How Do I Move a Windows DNS Zone to Another Server?


Larry Thompson

Are you looking to move a Windows DNS zone to another server? This tutorial will guide you through the process step by step.

Moving a DNS zone is essential when you need to migrate your DNS services or consolidate your DNS infrastructure. With the right tools and knowledge, this task can be completed smoothly and efficiently.

Step 1: Export the DNS Zone

The first step in moving a Windows DNS zone is to export the zone from the current server. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Open the DNS Manager: On the current server, open the Start menu, search for “DNS Manager,” and click on it to open.
  2. Select the Zone: In the left-hand pane of the DNS Manager, expand the server name and then expand “Forward Lookup Zones” or “Reverse Lookup Zones,” depending on the type of zone you want to move.
  3. Right-click on the Zone: Right-click on the zone you want to move and select “Export List.” Choose a location to save the exported file.

Step 2: Import the DNS Zone

Once you have exported the DNS zone from your current server, you can import it into your new server. Here’s how:

  1. Open Server Manager: On your new server, open Server Manager by clicking on Start and searching for “Server Manager. “
  2. Add Roles and Features: In Server Manager, click on “Add roles and features” from the main dashboard.
  3. Select Role-based or Feature-based Installation: Choose “Role-based or feature-based installation” and click Next.
  4. Select the Destination Server: Select the appropriate server from the server pool and click Next.
  5. Select Server Roles: Expand “DNS Server” and select it.

    Click Next to proceed.

  6. Confirm DNS Role Installation: Review the information and click Install to install the DNS role on your new server.
  7. Import the Zone: Once the DNS role is installed, open DNS Manager on your new server. Right-click on “Forward Lookup Zones” or “Reverse Lookup Zones” and select “Import Zone.” Choose the exported zone file from step 1 and follow the prompts to import it.

Step 3: Update DNS Settings

After importing the DNS zone, you need to update the DNS settings to point to your new server. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Update Name Servers: If you have registered name servers with a domain registrar, log in to your account and update the name servers’ IP addresses to match your new server’s IP address.
  2. Update DHCP Settings (if applicable): If you are using DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) in your network, update the DHCP settings to assign your new server as the primary DNS server for client devices.
  3. Cross-Check Configuration: Double-check all other devices or services that rely on DNS resolution within your network and update their configurations accordingly.


Moving a Windows DNS zone to another server involves exporting the zone from the current server, importing it into the new server, and updating DNS settings. By following these steps, you can successfully migrate your DNS zone and ensure uninterrupted DNS services for your network. Remember to test the new DNS server thoroughly before decommissioning the old one to avoid any potential issues.

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