How to reset the Domain Name System (DNS)

Document created by shaw-jamess on Jun 5, 2012Last modified by shaw-jody on Sep 12, 2017
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The Domain Name System (DNS) is a "phone book-like" system which allows you to connect to a website based on its name (example: www.google.ca), rather than its IP address (example:74.125.226.88).  The DNS connects this number to the name that you type into your address bar, to ensure that you are directed to the correct website. Occasionally the DNS will fail to operate properly and you will only be able to reach websites by directly connecting to the IP address. In this case you will be required to reset your Domain Name System.
 
Resetting the Domain Name System (DNS) can be a useful troubleshooting step as it can fix issues which would prevent you from being able to view web pages through your internet browser. 
 

This article will provide insight into:

 

How to reset the DNS in Windows

Instructions for Windows

 

  1. Using the Start Menu at the lower left corner of your screen:
    • Windows 10: Right-click the Start menu, and click Command Prompt from the resulting menu
    • Windows 8: Press the Windows key ⊞ on your Keyboard to open your Windows 8 Menu
    • Windows 7: Open your Start menu, and then click the Search Program and Files entry field
    • Windows Vista: Click on the Start Search entry field
    • Windows XP: Choose the Run command, which will open a new window and appear with the word Open next to a text field
  2. Enter CMD into the text box and then select the Command Prompt program
  3. A new black window will appear. This is your command window
  4. Type ipconfig /flushdns and press ENTER (please note: there is a space between ipconfig and /flushdns)
  5. Restart your computer

 

ipconfig flushdns Windows Command Prompt

 

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How to reset the DNS in Mac OS

Instructions for Mac OS X

 

  1. Locate and select the Go option on the task bar at the top of your screen
  2. Choose Utilities from this drop down list and a new window will appear with a variety of system options
  3. Select Terminal from this list, which will open your system terminal
  4. From here you will be able to type in the following:
    1. Mac OSX 10.4 and earlier versions: lookupd -flushcache
    2. Mac OSX 10.5 and newer versions: dscacheutil -flushcache
  5. Hit the ENTER key on your keyboard and this will begin the DNS reset
    Restart your computer

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