Help Center

WHOIS Domain Lookup

Find out who owns a website.

About GoDaddy WHOIS Search
What we can do for you.
GoDaddy WHOIS search is designed to help you by diving into the WHOIS database for information on domain registration and availability. It'll also provide you the owner, administrator and contact information, as well as other important information.
Domain Broker Service
Get the domain you really want, even if it's already owned.
That perfect domain you want — that's taken by someone else — could still be yours. A GoDaddy broker can work with the domain name registry to find and negotiate with the current owner to get the name for you.
Domain Privacy
Protect your personal information in WHOIS.
When you register a domain with us or any registrar, some of your info displays in the public WHOIS database. But add Privacy Protection and it doesn't — so you can rest easy knowing the world can't see it.


  • Who owns a domain name?

    A domain name can be legally owned or held by any person, entity or organization, also known as domain registrant.
  • What is the WHOIS database?

    The WHOIS domain database is a listing of all registered domains, and is regularly used for various legal purposes. Network administrators use the WHOIS lookup to identify and fix problems. For instance, WHOIS information can be used to check domain name availability, identify trademark infringement, and keep domain name registrants accountable. 

    WHOIS verification can even be utilized to combat spam or fraud, as administrators can track down registrants who post illegal content or participate in phishing scams. In addition, the agreements from the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) protects domain registrants by prohibiting the use of WHOIS listings for marketing or spam purposes, including high-volume, automated queries against a specific registrar or registry system (unless such queries are done with the intent to manage domain names). For more information on this, read our helpful guide to navigating WHOIS
  • How can I use the WHOIS Lookup Tool?

    Using the GoDaddy WHOIS lookup tool is easy. You can simply enter the domain name whose information you’d like to view into the search field on the WHOIS main page. You can retrieve key data about a domain in this way, including availability, domain owner lookup, and creation and expiration details. If you own multiple domains of your own, it can be helpful to download exportable lists from the tool in order to analyze large amounts of domains data. Our guide to prioritizing and valuing domain names can help you navigate how to best use and organize the information you download. 
  • How accurate is WHOIS data?

    Since registrants’ contact data can change, registrars such as GoDaddy must provide annual opportunities for domain owners to review and edit their WHOIS domain data. According to ICANN’s rules, refusing to update this information or providing false data can lead to the suspension or cancellation of domains. 

    In addition, ICANN allows internet users to file complaints if they discover WHOIS domain name lookup data that is incorrect or incomplete. In such instances, registrars must correct and verify the data in a timely manner. Through this verification protocol, ICANN seeks to maintain the highest possible level of accuracy. 
  • How do I update my WHOIS information?

    It’s easy to update your WHOIS contact information in the Domain Manager of your GoDaddy account. It’s only takes a few simple steps, and you can update all your contacts at once, or just one at a time. It’s important to always keep your contact information up to date, both to comply with ICANN regulations and to make certain you’re receiving WHOIS correspondence at the correct email address. 
  • What about my privacy?

    While ICANN’s agreements protect registrants from potential spam, many GoDaddy customers still express concern about their personal name, address, and phone number being so readily available online. For website owners who would prefer to keep such information private, GoDaddy offers Domain Privacy protection, so that when people do a simple WHOIS check on your domain, we replace your personal information with proxy information (check out the difference). When we do this, your domain name is still yours, but now people won’t be able to discover your personal information through a simple WHOIS lookup

    Furthermore, if you’re a web developer, you have an important obligation to your clients to offer them a complete sense of privacy and protection, no matter the scope of your project. We have some great tips on bolstering both privacy and security for your client base.  
  • Who’s in charge of the WHOIS database?

    The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is in charge of all things related to a WHOIS lookup. The organization launched in 1998 because the internet had grown to a point where a formal organization was necessary to handle all the maintenance and procedures involved with keeping the world online. 

    As of 2016, ICANN operates the WHOIS check free of oversight by any country and today exists as nonprofit corporation based in Los Angeles. ICANN is managed by a 16-member board with representation from all over the world. ICANN also receives input from numerous internet-related organizations, such as communications providers. 
  • Why’s it necessary to have a WHOIS database?

    The ability to find domain info quickly and accurately is important for a couple main reasons: 

    1. A WHOIS check is essential for people in the business of buying and selling domains. These individuals (called “domainers”) need a method of communication for their transactions. A WHOIS search will provide one or more methods for reaching the current owner of a web address. 

    2. The WHOIS database is a way to maintain accountability for people who operate online. For example, if you felt someone was using your trademarks on their website, the WHOIS database provides a number of ways to resolve that dispute.