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DNS Server Not Responding: How to Fix DNS Not Responding on Windows 10

Every device that connects to the internet, sends a request to a DNS server that redirects the request to the correct website. A slow DNS server means a web address takes longer to resolve, and while the delay may only be for a few seconds, you’ll notice it.

A slow DNS is one problem but if the DNS server is not responding, you’re basically unable to access anything. It’s not quite the same as having no internet connection. In fact, your internet may be working but the DNS may be preventing you from accessing any website.

DNS Server Not Responding

Problems with the DNS server usually prevent you from accessing some or all websites. The error message that you see will depend on which browser you’re using and even with the same browser, you may see different error messages. Fixing the DNS server problem may be something you can do on your end or it might be a problem your ISP is having. 

DNS server is not responding

How to fix the DNS server is not responding error?

Before you try to fix the problem, run through the following basic checks.

  • Restart your router.
  • Restart your system.
  • Forget and reconnect your WiFi network.
  • Try using a different browser.
  • Try accessing the internet from a different device. If it doesn’t work, the problem may be with your ISP.
  • Turn your VPN off if you’re using one.

If the above doesn’t work try the fixes below.

1. Switch to Google DNS

A DNS server may go down. It’s a service and like any service, it can run into problems. Often, the easiest fix is to switch over to Google’s DNS server which is free to use.

  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. Go to Network and Internet.
  3. Select Network and sharing center.
  4. Click your WiFi network.
  5. Click Properties under the Activity section.
  6. Double-click Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4).
  7. Enable the ‘Use the following DNS server addresses’ option.
  8. In Preferred DNS server, enter 8.8.8.8.
  9. In Alternate DNS server, enter 8.8.4.4.
  10. Click OK, and close all windows.
  11. Try to access a website.

2. Run the internet troubleshooter

Windows 10 has its own internet troubleshooter that may be able to fix problems with the DNS. It won’ change the DNS server that you connect to but it may be able to resolve problems with the server setting.

  1. Open the Settings app (Win+I keyboard shortcut).
  2. Go to Update and security.
  3. Select the Troubleshoot tab.
  4. Click Additional troubleshooter.
  5. Run the Internet Connections troubleshooter.
  6. Apply all fixes that it recommends.

3. Flush DNS and renew IP

If the Windows 10 troubleshooter can’t fix problems with the DNS server, you can try manually flushing the DNS and renewing your IP.

  1. Open Command Prompt with admin rights.
  2. Run the following commands one-by-one. They will flush the DNS and renew your IP address.
netsh int ip reset
netsh winsock reset
ipconfig /flushdns
ipconfig /renew
  1. Restart your system.

4. Manually configure network

Internet connections tend to configure automatically once you enter the password but a great deal is set up under the hood. It may help resolve DNS problems if you manually configure a network. 

  1. Open Command Prompt.
  2. Run this command: ipconfig /all.
  3. Look for Physical Address but make sure it’s for the network you’re connecting to e.g., note down the physical address for Wireless LAN if you’re using a wireless network.

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Enter this in the location bar: Control Panel\Network and Internet\Network and Sharing Center and tap Enter.
  3. Click your connection.
  4. Click Properties under Activity.
  5. Click the Configure button.
  6. Go to the Advanced tab.
  7. Look for MAC Address or Network address.
  8. Enter the Physical address that you noted earlier and click OK.

5. Update router firmware

Your router’s firmware may need to be updated. Normally, your ISP should be able to push a firmware update to the router during routine maintenance but you can manually update it yourself. It may resolve problems with the DNS.

In order to update the router firmware, you need to access the router’s admin panel. You can access it from your router.

  1. Open Command Prompt.
  2. Run this command: ipconfig.
  3. Note down the Default gateway address.
  4. Open your browser.
  5. Enter the Default gateway address and tap Enter.
  6. Sign in with the admin username and password.
  7. Look for the firmware update option and install updates that are available.

Note: the admin panel for each ISP and router differs so you’ll have to look around.

6. Change DNS in router

The router also has a DNS setting and it may be overwriting your system’s DNS server setting. Access your router’s admin and change the DNS to Google’s DNS or allow the router to default to your computer’s DNS if there’s an option for it. To change the DNS on the router, follow these steps.

  1. Open Command Prompt.
  2. Run this command: ipconfig.
  3. Note down the Default gateway address.
  4. Open your browser and enter the Default gateway address and tap Enter.
  5. Sign in to the router’s admin panel and look for DNS settings.
  6. Use Google’s DNS server.
8.8.8.8
8.8.4.4
  1. Restart the router, and your system.

7. Run Windows 10 in safe mode

It’s possible that an app on your system is blocking the DNS server or your internet. To determine this, you should run Windows 10 in Safe mode.

  1. Open the Start Menu.
  2. Click the power button.
  3. Hold down the Shift button and click Restart.
  4. On the boot screen, go to Troubleshoot>Advanced Options>Startup settings.
  5. Click Restart.
  6. Select the Safe mode (with networking) option.
  7. Try accessing the internet.

8. Disable third-party apps

If you’re able to access the internet in Safe mode, a third-party may be blocking the DNS or the internet. 

  1. Right-click the taskbar and select Task Manager.
  2. Go to the Startup tab.
  3. Disable all apps.
  4. Restart the system.
  5. Access the internet.
  6. If you’re able to access the internet, a third-party app is likely responsible.
  7. Enable apps one-by-one to see which one is causing the problem.

9. Disable virtual adapter

Windows 10 creates a virtual adapter by default and normally, when there isn’t an app to use it, it won’t interfere with a network connection. That said, it can cause problems and disabling it may help.

  1. Open Device Manager.
  2. Go to View>Show hidden devices.
  3. Expand Network adapters.
  4. Look for Microsoft Wi-Fi Direct Virtual Adapter.
  5. Right-click it and select Uninstall device.
  6. Repeat this for all virtual adapter devices.
  7. Restart the system.

10. Disable Ethernet, Bluetooth, Hotspot

Windows 10 can connect to a Wireless network and an Ethernet, Bluetooth, and Hotspot but they can interfere with an internet connection. 

  1. Open the Settings app (Win+I keyboard shortcut).
  2. Go to Devices>Bluetooth.
  3. Turn Bluetooth off from the switch.
  4. Tap the Win+A keyboard shortcut.
  5. Turn the hotspot off from the toggle.
  6. Disconnect or unplug the Ethernet cable.
  7. Restart the system.

Conclusion

If the above fixes don’t work, you should contact your ISP, especially if the issue is present on other devices. They may be able to resolve the problem or let you know if their service is having problems. In that case, you will have to wait for them to resolve it on their end.

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