How Do I Set a Default DNS Server?


Scott Campbell

Setting a Default DNS Server

In this tutorial, we will explore how to set a default Domain Name System (DNS) server. DNS servers are responsible for translating human-readable domain names into IP addresses that computers can understand.

By default, your computer may be configured to use the DNS server provided by your internet service provider (ISP). However, you might want to change this default server for various reasons, such as improved performance or enhanced security.

What is a DNS Server?
A DNS server is like a phone book for the internet. When you type a website’s domain name in your web browser, the DNS server translates that domain name into an IP address, allowing your computer to connect to the correct website. Without DNS servers, we would have to remember and type in IP addresses for every website we visit.

Changing the Default DNS Server

Step 1: Open Network Settings

To begin, open your computer’s network settings. The process for accessing network settings may vary depending on your operating system. In most cases, you can find it in the Control Panel or System Preferences.

Step 2: Locate Your Network Connection

Once you have opened the network settings, locate the network connection that you want to modify. This could be your Wi-Fi connection or an Ethernet connection.

Step 3: Open Connection Properties

Right-click on the desired network connection and select “Properties” from the context menu. This will open a window with various settings related to that connection.

Step 4: Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPv4)

In the properties window, locate and select “Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPv4)” from the list of components or protocols associated with your network connection.

Step 5: Specify Preferred DNS Server

After selecting IPv4, click on the “Properties” button below. In the new window, select the option to “Use the following DNS server addresses.” This will allow you to manually enter the IP addresses of your preferred DNS servers.

Step 6: Enter DNS Server Addresses

Now, enter the IP addresses of your desired DNS servers. You can find popular public DNS servers such as Google Public DNS (8.8.8 and 8.4.4) or OpenDNS ( and 208.220.220).

  • Primary DNS server: Enter the IP address of your preferred primary DNS server here
  • Secondary DNS server: Enter the IP address of your preferred secondary DNS server here

Step 7: Save Changes

Once you have entered the preferred DNS server addresses, click on “OK” or “Save” to save your changes and close any open windows.

Step 8: Test Your New DNS Settings

To ensure that your new settings are working correctly, it’s a good idea to test them by visiting some websites and checking if they load properly.

Troubleshooting Tips:

If you encounter any issues after changing your default DNS server, here are a few troubleshooting tips:

1. Clear Your Browser Cache:

Sometimes, old cached data can interfere with new DNS settings. Clearing your browser cache can help resolve this issue.

2. Restart Your Computer:

A simple restart can often solve network-related problems.

3. Try Different DNS Servers:

If you experience performance issues or other problems with one set of DNS servers, try using different ones to see if the issue persists.

4. Contact Your ISP:

If you are unable to access the internet or experience persistent issues, it may be worth contacting your ISP for assistance.

Remember, changing your default DNS server can have an impact on your internet browsing experience. It is recommended to research and choose reliable DNS servers that offer good performance and security features.

By following these steps, you should now be able to set a default DNS server on your computer. Enjoy improved performance and potentially enhanced security as you browse the web!

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