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DNS resolution in partial zones

When you have a partial zone1, Cloudflare handles DNS records a bit differently from full zones in order to internally resolve the origin server where proxied HTTP requests are sent to.

​​ Records within the same zone

When you create a new DNS record in a partial zone, Cloudflare automatically checks whether any of your CNAME records point to existing A, AAAA, or CNAME records within the same zone.

For example, Cloudflare would show a warning if you had the following records in your partial zone: CNAME A

Since Cloudflare contains both the CNAME and its target, our DNS resolution will send incoming HTTP requests to to the origin

This can cause issues if you already have DNS records for at your authoritative DNS provider. These records may point to, another IP address, or another domain but - because Cloudflare contains the initial record and the target - it never queries your authoritative DNS provider for the record for

When you avoid this situation - meaning you do not have the target of the CNAME record within your partial zone - this DNS resolution would happen differently.

​​ Records pointing to a partial zone within the same account

You could also create a CNAME record in a zone (partial or full setup) that points to a record in another partial zone within your account.

In this case, Cloudflare will always resolve the CNAME target based on the value at your authoritative DNS provider of the partial target zone.

  1. 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 edge network when you cannot change your authoritative DNS provider.