What is Time to Live (TTL) and how can I lower it?

Lowering the Time to Live (TTL) can help you refresh DNS records more quickly. In this article, we’ll explain what TTL is and how to lower it in cPanel. 

What is Time to Live (TTL)?

Time to Live (TTL) is the length of time it takes for a domain’s DNS record information to refresh. This information could be the IP address associated with a domain, the mail server your emails should be directed to, or other information such as SPF security configuration.

To find out more about DNS configuration, check out our Knowledge Base article What is DNS?

TTL is configured in the cPanel Zone Editor. By default, DNS propagation (the time taken for DNS servers worldwide to update DNS records) is between 24-28 hours. However, if you wish to accelerate the update process when changing your DNS records, you can lower the TTL, starting the update process sooner.

How to lower the Time to Live in cPanel

  1. Log in to the HostPapa Dashboard.
  2. Select My cPanel from the top navigation menu. 

Select Zone Editor from the Domains section.


4. Select Manage to review your existing DNS Zone Records.

Zone Editor

5. By default, the TTL is set to 14400 seconds (four hours). You can see the Time to Live listed for each record in the TTL column. This means that if you change the DNS record, that change will go live after the TTL period.

TTL column

When making a change to an existing record (using Edit) or adding a new record (with +Add Record), it’s a good idea to set a low TTL – for example, 300 seconds (5 minutes).

Editing TTL

The benefit of reducing the TTL is that your changes will go live much more quickly. Some DNS servers around the Internet will have the previous four-hour expiries saved and will continue to use information from your last DNS record until that period has elapsed. 

With a lower TTL, your changes will be visible more quickly, and DNS servers will receive the record updates as soon as they re-check the DNS record. 

Once you’ve made your changes and they’ve cascaded across the Internet, you can choose to raise the TTL back to its default 14400 seconds if desired.

If you need help with your HostPapa account, please open a support ticket from your dashboard.

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