How Do I Forward DNS in Windows Server?


Heather Bennett

Have you ever wondered how to forward DNS in Windows Server? In this tutorial, we will guide you through the steps to configure DNS forwarding on your Windows Server machine. DNS forwarding allows your server to send DNS queries for external domains to another DNS server, which can help improve the efficiency and speed of your network.

Step 1: Open DNS Manager

To begin, open the DNS Manager by clicking on the Start menu, selecting Administrative Tools, and then clicking on DNS.

Step 2: Access Server Properties

Once you have opened the DNS Manager, right-click on your server name located in the left-hand pane and select Properties from the context menu.

Step 3: Configure Forwarders

In the Properties window, navigate to the Forwarders tab. Here you will find options to configure the forwarders for your server.

Option 1: Use Root Hints

If you choose not to use forwarders and instead rely on root hints, make sure that “Disable recursion” is selected. Root hints are a list of authoritative servers for top-level domains that can be used as a fallback option when resolving external domain names.

Option 2: Use Specific Forwarders

If you want to use specific forwarders instead of relying on root hints, follow these steps:

  1. Select ‘Forwarders’
    1. Add..
      • Type the IP address of a preferred external DNS server
      • Add
    2. Add.
      • Type the IP address of an alternate external DNS server
      • Add
  2. Check ‘Do not use recursion for this domain’
  3. Click ‘OK’

Step 4: Test the Configuration

Once you have configured the forwarders, it is important to test the configuration to ensure it is working correctly. You can do this by using a command prompt and running a DNS query for an external domain.

To test, open Command Prompt and type:


If the query returns the IP address of the external domain, then your DNS forwarding configuration is working as expected.


In this tutorial, we have learned how to configure DNS forwarding on Windows Server. By forwarding DNS queries for external domains, you can improve the speed and efficiency of your network.

Remember to choose between using root hints or specific forwarders based on your requirements. Don’t forget to test your configuration to ensure it is working correctly.

Now that you have mastered DNS forwarding in Windows Server, you are ready to optimize your network’s performance!

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