Sometimes, when moving a domain between Cloudflare accounts, the DNS records set up on the new account don’t work. When the previous company or account managing the website has a Cloudflare system that uses the Cloudflare API, it can cause this error to occur. Liberating the hostname and recreating and verifying the DNS records will allow you to fix this issue.
You can liberate your hostname from Cloudflare in 3 steps:
Step 1: Submit the hostname that is being held captive
On this page, liberate-the-hostname.pages.dev, there is a text box that allows you to submit the hostname that is being held captive.
Enter your website’s domain or hostname, and then click Submit.
You may need to submit both the apex domain and the www sub-domain in order for the hostname to be successfully liberated.
Hint: Your apex domain is example.com, while your sub-domain is www.example.com
Step 2: Verify the hostname
In order to successfully liberate the hostname, you will also need to verify it.
First, you’ll need to log in to Cloudflare and navigate to the DNS records page. Go to DNS > Records > Add record.
You will need to add a couple of DNS records and then click Save. Your hostname should be verified and then liberated in a couple of minutes.
Step 3: Delete the DNS records and point the hostname to the new provider
Once the hostname has been liberated, delete all of the DNS records that you added for verification. You can then point the hostname to the new provider.
The DNS issue should have now been resolved and your hostname will no longer be captive.
Checking the Status of the Hostname
Using the same site, liberate-the-hostname.pages.dev, you can enter your domain and check the status of your hostname liberation.
Pending: The hostname has not yet been verified. Add the required DNS records and wait.
Active: The hostname has been verified and will be liberated automatically. The hostname will only be in this state for a few minutes.
Liberated: The hostname has been successfully liberated and can be pointed to the new provider.