How Do I Forward DNS in Windows Server 2012?


Scott Campbell

How Do I Forward DNS in Windows Server 2012?

Managing DNS (Domain Name System) is essential for network administrators to ensure smooth and efficient communication between devices on a network. In Windows Server 2012, you can forward DNS requests to external DNS servers to resolve queries for domains that are not hosted on your local DNS server. This tutorial will guide you through the process of setting up DNS forwarding in Windows Server 2012, step by step.

Step 1: Open the DNS Manager

To begin, launch the DNS Manager by clicking on the Start button and searching for “DNS Manager”. Click on it when it appears in the search results.

Step 2: Access Your DNS Server Properties

In the DNS Manager, expand the server name under which you want to configure forwarding. Right-click on your server name and select Properties.

Step 3: Configure Forwarders

In the DNS Server Properties window, navigate to the Forwarders tab. Here, you will find options related to DNS forwarding.

Note: If you have previously configured forwarders, they will be displayed here. You can edit or remove existing forwarders or add new ones.

Add a Forwarder:

  1. To add a new forwarder, click on the Edit.. button under “DNS domain”.
  2. In the Edit Forwarders window, click on the Add. button to specify a new forwarder.
  3. Enter the IP address of the external DNS server you want to forward requests to, in the Selected DNS domain’s forwarder IP address list field.
  4. Click on OK to save the changes.

Edit or Remove a Forwarder:

  • To edit an existing forwarder, select it from the list and click on the Edit. button. Make the necessary changes and click on OK.
  • To remove a forwarder, select it from the list and click on the Delete button.

Step 4: Test Forwarding

To ensure that DNS forwarding is working correctly, you can perform a quick test.

  1. In the DNS Manager, expand your server name and select Forward Lookup Zones.
  2. Select any zone hosted on your local DNS server.
  3. In the right pane, right-click on any record and select New Host (A or AAAA)..
  4. In the “Name” field, enter a test hostname (e.g., “”).
  5. In the “IP address” field, enter an IP address that does not exist in your local network (e., “10.10.10”).
  6. Click on Add Host.
  7. If forwarding is configured correctly, you should see that for this test hostname, your local DNS server forwards the request to the specified external DNS server for resolution.

Congratulations! You have successfully configured DNS forwarding in Windows Server 2012. This will allow your local DNS server to handle queries for domains it hosts and forward the rest to external DNS servers, ensuring proper resolution of all DNS requests.

Remember to periodically review and update your forwarders based on your network requirements and changes in external DNS servers.

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