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How to Fix “DNS Server Not Responding” (11 Ways)

How to Fix “DNS Server Not Responding” (11 Ways)

Getting “DNS Server Not Responding” on your browser is a frustrating experience. The error states something is wrong with a DNS server but doesn’t tell much about the issue.

DNS (Domain Name System) is an integral part of the internet, translating domain names into IP server addresses and allowing visitors to reach websites by typing easy-to-remember domains. Without it, you’ll have to remember long, numeric IP addresses to access websites.

Thus, DNS issues are critical for any web-based service, and you must address them with top priority. This guide will explain what “DNS Server Not Responding” means and what usually causes it. You’ll also learn 11 proven ways to fix it in no time.

The “DNS Server Not Responding” error means your device cannot connect with the DNS server. As a result, your computer can’t resolve domain names, and your web browser and other internet applications may fail to load websites or services properly.

Before we tackle the problem head-on, let’s first understand the meaning of the “DNS Server Not Responding” error. DNS, short for Domain Name System, translates human-readable domain names (like www.example.com) into IP addresses (such as

The DNS system stores the information of existing domains and their corresponding IP addresses in a decentralized network of DNS servers. Computers connect to these DNS servers to fetch the IP addresses of domain names in order to connect to websites and other internet services.

It goes without saying that the DNS service is an essential part of the internet, and online services can’t function properly without it. One of the errors related to DNS server issues is “DNS Server Not Responding.”

There are many variants of the message marking the DNS server error, such as “The DNS server is not responding” or “Device or resource (DNS server) is not responding.” It can occur on various devices and applications.

On browsers, you will likely see messages such as “This Site Can’t Be Reached” and error codes like DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN. Below is a screenshot from Google Chrome.

DNS Server Not Responding Error in Google Chrome (Screenshot)

In the following sections, we will explore the common causes and provide practical solutions to help you fix the error and restore your internet connection.

What is the cause for the “DNS Server Not Responding” Error?

The “DNS Server Not Responding” error can come from different places. Understanding why it occurs will help you deal effectively with the error. Here are some common causes.

DNS Server Issues

The DNS server itself may be temporarily down due to high traffic or temporary outages. As a result, your device fails to receive a response from the DNS server.

Network Connectivity Problems

Issues with your network connection, such as a weak Wi-Fi signal, faulty Ethernet cable, or misconfigured network settings, can contribute to the DNS Server Not Responding error. These problems can disrupt the communication between your device and the DNS server.

DNS Cache Issues

Your computer keeps a DNS cache that stores IP addresses. This DNS cache reduces the loading time since your computer remembers the IP addresses and doesn’t need to connect to a DNS server. However, if the cache becomes corrupted or outdated, it can lead to conflicts and result in the DNS Server Not Responding error.

Incorrect DNS Server Settings

Misconfigured DNS settings on your device can also cause the DNS server error. Using wrong or outdated DNS server addresses prevents your device from connecting to a functional DNS server and resolving hostnames.

Firewall or Antivirus Software Restrictions

Firewall and antivirus software protect you from various online threats. However, overly strict settings can block your device from communicating with the DNS server. The usual result of that is the DNS Server Not Responding error.

Misconfigured Network Adapters

Network adapters are the hardware that connects computers to ISP (Internet Service Provider) networks. If the adapter settings are wrong or the network adapter driver is corrupted, you will likely get the “DNS Server Not Responding” message.

How to fix DNS Server Not Responding Error – 11 Recommended Ways

In this section, we will guide you through a series of practical solutions to fix this issue. These methods are designed to address the common causes.

1. Troubleshooting Network Problems

Before going into more advanced troubleshooting, you can run network diagnostics on your system. Most major operating systems include tools that can test your connection and pinpoint the exact issue.

Below are the steps for enabling network diagnostics on Mac and Windows.

On Mac

  1. Hold the Option key and click on the Wi-Fi status icon in the menu bar.
  2. From the drop-down menu, select Open Wireless Diagnostics.
    Open Network Diagnostics in Mac
  3. You’ll open a setup wizard to guide you through the network diagnostics. Click Continue and follow the steps on the screen.
    Network Diagnostics Wizard on Mac
  4. Click the info icon next to each entry in the Summary for detailed information.

On Windows 10

  1. Open the Window menu in the lower left corner and type control panel.”
  2. Click on the Control Panel icon to open its options.
  3. Select Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center.
    Open Network and Internet options on Windows to troubleshoot the network
  4. Choose Troubleshoot problems from the Change your networking settings section.
  5. Navigate to Additional troubleshooters > ​Internet Connections > Run the troubleshooter.
    Run the network troubleshooter on Windows
  6. The results of the troubleshooting will list any detected problems. Follow the steps to repair them.

2. Try with A Different Web Browser

One of the most straightforward troubleshooting methods is to visit the website from a different browser. If the error is not present on another browser, it’s a sign that the problem comes from your current one – expired cached files, corrupted installation, etc. For example, try Microsoft Edge or Mozilla Firefox if your default browser is Google Chrome, or vice versa.

3. Try with Another Device

Occasionally, undetermined problems in your device may disrupt the proper DNS resolution and cause the DNS Server Not Responding error.
To establish if the problem is local to the primary device, try to open the problematic website on another device. For example, if you use a PC, load the website from your phone on mobile data. If you don’t get the error on it, it’s safe to assume that your current device malfunctions.

4. Restart your Computer in Safe Mode

Various operating system (OS) issues can trigger the DNS server error. In many cases, they are caused by third-party software interfering with the standard DNS resolution.

You can confirm if your add-on applications conflict with your OS by restarting your computer in safe mode. Safe Mode is a stripped-down version of your operating system that loads only its core functionalities and excludes third-party applications you’ve installed.

Safe mode on Windows 10

To start Windows 10 in Safe Mode, follow the steps below.

  1. Open the Windows menu in the lower left corner.
  2. While holding SHIFT, click on Restart.
    How to restart Windows in Safe Mode
  3. Your PC will restart and show a menu of options. Select Troubleshoot > Advanced.
  4. From the Advanced Options menu, choose StartUp Settings, and then Restart.

Safe Mode on Mac

Rebooting a Mac in Safe Mode is even easier.

  1. Restart your Mac in the usual way. Click on the Apple icon in the menu bar and select Restart.
    How to restart Mac in Safe Mode
  2. While the system is booting, hold SHIFT.
  3. Release SHIFT once you see the login screen, and your Mac will start in Safe Mode.

While your OS is in safe mode, you can test if the error appears in your browser. If it’s gone, one of your applications is clearly interfering with the connection to the DNS server. It could be your firewall, antivirus software, or any other application.

5. Restart your Router or Modem

Problems in your internet router could also cause the DNS Server Not Responding error. For instance, routers also store cache, which might become invalid.

Most of these issues can be fixed by restarting the router. Just turn it off by pressing the Power button. Wait a few minutes to ensure the device is completely reset, and then turn it back on. Then, visit the website to check if the problem is fixed.

6. Disable Temporarily your Antivirus and Firewall

Undoubtedly, antivirus and firewall software are instrumental in protecting you from various online threats like malware and viruses. However, they can sometimes restrict your internet access, manifesting as the “DNS Server Not Responding” error.

Temporarily disable your antivirus software or firewall and try revisiting the website. If the website now loads correctly, your security software is clearly restricting the connection.

Below are the steps to disable the firewall on different OS.

How to disable the firewall on Mac

  1. Click on System Settings from the Dock menu.
  2. Select Network and click on Firewall.
  3. Turn off the switch for Firewall.
    How to disable the firewall on Mac

How to disable the firewall on Windows

  1. To disable Windows Defender Firewall, open the Windows menu > Settings > Updates & Security.
    Open Updates and Security settings on Windows to disable the firewall
  2. Choose Windows Security > Firewall & network protection.
  3. Select Domain network, Public network, or Private network.
  4. Click on the slider under Microsoft Defender Firewall to turn the firewall OFF.
    How to disable the firewall on Windows

7. Disable Other Connections

Sometimes, being registered on multiple network connections can be problematic. You may be bouncing between the networks, which could prevent you from establishing a stable connection. Or the networks may be conflicting with each other. In either case, this could lead to network issues disturbing your DNS configuration.

You can fix this problem by keeping only your primary network connection and removing the secondary ones. How to do that on different operating systems? Read on to find out.

On Mac

  1. Open System Settings > Network.
  2. Choose which network to remove from the list of Known Networks. Press its three dots menu and select Forget This Network.
    How to disable a network on Mac

On Windows

  1. Open the Windows menu > Settings > Network & Internet.
    Open Network and Internet Settings on Windows to disable a network
  2. In the following window, select Change adapter options.
  3. Right-click on a secondary network and choose Disable.
    How to disable a network on Windows

8. Change the DNS Server Address

Your operating system must connect to functional DNS servers in order to fetch IP addresses correctly. If the DNS server fails, you are connected to incorrect DNS server addresses. In case there is no assigned DNS server at all, your computer won’t be able to obtain the IP address automatically when you type a domain name in your browser. This will lead to DNS errors.

You can resume the DNS service by changing the default DNS server with alternative DNS servers. For example, you can use the following DNS servers addresses of Google or Cloudflare.

  • Google DNS servers – and
  • Cloudflare DNS servers – or

How to change the DNS servers on Windows

  1. Open the Windows menu and type “control panel.”
  2. Click on the Control Panel icon.
    Open Control Panel on Windows to change the DNS servers
  3. Select Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center.
  4. Click on the active network under the section View your active networks.
  5. On the pop-up window, select Properties.
    Open the network's properties to change the DNS servers
  6. Scroll down the list This connection uses the following items, highlight Internet Protocol Version 4, and click on Properties.
    Open the Internet Protocol 4 properties to change the DNS servers
  7. Select the radio button Use the following DNS server addresses. Type the DNS server address in Preferred DNS server. In the Alternate DNS server field, place the address of a backup DNS server in case the primary fails.
    Change the DNS servers on Windows to fix "DNS Server Not Responding"

How to change the DNS servers on Mac

  1. Open System Settings > Network from the Dock menu.
  2. Select your active network from the list of network connections and press the Details button.
    Open Network settings on Mac to change DNS servers
  3. Open the DNS tab and click on the + sign under DNS Servers. Add your preferred DNS servers and confirm with the OK button.
    Change the DNS servers on Mac to fix "DNS Server Not Responding"

9. Flush DNS Cache

Occasionally, the DNS cache of your operating system becomes expired or corrupted. When it happens, your computer might not connect to the correct IP address of a website you visit, which can result in the “DNS Server Not Responding” error. In this case, the best solution is to flush your operating system’s DNS cache.

Flush DNS cache on Windows

To flush the DNS cache on Windows 10, open Command Prompt as administrator and run the following command:

ipconfig /flushdns

You can learn detailed steps, alternative methods, and how to flush the DNS cache on other Windows versions in this tutorial on how to flush the DNS cache on Windows.

Flush DNS cache on Mac

You can flush the DNS cache on macOS using Terminal. Use the following command if your macOS version is Monterey or later:

$ sudo dscacheutil -flushcache; sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder

Note that you must have administrator access to run sudo commands. Read this tutorial on how to clear the DNS cache on Mac for step-by-step instructions and to learn how to clear the DNS cache on older macOS versions.

Flush DNS cache on Linux

Like Mac, you can clear the DNS cache on Linux from Terminal. Typically, later Ubuntu versions use the DNS resolver systemd-resolved, and the commands to flush the DNS cache are either:

$ sudo resolvectl flush-caches


$ sudo systemd-resolve --flush-caches

However, there is a wide range of Linux distributions, and they use different DNS resolvers. Thus, the command for flushing the DNS cache varies. Read this guide on how to flush the DNS cache on Linux to find instructions for your particular Linux version.

10. Update Your Network Adapter Driver

Hardware or network failures can trigger a DNS error message. Regarding the network, you’ll have to rely on your ISP to fix the problem. However, on your end, you can ensure that your network adapter driver works as expected by updating it to the latest stable version. Driver failures occur more often on Windows, so we will focus on it.

The easiest way is to let Windows pick the right drivers and update your adapter automatically.

  1. Open the Windows menu.
  2. Use the search bar and type “device manager.
  3. Open Device Manager.
    Open Device Manager in Windows to update network drivers
  4. Double-click on Network adapters to expand the menu.
  5. Right-click on your current adapter, and select Update driver.
    Update the network adapter's driver on Windows
  6. In the following window, choose Search automatically for drivers.
    Update automatically the network adapter's driver on Windows

11. Disable Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6)

Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) is the latest Internet protocol designed to replace Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPv4). Since IPv6 is yet to be fully adopted, occasional compatibility issues are expected. They can lead to network connectivity problems, including DNS issues.

Therefore, disabling IPv6 on your computer may fix the “DNS Server Not Responding” error. Read along to find the steps for your particular operating system (OS).

How to disable IPv6 on Windows

  1. Open the Windows menu in the lower left corner and type “control panel.”
  2. Click on the Control Panel icon.
    Open Control Panel in Windows to disable IPv6
  3. Navigate to Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center.
  4. Click on your current network connection under View your active networks.
  5. In the following pop-up window, press Properties.
    Open the network properties to disable IPv6
  6. Find the item Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) from the list This connection uses the following items. Uncheck the box for IPv6 to disable it and confirm with the OK button.
    Disable IPv6 to fix the "DNS Server Not Responding" error

How to disable IPv6 on Mac

  1. Open System Settings from the Dock menu.
  2. Click on the Network icon.
  3. Select your primary network connection and press Details.
    Open the network details on Mac to disable IPv6
  4. Open the TCP/IP tab and click on the drop-down menu for Configure IPv6. Select Off if available and confirm with OK.
    How to disable IPv6 on Mac

The option to disable IPv6 from the Network settings might be unavailable on your Mac. In that case, you can turn off IPv6 from your Terminal.

To disable IPv6 on both your wireless network and Ethernet, run the following command.

$ networksetup -setv6off Ethernet && networksetup -setv6off Wi-Fi


“DNS Server Not Responding” is a frustrating error, mainly because the actual cause is unclear from the get-go. However, the result is always the same – your device can’t connect to a DNS server, preventing you from connecting to a website or online service.

Nevertheless, a limited number of problems can cause the error. Understanding the nature of the error and how to troubleshoot it will save you a lot of time and effort trying to fix it. This guide outlined the most common causes and their practical solutions. We hope you’ll put it to good use.

DNS Server Not Responding FAQ

How do I find my DNS server?

You can find the DNS server settings in the system preferences of your operating system.

On Mac

On Mac, open System Settings > Network > click on your active network > Details > DNS. The DNS server addresses are listed under the section DNS servers.

How to find your DNS servers on Mac

Alternatively, you can use Terminal to obtain your DNS server addresses. Open Finder, and from the menu bar on top of the screen, select Go > Utilities > Terminal.

In Terminal, run the following command:

$ scutil --dns | grep 'nameserver\[[0-9]*\]'

The result’s output is your current DNS servers.

How to find your DNS servers in Terminal on Mac

On Windows

On Windows, open Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center > click on your active network > Details. In the following window, you should see the DNS servers for your connection.

How to find your DNS servers on Windows

You can also see the DNS servers using the Command Prompt. Run the following command:

ipconfig /all

Command Prompt will output a long list of settings. Scroll down to the section DNS Servers to see the IP addresses.

Find your DNS server in Command Prompt on Windows

How do I know if I have DNS problems?

Typically, if the DNS server is down, your computer can’t resolve any website address. Your browser will display a message such as “This Site Can’t Be Reached” or “Hmm. We’re having trouble finding that site”. The message will be accompanied by an error code like DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN.

You can also ping the DNS server addresses to test their responsiveness. This can be done from Terminal on Mac or Command Prompt on Windows. In our example, the DNS server address is To ping the address on either Terminal or Command Prompt, use the command:

$ ping

The server will respond by sending back data packages to you as long as it is working.

Ping the DNS server address to check if it is responsive

If the server is unresponsive, you won’t receive any data packages.

Is it safe to reset DNS?

Yes, it is absolutely safe to reset your DNS. In fact, periodically flushing your DNS cache is recommended as it updates the information in your DNS resolver, fixes many DNS-related errors, and prevents DNS spoofing.

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