How to Fix the “DNS Server Not Responding” Error on Windows


The “DNS server not responding” error is a common issue that can prevent you from accessing websites and other internet resources on your Windows PC. The Domain Name System (DNS) is like the phone book of the internet, translating domain names to IP addresses. So when your DNS server stops responding, your computer can’t look up the IP addresses needed to load websites and online services.

Fortunately, with the right troubleshooting steps, you can often quickly get your DNS server working again. Here are the top solutions for resolving the “DNS server not responding” problem on Windows.

Confirm Your Network Connection is Working

Before troubleshooting your DNS server specifically, check that you have an active internet connection. Open your web browser and try to load any website. If pages won’t load, that points to a broader network connectivity issue, not just a DNS server problem.

To diagnose your network connection:

  • Reset your router and modem by unplugging them from power for 60 seconds. This will clear any temporary glitches.
  • Make sure all cables between your modem, router, and computer are properly plugged in. Try swapping ethernet cables if possible.
  • Toggle your WiFi on and off on your PC if you connect wirelessly. Also, try manually reconnecting to your WiFi network.
  • Test the connection on another device, like a smartphone, to see if the issue is isolated to your computer.

Contact your ISP for assistance if you can’t get an internet connection. You’ll need to get online first before you can troubleshoot your DNS server.

Renew Your IP Address

Once you confirm that your internet is working overall, the next step is to renew the IP address on your Windows computer. This forces your computer to reestablish communication with your router and DNS servers.

To renew your IP address on Windows:

  1. Open the Command Prompt app. Type `cmd` in the Windows search bar and select Command Prompt.
  2. Type `ipconfig /renew` and press Enter. This will automatically renew your IP address.
  3. Then type `ipconfig /flushdns` and press Enter. This clears your DNS cache.
  4. Close the Command Prompt and try loading a website again. The DNS error may be resolved at this point.

If the problem persists, you can also manually configure your network settings:

Go to Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center.

  1. Click your active network connection.
  2. Select Properties and scroll to IPv4.
  3. Set the radio button to Use the following DNS server addresses.
  4. Enter and for the Google public DNS servers.
  5. Click OK and close network settings. Retry an internet connection.

Reset the DNS Client Service

The DNS Client service on Windows manages communications between your computer and DNS servers. Resetting it can clear any errors and reinitialize normal DNS operations.

To reset the DNS Client service:

  1. Open the Run dialog by pressing Windows+R.
  2. Type `services.msc` and click OK to open the Services Manager.
  3. Scroll down and locate the DNS Client service. Double-click to open its Properties.
  4. On the General tab, change the Startup type to Manual.
  5. Click Stop to stop the running service.
  6. Now change the Startup type back to Automatic.
  7. Click Start to restart the DNS Client service.

Now, see if websites are loading properly in your browser again. Running the ipconfig commands shown earlier can also help refresh your connection after resetting the DNS Client service.

Flush Your DNS Cache

Your PC caches DNS records to speed up browsing by avoiding repeat lookups. But sometimes, this cache can get corrupted. Flushing the DNS cache forces Windows to grab the latest valid DNS data again.

To flush your DNS cache:

  1. Open Command Prompt as admin. Right-click and select Run as Administrator.
  2. Run the ipconfig /flushdns command to erase all cached DNS records.
  3. You can also run `ipconfig /registerdns` to refresh your DNS registration.
  4. Close the Command Prompt and test the websites again.

Flushing DNS may solve simple caching errors that prevent the resolution of domain names. You may need to flush the cache multiple times or use the ipconfig release and renew commands, too.

Check for Problems With Your DNS Servers

Issues at your ISP or with third-party DNS servers can also manifest as a “DNS server not responding” error on your end. Some steps to identify DNS server problems:

  • Confirm Internet access is working on other devices like your phone. This verifies the problem is isolated to the PC.
  • Ping your DNS server IP addresses from Command Prompt using a command like `ping` to test connectivity.
  • Try switching your DNS servers to Google (, or Cloudflare (, to bypass your ISP’s servers.
  • Perform a traceroute to a domain from Command Prompt using `tracert` Check if there are timeouts at any hops along the path.
  • Open Event Viewer > Windows Logs > System and look for recent errors related to the DNS Client, Network Configuration, or TCP/IP.

If you suspect an issue with the DNS servers themselves, contact your ISP or network admin for troubleshooting. Be ready to provide any ping, traceroute, or Event Viewer logs.

Troubleshoot Problems With Network Adapters

Sometimes, “DNS server not responding” errors could point to a faulty network adapter or driver problems. Some steps include:

  • Open Device Manager and check for any error codes or issues reported for your ethernet or wireless network adapters.
  • Disable then re-enable your network adapters to reinitialize them.
  • Update your network adapter drivers from the manufacturer’s website.
  • Roll back to a previous version of the network adapter driver if updates are causing problems.
  • Uninstall third-party VPN client software that may be interfering with adapters.
  • Consider uninstalling #high tech #network adapters completely, then rebooting to have Windows automatically reinstall fresh drivers.

Properly functioning network adapters are essential for DNS requests to be sent and received. Eliminating any adapter issues can resolve the DNS server not responding problem.

Check DNS Settings on Your Router

In most home setups, your wireless router handles the DNS server requests and passes them upstream to your ISP’s servers. So, incorrect settings on the router can cause DNS errors on your PC. Log into your router admin page and verify the following:

  • DHCP is enabled, with automatic DNS server assignment to devices.
  • The correct DNS server IP addresses are entered (your ISP’s servers or a third-party service).
  • The DNS settings match on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi bands if applicable.
  • DNS relay/proxy is enabled if your router supports it.
  • Router firmware is up to date since DNS bugs may be fixed in newer versions.

Ideally, you can fully automate DNS configuration on your router and have it poll your ISP dynamically for any changes. Manual router DNS settings can become outdated and cause connectivity issues.

Change TCP/IP Settings on Your Network Adapter

As a last resort, altering your network adapter TCP/IP settings may resolve stubborn DNS problems.

Here are some options:

  • Set your network adapter to use Google public DNS servers instead as a test ( and
  • Increase the DNS cached memory allocation to 512MB for better caching.
  • Configure the network adapter to use the same metric and suffix for both IPv4 and IPv6.
  • Disable Netflix DNS ( on the adapter if enabled. It can conflict with other servers.
  • Enable the DNS Client service binding to the network adapter if disabled.

Don’t make too many TCP/IP changes simultaneously, or you may lose connectivity. Test each setting individually and revert changes that cause problems.

Fully Reset Your Network Adapter

If you’ve exhausted all other troubleshooting, completely resetting your network adapter back to default settings can fix stubborn DNS issues:

  1. Open Network Connections and right-click your network adapter. Select Properties.
  2. On the Networking tab, locate the button labeled ‘Reset.’ Click it.
  3. Next, open the Command Prompt as Administrator.
  4. Type `netsh winsock reset` and restart your computer.

Resetting will wipe all custom DNS, TCP/IP, and other settings back to defaults. Only do this if you are still experiencing DNS errors after trying all other solutions.

When to Do a Full Windows Network Reset

If fixing the DNS server not responding error is still unsuccessful after all the above steps, you may need to do a full reset of your Windows network components. This completely reinitializes all networking services, adapters, and settings on your PC.

It’s a good final option before trying extreme measures like reinstalling Windows or replacing network hardware:

  1. Visit Settings > Network & Internet > Status.
  2. Under Advanced network settings, click Network reset.
  3. Select Reset now.
  4. Restart your PC when prompted.

Windows will reconfigure your network connection from scratch using fresh drivers and default settings everywhere. Hopefully, the DNS issue is eliminated in the process.

Contact Your ISP if DNS Problems Persist

The “DNS server not responding” error can be tricky to fix in rare cases. If you’ve tried all of the above troubleshooting steps and the issue persists, contact your ISP directly for assistance. Provide error logs and describe what troubleshooting you’ve already done. Some ISPs can reset your connection or DNS servers remotely or detect problems on their end. In the worst case, they may have to schedule a technician to inspect your ISP’s hardware or cabling for faults that are causing the DNS failure.

Fortunately, the “DNS server not responding” problem is typically easy to resolve on your own using one of the fixes outlined above. Just work through each solution methodically until you reestablish normal DNS functionality and internet access.

Summary of Fixes for the DNS Server Not Responding to Error

Here’s a quick recap of the key troubleshooting steps covered in this guide:

  • Check your network connectivity and internet access.
  • Renew your IP address and flush the DNS cache.
  • Reset the DNS Client service.
  • Flush the DNS resolver cache again.
  • Switch to alternate public DNS servers like Google or Cloudflare.
  • Check for DNS server problems upstream.
  • Update network adapter drivers.
  • Verify router DNS settings are correct.
  • Adjust TCP/IP parameters on network adapters.
  • Do full network or network adapter resets.
  • Contact ISP for help if needed.

With the right mix of restarts, resets, driver updates, and DNS tweaks, you should get your internet and browsing working properly again in most cases. Be patient and systematically walk through each fix until you resolve the “DNS server not responding” issue for good.

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