I was looking some domains, and I got the result that a domain is already taken. I went to look on https://whois.icann.org and when I enter a domain I got this response:

The requested second-level domain was not found in the Registry or Registrar’s WHOIS Server.

How is this possible?

One of the rare whois databases that find this domain is http://www.whois.com/whois/

I thought that is like this, maybe because was registered at this moment, but no. It was regestered in 2008.

Why some whois databases cannnot find a domains and some do?

I also saw that whois.com displays the status as "Status: pendingDelete" for this particular domain. What does this mean? Is this the reason why some whois cannot find this domain?

If this is true, why I can't buy this domain? If a whois database cannt find the domain, then there is a way do but this particular domain, or?


Here is the record of one of whois that finds this domain: http://www.whois.com/whois/


Registration Date:2008-01-20

Expiration Date: 2017-01-20

Updated Date: 2017-03-23

Status: pendingDelete

Name Servers: dns10.parkpage.foundationapi.com

Whois Server: whois.PublicDomainRegistry.com

Referral URL: http://www.publicdomainregistry.com



Status: pendingDelete https://icann.org/epp#pendingDelete

Updated Date: 23-mar-2017

Creation Date: 20-jan-2008

Expiration Date: 20-jan-2017

Other whois (I tried 4-5 of them e.g. https://whois.icann.org ) does not find it in their records? Why? If there is not why I can't buy it?

  • What is the extension ? .com or something else ? pendingDelete indeed means that the domain name is going to be deleted (usually because it has expired). The whois record is usually empty at this stage.
    – Kate
    Mar 25, 2017 at 15:14
  • @Anonymous the extension is .com. When I search to but this domain, I get the response that that the domain is already in use, but just on 2 whois I found this domain. Other whois does not find it. Why it is like this? How is possible that whois does not find the domain? I thought that all whois are sync and display the same result.... At least should not be like this?
    – lucidBug
    Mar 25, 2017 at 15:33
  • You should post the whole record in your question, including the source you used. You can omit the actual domain name.
    – Kate
    Mar 25, 2017 at 15:51
  • @Anonymous I edited the question
    – lucidBug
    Mar 25, 2017 at 16:19

1 Answer 1


When a domain name expires, it goes through a defined process before it is deleted and becomes available for registration again.

The 3 phases are:

  1. grace period
  2. redemption period
  3. pending delete period

Grace period

The grace period depends from one registrar to another. (In this example the registrar is publicdomainregistry.com, where the domain name is registered. Examples of well-known registrars are Godaddy, Namecheap etc.).

The duration is between 0 (no grace period) and 45 days post-expiry.

Redemption period

The redemption period last 30 days. During that period, the domain name can still be redeemed by the original registrant. But this is an expensive operation. The domain name is removed from the master zone file and will stop resolving.


After the redemption period, the final stage is the pending delete phase, that lasts 5 days. At this point the domain name can no longer be

What we can tell from your example

The domain name expired on 20 January. The last Updated Date is: 2017-03-23. This should be the date when the status switched from redemption period to pending-delete. Accordingly, the domain name must have been in redemption status between 23 March and 21 February. We can deduce that the grace period was about 31 days or one month (between 20 January and 21 February).

The whois record contains information about the registrant, and it is pulled from the registrar. You are not seeing this information, because the registrar has purged the domain name from its database (since it's now out of their control).

The domain name should be released around 29 March when the pending delete phase is over. Of course it's not guaranteed you will be able to register it. Other people or 'dropcatchers' may be competing for the domain name you're after.

See: Icann - Life Cycle of a Typical gTLD Domain Name

  • perfect thanks! just one more thing. You wrote: "You are not seeing this information, because the registrar has purged the domain name from its database " - you are speaking about whois.icann.org ? So whois.icann.org deletes the domains from their register if they enter in the pending state? right? This mean that not all whois databases behave in the same way? right? since on some I can still see this domain (even if is in pending delete state)
    – lucidBug
    Mar 25, 2017 at 17:04
  • 1
    I am talking about the registrar (PUBLICDOMAINREGISTRY.COM). It is no longer showing data about the original registrant. What you are seeing is nothing more than information available from the registry. The registry (Verisign) holds the centralized database of .com domain names. Some sites may be showing cached whois data, that is not live and thus misleading. Icann merely sets the rules but is not involved in the process.
    – Kate
    Mar 25, 2017 at 17:13
  • @Anonymos , ok so some whois websites shows and some not the info available from the registry? right? so in my case one whois website shows the info and the other no (they apparenty igore it because it entered in the pending delete state)
    – lucidBug
    Mar 25, 2017 at 17:25

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