cPanel Says the Subdomain Cannot be Removed. but it can!

While assigning a new add-on domain to Bluehost I came across this problem. When you sign up with Bluehost (and I suspect any other cPanel hoster) your account is associated with a primary domain (the first one you signed up with).  If you then add additional domains to your account cPanel decides to add subdomains to your primary domain. Like this: (Primary cPanel domain) (Domain you added to cPanel) (subdomain added by cPanel - yeah thanks for that?!)

This is really bad for SEO because you end up with 2 different domains pointing to the same content.  If you try to remove it using the cPanel Subdomains tool it throws this error:

There was a problem removing the subdomain.
Sorry, the subdomain “someothersite” cannot be removed because it is
linked to the addon domain “”.  You must first remove the addon domain.

What? why? Ok whatever. To get rid of this unwanted subdomain you need to use the “Advanced DNS Zone Editor”.

After you delete the subdomain record you’ll still see the subdomain listed in in the subdomains tool.  You won’t be able to get rid of it from there, however it will be gone from the DNS system so it won’t be accessible or crawlable by Google.

I do want to make it clear that this isn’t a problem specific to Bluehost – it’s a cPanel issue.  I actually really like Bluehost.  If you’re looking for hosting I really recommended them. This blog is hosted with them and it just works! Unlike other hosters which I’ve found to be painfully slow.

So go over and check them out!

Take that cPanel!

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9 Responses to cPanel Says the Subdomain Cannot be Removed. but it can!

  1. BrightLink April 21, 2018 at 12:15 am #

    Thanks for the information!

  2. cliaweb October 29, 2015 at 2:32 am #

    thanks for information 🙂

  3. family nurse practitioner salary November 13, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

    Hello! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard against hackers?
    I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked
    hard on. Any tips?

  4. Mark August 2, 2013 at 5:46 pm #

    The DNS Zone Editor’s interface has since changed.

    Could you please be a bit more specific about which record needs to be deleted? I have 3 records that fall under the criteria of “A” and “14400”; “@”, “localhost”, and “mail”. Is this no longer possible?


  5. Free Games Kids' Zone June 1, 2013 at 9:12 am #

    You can avoid the hastle of removing each DNS entry manually, which can be very tedious when managing hundreds of domains and subdomains.

    Cpanel hierarchy goes like that:
    Super user => Resellers => accounts
    The super user declares resellers. Each of those works indenpendantly to contract accounts. Each account can be set up to have a main domain, addon domains and subdomains The auto created unwanted subdomains take place at the account level.

    The trick must be handled by the root user from the very start of WHM setup when declaring the “reseller” domain. The reseller website is the one you call “main website” in your discussion.

    The reseller MUST NOT be set up with a real website. Use instead a phony imossible website name such as “impossible.ext1”. As a result the Cpanel auto created domains and subdomains will not exist.

    addondomain.impossible.ext1 is automatically created by cPanel, but it doesn’t exist. And, everything else will work fine. You’ll access your addon websites without a problem.

    If the resseller happens to want to exploit his own domain for himsel, all he needs is to open himself an account like any of his customer accounts would. There is no negative impact of this trick for the super user, the reseller user or the account level user.

    In other words, these auto created subdomains serve no purpose at all. They are just there as a legacy of something stupid. This states that it is due time for Cpanel to update their programs.

  6. kvik lån January 11, 2013 at 12:47 am #

    Hello there, just became aware of your blog through Google,
    and found that it is really informative. I am going to watch out
    for brussels. I will appreciate if you continue this in future.
    Many people will be benefited from your writing.


  7. facts pro June 10, 2012 at 4:19 am #

    great tip! what is the big idea with that. This is also a problem on greengeeks. The A record says localhost.(your domain url) Again thanks for taking the time to post the fix!!

  8. Tradestation programmer December 12, 2011 at 7:58 am #

    pagerank improved after this, thanks a lot!

  9. RhysGoodwin December 10, 2010 at 2:59 am #

    [New Post] cPanel Says the Subdomain Cannot be Removed. but it can! –

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