How Do I Nslookup a Specific DNS Server?


Heather Bennett

In this tutorial, we will explore how to use the nslookup command to query a specific DNS server. The nslookup command is a powerful tool that allows you to retrieve information about the domain name system (DNS) records of a given domain or IP address.

What is nslookup?

Nslookup is a command-line utility used to query DNS servers and obtain information about various DNS records. It stands for “name server lookup” and is available on most operating systems, including Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Why would you want to specify a DNS server?

By default, the nslookup command queries the DNS server configured on your system. However, there may be situations where you need to query a specific DNS server directly. This can be useful for troubleshooting purposes or when testing changes made to DNS configurations.

How to nslookup a specific DNS server

To specify a specific DNS server when using the nslookup command, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Open your command prompt or terminal.
  • Step 2: Type nslookup followed by the domain or IP address you want to query.
  • Step 3: Press Enter to execute the command.
  • Step 4: By default, nslookup will display information retrieved from your system’s configured DNS server. To specify a different DNS server, type -server=[DNS_SERVER_IP], replacing [DNS_SERVER_IP] with the IP address of the desired DNS server.
  • Step 5: Press Enter again to execute the modified command.

Example usage:

Suppose you want to query the DNS server with the IP address 8.8.8 for the domain You would type the following command:

nslookup -server=8.8

This command will send the query directly to the specified DNS server and display the corresponding DNS records.


With the nslookup command, you can easily query a specific DNS server to retrieve information about a domain or IP address. This can be helpful for troubleshooting DNS issues, testing DNS configurations, or simply gaining insight into how a particular domain is resolved.

Remember to use the -server=[DNS_SERVER_IP] flag followed by the desired DNS server’s IP address to specify which server to query.

Now that you’re familiar with specifying a DNS server using nslookup, you can confidently perform Targeted DNS queries when needed.

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