How to recover a domain name registered to someone else?


New Member
Hi all,

I own and run an online forum, lets call it Anyway, a few years back, one of my members purchased the domain name and directed the domain at my site. We had this arrangement up until recently, when something happened and now the version no longer resolves to anything.

I have attempted to contact this person to buy the domain name off them, however they have not been returning my emails.

I need to fix this problem and would like to somehow gain ownership of the domain name - what can I do?

Thanks in advance.

If you are not the registrant of the domain, I think there is nothing much you can do. You can keep trying to contact the current owner like you have been. You can check if the has expired or is about to expire and see if you can register it under your own name.

I don't think there is much point contacting the .au registry for help as they will probably say that you are not the registrant and have no rights to it. You made a private arrangement with the other domain owner so they will not be able to do much for you.

Check whois info for the domain and see if there is a valid phone contact which you can call and talk to the owner personally. If there is a different email address listed there, try emailing to that address. You can also try to send snail mail to the mailing address listed assuming it is valid.

You should carry on promoting your forum with your own .com domain in the meantime and not depend on the domain for now.
Cheers for your reply. I've attempted to contact the registrant by every means - even asked the registrar if they had any alternate contact details but to no avail.

What annoys me is that the name isn't even resolving to anything - so the registrant is obviously no longer using the name or has forgotten about it.

I tried to find out when it is due to expire, but the whois info doesn't list a date. It does show that it was last modified Dec 23 2009. So obviously someone knows about it and made some changes in December last year?

Very frustrating.
I guess the lesson here is never to let anyone else own a domain that is critical to your business. Presumably your site is still working with the .com domain?

Usually the WhoIs info is pretty comprehensive, listing mailing address, phone number and email. Have you tried all those options?
Hi Tim,

I can understand your frustration with this but, really, what can any of us do if someone else buys a domain with the same name as ours but a different extension and then redirects it to ours? Not a damn thing, anyone can do it.

But now that they have removed that redirect (for whatever reason) the question is will the people that were previously using that redirect continue to visit. I would say that if your content proved valuable to them they most certainly will. There might be a couple who are not able to figure out how to get there but I will bet that the majority are more than savvy enough :)

Now if you want to try to take over their domain and they have refused all contact about all you can do is determine when their registration will expire. Now you have done a whois for the domain and said that there is no expiration date listed. Most likely that is because you performed the whois from another registrar and sometimes not all the information comes through when you do this but it should point you to who their registrar is and then you simply go to that registrar's website and do a whois from there. Once you have determined when it will expire many registrars will allow you to put in a request for a domain that is still active (can do this from your own registrar so long as they support the extension) and then when it expires if the owner does not re-register it you will have it.

Not much help I know but there isn't much that anyone can give.