The DNS record types of NETLIFY and NETLIFYv6 are special “alias” record within Netlify DNS. They will return the IP addresses for the closest CDN nodes based on the IP address of the system making the DNS lookup.
These records cannot be deleted unless they are unlocked by our support team first. If you want to delete some of these records, please create a new topic here in the Admin category and our support team will unlock them. (Please remember to include the domain name you would like to have unlocked in the new topic.)
three key points
- These records are locked by default and can be unlocked by our support team.
- These records only connect domain names to IP addresses.
- These records do not control which site the domain name is linked to (if any).
Note, you will only have NETLIFYv6 records if you enabled IPv6 support for your domain - something which is optional. Going forward in this guide, I’m going to just call them “NETLIFY type records” but, when I write this, I mean both “NETLIFY and NETLIFYv6 type records”.
#1: these records are locked
If you delete the site that the domain is linked to, it won’t delete these records. If someone tries to visit the domain they will get a 404 “Not found” page because there is no site. This was considered better than the alternative - that alternative being a DNS lookup failure. To summarize, a 404 was considered better than a DNS error.
There is an important behavior of these NETLIFY type records. These records will block the creation of any A, AAAA, and CNAME records for the same domain name. Also, these NETLIFY records cannot be deleted by default. (This might change as there is a feature request to always make these editable.)
As mentioned above, our support team can unlock these records to allow you to delete them. If you want to have this done for your domain, please make a new topic in the #admin category telling us what domain should be unlocked. (If you want to private message the domain name to us, please let us know. We’ll make sure private messaging is enabled but also note that this might delay the response.)
Once the records are deleted you will be able to create the A, AAAA, or CNAME record to replace the deleted records if you choose to.
#2: these records only connect the domain names to IP addresses
The records will return an IPv4 IP address for NETLIFY type records and IPv6 address for NETLIFYv6 records.
Many different IP addresses will be returned if repeated requests are made and this is normal. The different IP addresses point to different CDN nodes. Almost all locations will have multiple CDN nodes handling requests for that geographic area. So you can, will, and should get more then one IP address if you make repeated lookups for the same NETLIFY type record.
#3: these records don’t control the site shown
The record value will show the name of the first site the domain is linked to. This value doesn’t change if domain name is moved to a new site or if the original site is deleted.
The DNS record values don’t update currently because they don’t technically need to. The value doesn’t control anything related to the site and is cosmetic only. However, there is a feature request to change this behavior as this is a common source of confusion.
As mentioned above, if you delete the domain from all sites, the DNS record will still exist. Also, if you move a domain name to a new site, the value will show the original site. It will show the original site name regardless of how many times you move it or, again, even if the original site is deleted entirely. You can move the domain to a new site and the NETLIFY/NETLIFYv6 record will still show the first site it was added to, a site which might not even exist anymore. (Did I mention the feature request to change this?)
Why doesn’t the value update? Again, it probably should. To answer the “why not” question, it is because of point two above - these records only connect to IP addresses. Historically, these records were not updated because it wasn’t strictly necessary. Again, the domain name in the value isn’t served and is only cosmetic.
Finally, I want to answer a question some of you might have, which is:
- What does control which site is shown for a domain name?
The setting which controls the site shown for a specific domain name is in the site settings, not the DNS settings. It is the setting: Site Name > Settings > Domain management > Custom domains. This is known as the “custom domain” setting for the site.
So, for a domain to point to a site, there are two requirements:
- The domain name must point to an IP address at Netlify (which is what these NETLIFY records do).
- The domain name must be added as a “custom domain” under the site settings.
The site shown for a domain name is controlled completely by the site custom domain setting and not the DNS records. Again, the DNS records point to IP addresses and nothing else.
I hope this clarifies the (admittedly confusing) details about the NETLIFY type DNS records.
Again, to have these records unlocked, please open a new topic in #admin for the fastest response (and don’t post below).
Do post below, however, if you have questions about this support guide or these record types in general!