8 Ways to Fix DNS Server Not Responding Errors | #firefox | #chrome | #microsoftedge

  • You can fix a “DNS Server Not Responding” error by resetting your internet connection and computer.
  • If the error keeps appearing, you can also flush your DNS cache and change the DNS settings.
  • DNS errors might also come up if your ISP is having an outage.

DNS servers are like phonebooks – they help your computer find websites and load them properly. This means that if the DNS server stops responding, you won’t be able to access any website or app.

Luckily, both Macs and PCs offer a few ways to fix “DNS Server Not Responding” issues. Here are eight ways to do it.

Try using another web browser or device

First, we need to figure out what’s causing the issue: Is it your web browser, your computer, or your internet connection?

Using the same internet connection, try browsing the web using another browser. In other words, if you’re using


Google Chrome

right now, try Microsoft Edge or Firefox instead. If the internet suddenly starts working, it means there’s an issue with your original browser. Try clearing the cache, or uninstalling and reinstalling the app.

Laptops 1

Is the problem isolated to one computer, or does every device see it?

Hollis Johnson


If it still doesn’t work, try using another device. If the internet works on that device, the issue is coming from your computer. If you still run into internet problems, the issue is your connection.

Alternatively, try connecting to another internet signal on your computer. If the internet starts working, the issue is your connection; if it doesn’t work, the issue is your computer.

Get closer to your internet router

It might seem too simple to be true, but a lot of DNS server issues are caused by weak internet signals. If you’re too far away from the source of your internet connection – usually the router – your computer will have trouble reaching the DNS server. 

Getting a stronger internet connection, either by moving closer to your internet router or removing obstructions, can solve this. You should also make sure that you’re not taking up all your bandwidth by running too many websites or apps at once.

And if it’s possible, consider connecting with an ethernet cable instead of Wi-Fi. Ethernet connections are way more stable than wireless ones, meaning you’re much less likely to have DNS issues.

Restart your devices

Before we delve into the more complicated troubleshooting steps, try restarting all your devices: Your computer, your router, and your modem. You’d be surprised by how many issues this can fix.

You can restart most routers and modems by unplugging them for about ten seconds, then plugging back in.

Once everything is running again, open a web browser and head to a website. There’s a good chance that things will work now.

Change your DNS settings

A lot of internet issues can be fixed by changing the DNS settings on your computer. These settings control how your computer interacts with the internet connection, and if they’re not set up correctly, it can cause problems.

Specifically, you’ll want to make sure that the DNS server is being obtained automatically. Or if it’s already automatic and you’re having trouble, you’ll want to set one manually.

In Windows 10 and 11

1. Open the Control Panel and click Network and Internet, then Network and Sharing Center, and then Change adapter settings.

2. Right-click on your Wi-Fi network and select Properties.

3. In the list that appears, double-click on the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) option.

You’ll be given a menu that lets you set your DNS server. There are two options that let you obtain the DNS server either automatically or manually. 

4. Click whatever option isn’t already selected. If you’re switching from automatic to manual, you’ll also need to enter two DNS servers.

5. Click OK to save the changes.

The Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) Properties menu in Windows 11.

Enter a main DNS server, and an “alternate.”

William Antonelli/Insider


See if the internet works now. If it doesn’t, go back to the Properties menu and do the same steps for the Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) option.

In macOS

1. Open the System Preferences app and select Network.

2. Select the connection that you’re trying to fix from the left sidebar, then click Advanced… in the bottom-right corner.

3. Select DNS from the tabs at the top.

4. Select the DNS Servers box and click the plus sign at the bottom, then enter a new DNS server you want to connect with.

5. Click OK to save your changes.

The DNS menu on a Mac.

Add a new DNS server by clicking the plus sign icon.

William Antonelli/Insider


Flush your DNS cache

Most people know that every program and app has a


cache

, a small storage space for data that the app has loaded recently. Your DNS server has a cache too, which it uses to collect IP addresses and DNS records that you’ve connected with recently.

And just like other caches, letting the DNS cache get too full can cause problems. You can clear the DNS and refresh your


IP address

through the Command Prompt and Terminal apps.

In Windows 10 and 11

1. Search your computer for “Command Prompt.” When it appears in the results, right-click it and select Run as administrator.

2. In the Command Prompt window, type and submit these five commands in order. Type one of them, press Enter, and then wait a few moments before typing the next.

  • netsh winsock reset
  • netsh int ip reset
  • ipconfig /release
  • ipconfig /renew
  • ipconfig /flushdns

3. Restart your computer.

The Command Prompt in Windows 11, with a variety of internet-related commands entered in.

You’ll see a lot of information scroll by as you enter the commands.

William Antonelli/Insider


In macOS

1. Search your computer for “Terminal” and open the app when it appears.

2. Type and submit the following code, without quotes: “sudo dscacheutil -flushcache; sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder”

3. When prompted, enter your Mac’s password. It won’t look like you’re typing anything, but don’t worry, it’s just hiding your password.

4. If you don’t see any sort of response — Terminal just takes the command and gives you another blank entry line — it means it worked.

The Terminal app on a Mac, with the command to flush the DNS cache entered.

You’ll have to enter your computer password to perform the command.

William Antonelli/Insider


Update your network drivers, router, and modem

Even if you’ve just bought all your hardware, it’s a good idea to check that everything is updated. There’s a chance you might be using outdated software, which can lead to bugs.

First, your drivers. These are small pieces of software that tell the computer how to function. If you’re using a Mac, all your drivers will update whenever you install a full computer update. But on a Windows PC, you’ll likely need to update them separately.

You can do this by opening the Device Manager app, clicking the Network adapters tab, and right-clicking on your main internet driver. You’ll likely have two of them, one for Wi-Fi and one for Ethernet (usually called the “Family Controller”). When you’re asked how you want to search for drivers, pick the automatic option.

The Device Manager in Windows 10, with a driver selected for updating.

Update your Wi-Fi and Ethernet drivers.

William Antonelli/Insider


If that doesn’t work, check your computer manufacturer’s website to see if they offer drivers of their own. These might work better than the ones that come pre-installed.

Finally, you can also try uninstalling the driver and restarting your computer. This will force the driver to restart, which can clear away some issues.

When it comes to your router and modem, every model and brand has a different updating process. But in general, you’ll probably need to log into your devices’ settings pages using a web browser and update from there. Check the manual or call your ISP for exact steps.

Turn off your VPN and firewall

This isn’t as common, but if there’s something standing between your computer and the open internet — say, a


VPN

or firewall — you can run into DNS issues.

Every VPN has a different method for turning it off, but look for a Disconnect option in the settings. You can also open the Network settings on your computer and disable all VPNs from there.

In Windows, you can disable the default firewall by searching for Windows Defender Firewall, then selecting Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off

On a Mac, open the System Preferences app and select Security & Privacy. Click Firewall at the top, then select Turn Off Firewall. You might need to click the lock icon in the bottom-left corner first.

If you’re using a third-party antivirus program, you might need to disable that app’s firewall too.

Finally, you can pick up the phone and call your internet service provider. At the end of the day, they’re the ones with total control over your internet service.

If none of these steps have worked, it might mean that your ISP is having an outage. Alternatively, they might have shut off your service due to unpaid bills, or might be throttling your connection because you hit a data cap. If you rent your internet equipment from the ISP, they can even send someone out to troubleshoot in person.




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