Custom domain - A DNS zone already exists on NS1

Hi, @mjsorribas. The error means a DNS zone already exists at NS1 and because of this we cannot create one ourselves. Many other services use NS1 -for example, last I checked Squarespace used them as well.

The error doesn’t tell us what other account created the DNS zone at NS1. You will need to look for places you entered this domain with other services and remove it there. Similarly, you might try contacting NS1 directly to ask them what account created the DNS zone.

In the meantime, you can also use the external DNS instructions above to connect the domain to Netlify. This doesn’t rely on NS1 and can be used while you work on resolving that issue.

If there are other questions, please let us know.

Hi @perry I am going through this same process (domain already purchased from, and I am stuck because I still cannot get the automatic SSL/TLS certificate with Let’s Encrypt with Netlify. Could it be because the only difference is that documentation specifies one more step: Adding a new Nameserver? Or this step it is not necessary?

Everything is working now, got the SSL/TLS certificate finally. My two cents on the case of a domain already purchased from and the process to use it with Netlify:

  • Netlify’s doc site has everything to set the process (custom domains - DNS zone already exists on NS1). But I also needed the how-to and I found it here in the forum;
  • I followed all the steps @perry explained (kudos to him!), and, as specified I had to contact the support team for this issue. They answered fast, deleting the zone on the backend. So keep in mind that this is a step to cover for this process;
  • Regarding Netlify’s nameservers, I don’t understand why that step is not covered before (Delete all previous nameserves and just right after adding the ones pointing to Netlify);
  • In any case, once you add the new Netlify’s nameservers the process is smooth and fast.

Good luck!

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@luke I am experiencing the same issue atm and I couldn’t resolve it via support ticket. I’d be really happy if you could remove the “phantom” DNS zone for me please.

Hi, @domainexpert-xyz. I can check to see if this is the same issue or not … once you tell us the domain name. :wink:

You can post that information publicly or you can private message (PM) that to one of our support staff. I’ve confirmed that PMs are enabled for your community login. Please keep in mind that only one person can see the PM and this will likely mean a slower reply than posting the information publicly. Please feel free to reply to however you prefer though.