DNS (Domain Name System) is a crucial component of internet connectivity. that computers use to identify and communicate with each other. When you encounter a “DNS Lookup Failed” error on your Windows computer, it means that your system is having trouble resolving domain names to IP addresses, which can disrupt your internet browsing experience. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore various methods to diagnose and fix DNS lookup issues on Windows.
Understanding DNS Lookup Errors:
Before we delve into solutions, let’s understand some common DNS lookup error messages you might encounter:
- DNS Probe Finished No Internet: This error suggests that your computer could not establish a connection to the Internet due to DNS issues.
- ERR_NAME_NOT_RESOLVED: This error message means that the domain name you entered could not be resolved to an IP address.
- Server DNS Address Could Not Be Found: This error indicates that your computer couldn’t find the DNS server to resolve the domain name.
- DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_BAD_CONFIG: This error often points to a misconfiguration in your computer’s DNS settings.
Methods to Fix DNS Lookup Failed on Windows:
- Restart Your Router and Computer (150 words):
- Sometimes, the DNS lookup issue is temporary and can be resolved by simply restarting your router and computer. Power off both devices, wait for a minute and then turn them back on. This can refresh the network connection and often resolves minor DNS problems.
- Flush DNS Cache (200 words):
- Windows stores DNS information in a cache to speed up future lookups. Occasionally, this cache can become corrupted, leading to DNS errors. To flush the DNS cache:
- Press Win + X and select “Windows Terminal” (or “Command Prompt” in older Windows versions).
- Type the command ipconfig /flushdns and press Enter.
- You should see a message confirming that the DNS resolver cache was successfully flushed.
- Change DNS Servers:
- Your DNS server settings may be the cause of DNS lookup failures. You can switch to alternative DNS servers like Google DNS (126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52) or Cloudflare DNS (184.108.40.206) to see if the issue persists. Here’s how:
- Right-click on your network icon in the system tray and select “Open Network & Internet settings.”
- Click on “Change adapter options.”
- Right-click on your active network connection and select “Properties.”
- Under the “Networking” tab, select “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” and click “Properties.”
- Choose “Use the following DNS server addresses” and enter the preferred and alternate DNS server addresses.
- Click “OK” and “Close” to save the changes.
- Reset Winsock Catalog and TCP/IP Stack:
- Resetting Winsock (Windows Sockets API) and the TCP/IP stack can help resolve network-related issues, including DNS lookup failures:
- Open the Windows Terminal as an administrator.
- Type the following commands one by one and press Enter after each.
- After executing both commands, restart your computer to apply the changes.
- Disable Windows Firewall and Antivirus:
- Sometimes, security software like Windows Firewall or third-party antivirus programs can block DNS requests, causing lookup failures. Temporarily turn off these security features and check if the issue is resolved. If it is, you may need to adjust your firewall or antivirus settings to allow DNS traffic.
- Check for Malware or Adware:
- Malware and adware can tamper with your DNS settings, leading to lookup failures. Run a full system scan using a reliable antivirus or anti-malware tool to detect and remove any threats.
- Update Network Drivers
- Outdated or corrupted network drivers can also contribute to DNS problems. Visit your computer manufacturer’s website or the network adapter manufacturer’s site to download and install the latest drivers for your network hardware.
- Use Windows Troubleshooters;
- Windows includes built-in troubleshooters that can automatically diagnose and fix various network-related issues, including DNS problems. To run a troubleshooter:
- Go to “Settings” > “Update & Security” > “Troubleshoot.”
- Select “Internet Connections” and run the troubleshooter. Follow the on-screen instructions to apply any suggested fixes.
- Check for Hosts File Modifications:
- The Windows Hosts file can be modified to block access to specific websites. A malicious program or a previous configuration change may have altered this file. To check and reset the Hosts file:
- Open the Windows Terminal as an administrator.
- Type notepad C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts and press Enter.
- Review the contents of the Hosts file. If you find any suspicious entries, remove or comment them out by adding a “#” at the beginning of the line.
- Save the file and restart your computer.
- Update Your Operating System:
- Ensure that your Windows operating system is up to date with the latest updates and patches. Microsoft often releases updates that include bug fixes and improvements related to network and DNS issues.
Encountering a “DNS Lookup Failed” error on your Windows computer can be frustrating, but with the methods outlined in this guide, you can troubleshoot and resolve the issue effectively. Remember to start with simple solutions like restarting your router and flushing the DNS cache, and then proceed to more advanced methods if needed. By following these steps, you can enjoy uninterrupted internet connectivity and smooth browsing experiences on your Windows PC.