What are zone data and zone files?

Each Top Level Domain (TLD) is maintained by a registry operator, who also manages a publicly available list of Second Level Domains (SLDs) and the details needed to resolve those domain names to Internet Protocol (IP) addresses.

The registry operator’s zone data contains the mapping of domain names, associated name server names, and IP addresses for those name servers. These details are updated by the registry operator for its respective TLDs whenever information changes or a domain name is added or removed.

Each registry operator keeps its zone data in a text file called the Zone File which is updated once every 24 hours.

Who needs access to the zone data?

Zone file access provides anticrime organizations, businesses, cybersecurity professionals, law enforcement, and researchers with a means to download the entire zone file "in bulk." These organizations apply the bulk zone data to combat phishing, spam, brand and trademark infringements, and other malicious uses of domains.

What is the Centralized Zone Data System (CZDS)?

Prior to the introduction of the New gTLD Program, interested parties who wanted access to zone files would have to submit an individual paper application with each TLD registry operator and enter into a legal agreement with them.

However, the number of registry operators dramatically increased after the first round of new gTLDs were delegated, so the ICANN Community requested a centralized zone data platform to help interested parties more easily enter into agreements with the growing number of registry operators. More details can be found in the archives of the Zone File Advisory Group.

ICANN created the Centralized Zone Data Service to simplify the process of requesting zone data and entering into individual and standardized agreements with the registries that provide TLD Zone Files.

How does CZDS work?

ICANN begins the daily collection of zone files from the registry operators at 00:00 UTC, and the process takes no more than 6 hours. This means that all updated zone files are available for download from CZDS after 06:00 UTC. End users of CZDS can freely download each of the latest available zone files once their access request has been approved by the registry operator of the TLD.

Zone files are updated once per day starting at 00:00 UTC, so an end user of CZDS should only download each TLD zone file a maximum of once per 24-hour period.

How can I access zone data through CZDS?

To obtain access to zone files, you must first create ICANN Account credentials and complete your end user profile in CZDS. You are required to provide: organization name, contact name, address, telephone number, facsimile number, email address and IP address, and agree to the Terms of Use of the service. All information must be verifiable by the registry operator, and failure to provide all required details may result in your zone file request being denied.

Once you have an ICANN Account and a CZDS profile, you may request access to the zone file(s) for one or more TLD(s) via the CZDS portal. When creating a new request, you can provide a reason for your request, and you must accept the registry operator’s Terms and Conditions.

As TLD zone data is public, there may be alternate methods available to obtain individual zone data or zone files from registry operators. However, CZDS provides a single portal for end users to download zone files in bulk from multiple registries.

How do I create a CZDS account?

Navigate to and click the Create a New Account button.

  1. Create an ICANN Account. Fill out the "Create an ICANN Account" form and click Create Account. An activation email will be sent from Check your spam filter if you do not see the email in your inbox within a few minutes. The email contains a link to create your password, which may only be used once and expires in 48 hours.

    Note: The email address you use to create your account becomes your permanent username for the CZDS service.

  2. Activate Account. Clicking on the activation link in the email you receive will direct you to a password creation page. Make sure your password adheres to all the requirements and click Activate Account.

  3. Sign in to your Account. Once you have successfully activated your account, sign in again and you will be directed to your ICANN Account application selection screen. Click the Launch button below the CZDS icon to continue.

  4. Complete User Profile. You should have landed on a CZDS Profile Information page. Complete all applicable fields, including any required fields (marked with an asterisk): Organization Name, Address, City, Country Code, Contact Phone, Contact Fax.

    Note: Ensure that all your credentials can be validated. If a registry operator cannot verify your credentials your request has a higher possibility of being denied. For example, if your address and phone number cannot be verified, your request may be rejected.

    Acknowledge the privacy statement using the check box, and click Next to Terms of Use.

  5. Terms of Use. You must read and accept the CZDS Terms of Use to proceed. Click the check box, press Submit, and you will be taken to your CZDS dashboard.


This is your landing page, which provides a listing of all TLD access requests that you have made in the past and the current status of those requests. The first time you visit your dashboard, it will be empty because you have not created any requests yet. Your requests will populate into your dashboard as you submit them.

Click the different status buttons to quickly filter your requests:

All – View all TLD requests
Pending – Any TLD requests that are awaiting approval
Approved – Approved TLD requests
Denied – Rejected TLD requests
Revoked – Rescinded TLD requests
Expired – Previously approved TLD requests that have expired
Canceled – All TLD requests canceled by you

Search by TLD – Quickly filter within your list of requests by typing the first few letters of a TLD name. Click the magnifying glass icon to initiate the filter.

Dashboard Columns

Click the heading for each column to sort it (ascending or descending).

TLD – the name of the TLD that you have requested access to. Clicking on the TLD name will show you a more detailed record of that request.

Status – reflects the current status of each request.

Last Status Change – when the record was updated. Usually this is when the registry has taken action.

Expiration Date – once approved, date that access to that TLD zone file expires. After the request has expired, you must re-request access to the TLD zone file.

Request Date – date that you requested access to the TLD zone file.

Download – once approved, the blue Download button will be enabled allowing you to retrieve the TLD zone file directly from the dashboard. You can also download the TLD zone file from the request detail screen, or via an API.

Note: You are permitted to download each zone file just once every 24 hours, as stated in the registry Terms and Conditions.

Create New Request

  1. Click Create New Request.

    • Select the desired TLD(s) and enter the reason for requesting access. Click Next.

    • If the TLD requires you to download the zone files via SFTP, you will be prompted to enter your IP address on the next screen. Otherwise you will be directed to the Terms and Conditions screen.

    • You must read and accept the registry operator Terms and Conditions to proceed.

      Note: The Terms and Conditions are the zone file agreement between you and the TLD registry operator. Every time you create a new TLD access request, you must agree to the registry Terms and Conditions. This is because different TLDs may be maintained by different registries that you do not already have an agreement with.

  2. Click the check box, then click Request Zone Files.

  3. A summary confirmation screen for your TLD requests is displayed.

  4. Click Back to Dashboard to navigate to your dashboard.

  5. In the dashboard you will see your TLD request listing and its status. When you first submit a request, you may see an initial status of "Submitted", which will change to "Pending", "Approved" or "Denied" as the request is processed by CZDS and the registry operator.

Download all Requests

Click Download All Requests to download a .CSV file containing the listing of all available TLDs and the current status of your requests. This file contains a full listing of all TLDs, including the TLD requests shown on your dashboard and other TLDs you have not yet requested access to.

TLD Access Requests

Click on a TLD name in your dashboard to view the details of a specific TLD access request.

Request Status
This section displays the current status of this TLD access request.

Zone Data Files
A blue button labeled Download zone file will be displayed in this section once your request has been approved by the registry operator. Click the button to download the current zone file for this TLD.

Note: You are permitted to download each zone file just once every 24 hours, as stated in the registry Terms and Conditions.

Request Details
This section includes the details of the request such as the TLD name, the original reason you provided for requesting access, your recorded IP address, applicable request record dates, and a link to the Terms and Conditions that you agreed to when making the request.

This section displays the historical status updates for the request.

Access Extension Request

While viewing the details of a TLD access request in "Approved" status, if the expiration date is within 30 days or less, click the blue button labeled Request Extension next to the expiration date in the Request Details section, and then click Yes in the confirmation window. The option to request an access extension will not be available if the current TLD access expiration date is more than 30 days in the future, if the request is not in "Approved" status, or if an extension request was submitted and is still pending review.

Upon approval by the registry operator, the expiration date of your access request will be extended for another period. If the registry operator does not approve the access extension request before the original expiration date, the access will expire normally.

Cancel Access Request

While viewing the details of a TLD access request in "Pending" status, you have the option to cancel the request. Click on the Cancel Request button next to the request status, and then click Yes in the confirmation window.

Please note that if you submit a new access request after canceling a prior request for the same TLD, the system will not allow you to cancel the new request on the same day.

Settings Icon

The settings icon in the blue bar in upper right-hand corner of the screen (next to your name) allows you to view and/or change details of your account. Below is a description of each section in the drop-down menu under settings.

  • Account Information
    • Account Details
      These are your ICANN Account settings. By clicking Edit you can:
      • Change your Email Address.
      • Change your First Name.
      • Change your Last Name
      • Change your Recovery Email Address.
      • Change your Password.

      Note: Your Username is how ICANN uniquely identifies you and cannot be changed.

      From this same screen you have the option of deleting your ICANN Account or CZDS profile and all associated data. Note: performing either of these actions will permanently erase your CZDS account and your zone file requests.

    • Profile Details
      These are your CZDS Profile settings. By clicking Edit you can:
      • Change your Organization Name.
      • Change your Address details.
      • Change your Phone Number.
      • Change your Fax Number.
      • Add/remove SFTP IP Addresses.
    • Terms of Use
      This is a link to the latest Terms of Use you have agreed to. Note: if the Terms of Use are revised you will be asked to agree to them again when you next login.
    • Notifications
      • CZDS email communication preferences.
      • By default, you will receive email notifications when the status(es) of your requests change(s). You can opt out by clicking Edit, unchecking the check box, and clicking Save Change.

    Sign Out – Signs you out of the CZDS portal, but you will still be logged into your ICANN Account. Click the settings icon again in the upper right-hand corner and select Sign Out again to be signed out of your ICANN Account.

    Note: your CZDS login credentials are maintained while you are logged into your ICANN Account. So, if you click the CZDS Launch button from the ICANN Account application selection screen you will be logged back into CZDS and taken directly to your dashboard.


The REPORTS tab provides a historical list of downloadable monthly reports in .CSV format that show the number of active CZDS users per TLD. These reports are published on the final day of every month at UTC±00:00 and can be accessed whether you are logged in to CZDS or not. Click on the applicable link to download the report for the month you are interested in viewing.


The HELP tab is where this help section is located within CZDS.

CZDS Application Programming Interface (API)

CZDS provides interested parties that have approved access with the ability to programmatically download zone files via an API. The CZDS API specification, along with a reference implementation and related information, can be found at

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