What are the prerequisites to update my name servers at the Route 53 registrar?

4 minute read

I want to add or change name servers for my domain that's registered with Amazon Route 53. I want to complete the prerequisites to make sure that the domain is available.

Short description

When you update the name servers for your domain at the registrar level, your domain might become unavailable for a few days. Also, you might notice that the domain inconsistently resolves to different values from different systems. To minimize downtime and maximize your domain availability, complete the following steps before you change the name servers at the domain registrar:

  1. Configure the new hosted zone.
  2. Lower the Time to Live (TTL) value.
  3. Wait for the previous TTL value to expire.
  4. Update the name server (NS) record with your current DNS service provider.
  5. Increase the TTL value.


Configure the new hosted zone

Before you update name servers at the registrar, make sure that the new name servers have all the required records in their zone file.

To use Route 53 as a DNS service for your domain, create a hosted zone with all required records. For more information on how to use Route 53 as the DNS service, see Creating a public hosted zone. To use another DNS service for your domain, use your DNS provider's process to create the zones and required records.

Lower the TTL value

The TTL setting specifies the duration that DNS resolvers cache records and use cached information. After the TTL expires, the resolver sends another query to the DNS service provider for updated information. The default TTL setting for an NS record in Route 53 is 172,800 seconds (two days). If you don't lower the TTL, then your domain might be unavailable for up to two days.

To reduce the chance that you get a response from the old name server after the update, it's a best practice to lower the TTL value for the records. Also, if you encounter issues when you update the name servers, then a lower TTL value might reduce downtime for your domain.

Lower the TTL setting to the minimum value for the following records:

  • Current NS record in the currently used zone
  • New NS record in the newly created zone

If you use Route 53 for your DNS service, then see Lower TTL settings.

Wait for the previous TTL value to expire

If your domain is in use, then DNS resolvers cache the name servers. After a DNS resolver caches the name servers, the resolver saves the name servers for almost two days.

Some revolvers refer to old name servers and other resolvers refer to new name servers. To avoid discrepancy in answers after you lower the TTL, wait until the previous TTL value expires. When the previous TTL expires and the resolvers make a new request, the resolvers get the current name servers and the new TTL value.

Update the NS record with your current DNS service provider

To use the new name servers, update the NS record with your current DNS service provider. If you use Route 53 as your DNS service, then update the current DNS service provider with the Route 53 name servers.

Increase the TTL value

Monitor the traffic for your domain. After you confirm that DNS resolution works with the new name servers, increase the TTL value to a more common value. For example, set the value to 172,800 seconds (two days).

Update the name servers

After you complete all the preceding steps, update the name servers at the Rout 53 registrar.

AWS OFFICIALUpdated 8 months ago