Community Tip - Fixing “Pending Nameserver Update”

Error
Try the suggestions in this Community Tip to help you troubleshoot “Pending Nameserver Update”.

Background
When you sign up directly with Cloudflare, you’re assigned two name servers, they’ll look something like:
tim.ns.cloudflare.com
shannon.ns.cloudflare.com

Once we confirm the name server change, you’ll see a message on the overview tab of your Cloudflare dashboard that indicates the change was successful and Cloudflare is protecting your site. Until that happens, you’ll see a message that reads “Pending Nameserver Update”.

Quick Fix Ideas

  1. There are no name servers listed on the DNS tab of your Cloudflare dashboard. You have signed up for Cloudflare via a partner and you do not need to change your name servers to Cloudflare name servers. You also will not see the “Pending Nameserver Update”, rather you’ll see a message on your DNS tab that reads something like “Your DNS zone file is hosted by a Cloudflare partner. Changes to your DNS settings must be made through the partner website.”

  2. You changed your name servers with your hosting provider but not with your domain registrar. That change will have no effect, name server changes must be done with your registrar. See this article for details on how to change your name servers at popular registrars.

  3. You changed name servers with your registrar but DNSSEC is enabled on the domain. DNSSEC needs to be removed before the migration to Cloudflare nameservers can be completed. Once complete, you can reenable DNSSEC in Cloudflare. Use the Verisign Labs DNSSEC tool or $ whois example.com from a terminal window to determine if DNSSEC is active on your domain. If using whois, look for following details to determine if DNSSEC is active:

   DNSSEC: signedDelegation
   DNSSEC Data: 
  1. Your name servers were set to Cloudflare; after you transferred your domain to Cloudflare Registrar the name servers changed to non-Cloudflare. Sometimes, the registrar you’re leaving changes your name servers to their default. The solution is to contact Cloudflare Support and ask them to change your nameservers.

  2. You changed your name servers with your domain registrar but still see the pending message. Verify that you entered the Cloudflare name servers correctly and that there are no extra characters, trailing spaces, n instead of m, and no hard-to-see | or l characters.

  3. You changed your name servers to Cloudflare, but they are showing as the incorrect Cloudflare name servers. The domain is a European domain and subject to EU regulations.

  4. Your domain is susupended with a message of clientHold. According to icann, “This status code tells your domain’s registry to not activate your domain in the DNS and as a consequence, it will not resolve. It is an uncommon status that is usually enacted during legal disputes, non-payment, or when your domain is subject to deletion.” To determine the status of your domain, use same whois command from Quick Fix Idea #3: $ whois example.com and look for the Domain Status detail:

Domain Status: clientHold https://icann.org/epp#clientHold

  1. You successfully added your Cloudflare name servers with your domain registrar but the zone is still pending. You added the Cloudflare name servers correctly but left non-Cloudflare name servers in place. Remove the non-Cloudflare name servers.

  2. It may be a timing issue, it can take as long as 24 hours for name server changes to be seen by our system.

  3. Your name servers show as the incorrect Cloudflare name servers. You have multiple Cloudflare accounts and added the zone to one account but changed the name servers to those assigned to your other Cloudflare account. Make sure you add your zone to Cloudflare and then change your name servers to those assigned in that account for that zone.

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Background Resources
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Research The Issue
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If You Need More Help
This community of other Cloudflare users may be able to assist you, if not, login to Cloudflare and then contact Cloudflare Support. When you contact support, make sure to include as much of this information as possible: the specific error message you are seeing, the URLs this is happening on, screen shot of the error, steps to reproduce the error, and HAR file(s). Please indicate which of the Quick Fix Ideas you’ve tried in order to help Customer Support help you.

Expert Comments Appreciated
This Community Tip will remain open for input from Community experts and those familiar with this issue. We really appreciate comments like: “What are the three things to always try”, or “Do this first” or “In my experience”.

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