This guide will show you how to flush DNS in Windows 11 or Windows 10 using four different methods: CMD, PowerShell, Microsoft Edge, and Google Chrome.
The primary goal is to resolve issues that result in “Page Not Found” errors, but you can also use it to improve your security or privacy.
What does flushing DNS do?
To understand what flushing the DNS resolver cache is, you first need to understand what DNS does and the purpose of the cache. DNS stands for domain name system, the mechanism by which the internet translates the URL you type into your browser (winbuzzer.com) into an IP address a computer can understand (220.127.116.11).
The DNS cache helps with this domain name resolution process by storing a temporary database of your recent website visits and their associated IP addresses. This way, name resolution can be handled locally on your PC rather than having to send a request to a server and wait for the response.
Flushing the DNS cache removes the database of sites and IP addresses on your PC. This is useful in cases where the website or service has changed its IP address and your cache has not updated, causing your browser to direct you to the wrong place.
It can also help to protect you against a type of attack called DNS spoofing, where an attacker modifies your DNS cache to direct you to malicious sites. Finally, it removes records about the sites you have visited from your PC.
⚠️ Please note: The process described below is the same in Windows 11 as it is in Windows 10. However, bear in mind that we’ll be using screenshots from Windows 11, so your UI may look a little different. We’ll point out any changes you need to be aware of as they come up.
How to Flush the DNS Cache in Windows 11 or Windows 10 in Command Prompt
Command Prompt is the most popular method to clear DNS in Windows, and it’s easy to understand why. The flush dns command is short, sweet, and easy to remember:
- Press Start and type “Command Prompt”, then click the top result
- Type “ipconfig /flushdns” in Command Prompt and press Enter
Once complete, you’ll see the message:
Windows IP Configuration Successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache
Try loading your website again to see if flushing the DNS cache solved the issue.
How to Clear the DNS Cache in Windows 11 or Windows 10 in PowerShell
If you prefer to use PowerShell as your command line, no worries! The command is even more intuitive there:
- Press Start and type “PowerShell”, then click the top result
- Type “Clear-DnsClientCache” in PowerShell and press Enter
Do note that this command won’t work unless you have the correct capitalization. It also won’t give an output, so you’ll just have to take its word that it worked.
How to Reset DNS in Windows 11 or Windows 10 via Microsoft Edge
If you don’t like using the command line then you can use your Edge browser to flush DNS in Windows instead. The first we’ll be looking at is the Chromium version of Microsoft’s Edge browser:
- Open your browser and enter “edge://net-internals/#dns” in the address bar
Click “Clear host cache” to flush DNS in Windows 11 or Windows 10.
How to Flush the DNS Resolver Cache in Google Chrome
Google Chrome works identically to Microsoft Edge due them being based on the same browser engine:
- Open Chrome and enter “chrome://net-internals/#dns” in the address bar
Click “Clear host cache” to reset your DNS in Windows 10 or Windows 11.
Extra: How to Clear Browser History in Chrome, Edge, and Firefox
If it’s the privacy aspect of the DNS cache you’re worried about, you’ll probably want to follow our guide on clearing your browser history, too. Your browser history provides a much more accessible way to see the sites you’ve visited.
If your pages still aren’t loading, following our tutorial on how to perform a network reset might help. It’s designed for Windows 10 but will work on Windows 11, too.