Daniel Farke's side was denied the chance to go up on Sunday (AEST) as promotion rivals Brentford and Swansea City both won.
But the Canaries are still firmly on course for an immediate return to the top flight after last season's relegation.
They are 17 points ahead of third-placed Brentford and need just two points from their remaining five games to confirm automatic promotion.
Kieran Dowell's free-kick was the difference at Pride Park, but Norwich had to hang on in the second half, with Tim Krul making key saves before almost gifting Graeme Shinnie a stoppage-time equaliser for Derby.
Norwich holds an eight-point advantage over second-placed Watford, which beat Reading 2-0 on Saturday (AEST)
The Hornets have a nine-point cushion in the race for the second automatic promotion spot after poor recent runs for both Brentford and Swansea.
Brentford got back on track with a 5-0 rout of Preston North End at Deepdale.
Bryan Mbuemo and Marcus Forss had the Bees in control before the break, while Ivan Toney, Sergi Canos and Emiliano Marcondes all scored in the final 15 minutes.
Swansea, having gone four games without a goal, won 3-0 at Millwall, with Jamal Lowe scoring a second-half brace after Andre Ayew ended the Swans' scoring drought just before the break.
Fifth-placed Barnsley is a further three points behind Swansea, having played a game more, after Alex Mowatt and Daryl Dike scored in a 2-0 win over Middlesbrough at Oakwell.
Bournemouth capitalised on Reading's defeat as it climbed into the final play-off place with a 4-1 win over struggling Coventry City.
Birmingham City moved another step closer to safety as Lukas Jutkiewicz's double secured a 2-0 win over Stoke City.
Victory lifted the Blues nine points clear of the bottom three and above Huddersfield Town, which was held to a goalless draw at home to Rotherham United.
Second-bottom Sheffield Wednesday is deep in trouble after a 4-1 loss at Queens Park Rangers left it seven points adrift of safety with six matches remaining.
Bottom-of-the-table Wycombe Wanderers lost 3-1 at home to Luton Town, which scored three times in the final 10 minutes.
Blackburn Rovers and Cardiff City drew 2-2, while Bristol City shared a goalless stalemate with Nottingham Forest.