has an API and could be used for availability checks. Anyone can choose the one more suited for its own needs. Commented Apr 22, 2022 at 19:56

Register Compass has details about the pending delete status. Their information concurs with what you have read.

The deletion period lasts only 5 days. On the last day of this period, typically between 11am and 2pm Pacific Time that domain name will be completely dropped from the ICANN database. Once this happens anyone is free to register that domain name.

Here is a forum where there is discussion about getting a domain that will soon be dropped. Multiple posters suggest using a back order service. They suggest SnapNames or GoDaddy. Here is a tutorial on backording that suggests getting in on an auction before the domain actually drops.


It's best to contact the registrar about their specific holding time policy, as this might vary. However, it's also not a very reliable method to just wait for a domain registration to expire. You competition is not other individuals, but resellers who quickly grab these expiring domains and sell them at a huge price increase.

Like kcdwayne has already said, it's an excellent idea then to find a reputable company that can do back-orders for you. What this does is it places you on a waiting list along with others that may have interest in the domain. You might need to participate in an auction for it, but it's better than losing it automatically to a reseller. The price might also be higher than what it was initially.

I don't have much experience with that so I can't recommend a good service, however, you can check out reviews online.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.