DNS is a server that translates website addresses (language which computers can understand) so that your browser can connect to them.
When you connect a device to your home network or a Wi-Fi hotspot with internet access, the internet connection may fail to work for a lot of several reasons.
In this article we will talk about a particular category of reasons, which is DNS errors. Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 computers may report the following error messages in the Troubleshooting Problems found window:
“DNS server not responding”
It may also show up with the websites name along with the message ‘Server DNS Address could not be found.’
DNS server not responding error is one of the most common issues that occurs on many Windows computers. If you get this error on your PC, the device will not be able to reach the internet.
Your PC might appear to be correctly configured, but the device or resource (DNS server) is not responding.
A DNS error occurs when one portion of a network is not connecting properly to another portion of the network (your device). DNS errors are one of the most common errors users receive while surfing the Web. This can occur because of a wide range of issues which we’ll tackle in this article.
One of the most common problems associated with a DNS error is a down network. A single server in the system may not relay the information correctly to the next server. Or a setting may be wrong, or something as simple as a cord connected incorrectly to an added server.
Let’s try narrowing the range of issues:
Connect a different device
First, try to connect a different device like a tablet or someone else’s laptop either wirelessly or wired to your network. If you can connect a phone, tablet, or PC to the network and access the webpage that you’re having trouble with on your primary device, the issue is clearly with the device and not the router.
Not being able to connect with the second device doesn’t necessarily mean that the router is the problem. If you’re having trouble with a specific website, try accessing it using mobile data. But if you still can’t access the site, the issue is on the site’s end.
Run Windows Network Diagnostics
On Microsoft Windows PCs, Windows Network Diagnostics can be run to help diagnose internet connection problems. If you’re not sure whether or not your computer is reporting DNS Server Not Responding errors, follow these steps:
- Open the Control Panel.
- Go to the Network and Sharing Center.
3. Click the Troubleshoot problems under Change your Networking Settings.
4. Then click Internet Connections. A new Internet Connections window appears. Click Next.
Wait for the troubleshooting tests to complete and look in the Problems found section of the window for the error message.
1. Power cycle your modem and router
Before trying anything else, simply shutdown your computer, modem+router, then restart them all and try connecting.
This will clear your router’s cache and thus it may resolve DNS errors.
Unplug your modem’s power cable as well as your router’s power cable. Then, allow both your modem and your router to sit for at least 30 seconds. Next, reconnect your modem and wait for it to come back online. Lastly, reconnect your router to your modem and wait for it to come back online.
2. Change the DNS server addresses
The DNS server address is usually obtained automatically, but you can set it to something more reliable. As the DNS server your PC obtained automatically is not responding, you can change it to one of the most reliable DNS servers out there.
For Windows 10:
Type in ncpa.cpl into the Windows search box and press Enter. Or you can also press on the Windows key from your keyboard and start typing which will take you to the search box.
For Windows 7:
Click on the Windows Key type in Run in the search bot and then type ncpa.cpl in the Run box and press Enter.
a. You will see the network connections. Right click on the connection that you are using and click on Properties.
b. A new window will pop up. Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and then click Properties again.
c. In that window select the button that says Use the following DNS server Addresses.
d. Then, in the Preferred DNS Server field and the Alternate DNS Server field type the desired DNS. Next, check the Validate Settings Upon Exit box and click OK. Now restart your PC.
e. Try to connect to your internet and browse the websites that you were getting errors to see if the problem is solved. If it didn’t work, then try out the next method.
3. Flush the DNS of your computer
a. Click the Start button, type in cmd in the search box and press Enter from keyboard.
b. When command prompt appears, type in ipconfig /flushdns and hit Enter. This will remove all the DNS cache entry which just might resolve the problem.
c. Once done, restart your computer and check if the problem still exists. Check out this link to read more about how to flush your DNS cache.
4. Change physical address
a. Go to Windows Start menu, type in cmd in the search box and hit Enter.
b. In command prompt type in ipconfig /all and press Enter. Find the physical address and write it down.
c. Go to the start menu again, type in ncpa.cpl in the search box and hit Enter. This will show you the network connections.
d. Now right click on the active connection that you are using and select Properties.
e. Click on Configure and then select Advanced tab.
f. After that, click on Network address and select the button that says Value.
g. Now type in the network address that you have written down previously. Make sure you write them without dashes. Then click Ok and restart the computer.
5. Correct your DNS server address
a. Go to control panel and click Network and Sharing Center.
b. Next click Change adapter settings.
c. Right-click on Local Area Connection, Ethernet or Wi-Fi according to your Windows. Then click Properties.|
d. Click Internet Protocol Version 4(TCP/IPv4), then Properties.
e. Check the Obtain an IP address automatically and Obtain DNS server address automatically boxes. Then click OK.
Do the same for Internet Protocol Version 6(TCP/IPv6).
f. Try to access the website you want to go again and see if it succeeds.
6. Update your network adapter driver
You need to head to the device manager window and scroll down to the section of network adapters. Right-click on the active network adapter and click on “Update Driver“.
If there’s an update available, you should apply it.
After updating your network adapter driver, please restart your computer. Try to access the website you want to go again and see if it succeeds.
7. Upgrade to the latest firmware on your router
Important note: Upgrade failure might cause permanent damage to the router.
It is always recommended to have the latest firmware or software updates applied. However, if you are not sure that this is the issue, we would not recommend you to proceed.
Instead, reach out to an IT expert to upgrade your router’s firmware without confusion. If it’s an issue with the firmware, you should no longer encounter the error after applying the update.
8. Internet blockages from antivirus programs
Although antivirus programs are designed to keep intruders out, they also have the capability to block internet access if they detect a misbehaving device.
Most antivirus programs work using special database (dat) files that the software vendors automatically update on a regular basis. Unfortunately, sometimes mistakes are made with these dat updates that cause the antivirus program to believe a computer is infected when really it is a false alarm.
These false positives can trigger Windows to suddenly start reporting DNS Server Not Responding errors.
To verify whether this is the cause for your device, temporarily disable the antivirus program. Next, re-run the Windows Network Diagnostics. Consult the antivirus vendor for either a new update or technical support.
Disabling your antivirus does not work as a permanent solution, but it works fine in order to temporarily troubleshoot the problem.