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Set up a partial (CNAME) zone

A partial (CNAME) setup allows you to use Cloudflare’s reverse proxy while maintaining your primary and authoritative DNS provider.

Use this option to proxy only individual subdomains through Cloudflare’s global network when you cannot change your authoritative DNS provider.

​​ Add your domain to Cloudflare

  1. Create a Cloudflare account and add your domain.

  2. For your Plan, choose Business or Enterprise.

  3. Continue through the onboarding steps, ignoring the instructions to change your nameservers.

  4. On the Overview page, select Convert to CNAME DNS Setup.

  5. Select Convert to confirm.

  6. Save the information from the Verification TXT Record. If you lose the information, you can also access it by going to DNS > Records > Verification TXT Record.

​​ Verify ownership for your domain

Once you add your domain to Cloudflare, add the Verification TXT Record at your authoritative DNS provider. Cloudflare will verify the TXT record and send a confirmation email. This can take up to a few hours.

Example verification record

A verification record for might be:


That record must remain in place for as long as your domain is active on the partial setup on Cloudflare.

​​ Provision an SSL certificate

To provision a Universal SSL certificate through Cloudflare, follow these instructions.

If your domain is already live with a partial (CNAME) setup — with Cloudflare or another DNS provider — you cannot use a TXT record for Domain Control Validation. That domain’s TXT record needs to be reserved for forwarding traffic to Cloudflare.

​​ Add DNS records

  1. In Cloudflare, add an A, AAAA, or CNAME record.

  2. At your authoritative DNS provider:

    1. Remove any existing A, AAAA, or CNAME records on the hostname you want to proxy to Cloudflare.

    2. Add a CNAME record for {your-hostname}

      Example CNAME record at authoritative DNS provider

      The CNAME record for would be: CNAME
    3. Repeat this process for each subdomain proxied to Cloudflare.