How Do I Setup a DNS Server in Windows Server 2012?


Angela Bailey

Setting up a DNS Server in Windows Server 2012 is an essential task for network administrators. By configuring a DNS server, you can efficiently manage and resolve domain names within your network. In this tutorial, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of setting up a DNS server in Windows Server 2012.

Step 1: Installing the DNS Server Role
To begin, we need to install the DNS server role on your Windows Server 2012. Follow these steps:

1. Open the Server Manager

  • Click on the Windows icon located on the bottom left corner of your desktop.
  • Type ‘Server Manager’ in the search box and click on it when it appears.

2. Add Roles and Features

  • In the Server Manager dashboard, click on ‘Manage’ located at the top-right corner.
  • Select ‘Add Roles and Features’ from the dropdown menu.

3. Select Installation Type

  • In the ‘Add Roles and Features Wizard’, select ‘Role-based or feature-based installation’ and click ‘Next’.

4. Choose Destination Server

  • Select your desired destination server (usually pre-selected if you have only one) and click ‘Next’.

5. Select Server Roles

  • In the ‘Select server roles’ window, scroll down and check ‘DNS Server’. A pop-up will appear asking to add additional features required for DNS role; click on ‘Add Features’ to proceed.

6. Confirm Installation Selections

  • Click on ‘Next’ to proceed.

7. Install

  • On the ‘Confirm installation selections’ window, review your selections and click on ‘Install’.

Step 2: Configuring the DNS Server
After successfully installing the DNS server role, we can now configure it to start resolving domain names. Open the DNS Manager

  • Click on the Windows icon located on the bottom left corner of your desktop.
  • Type ‘DNS Manager’ in the search box and click on it when it appears. Create a Forward Lookup Zone
    • In the DNS Manager, right-click on your server name and select ‘Configure a DNS Server’.
    • Select ‘Create forward lookup zone’ and click ‘Next’.
    • Choose either ‘Primary zone’ or ‘Active Directory-integrated zone’ based on your requirements and click ‘Next’.
    • Enter a name for your zone (e.g., and click ‘Next’. Choose appropriate Dynamic Update settings if required.
    • Leave the default settings for Zone File options and click ‘Next’, then click ‘Finish’ to complete creating a forward lookup zone. Create a Reverse Lookup Zone (Optional)
      • If you need to resolve IP addresses to domain names, you can create a reverse lookup zone as well.

        Right-click on your server name in DNS Manager, select ‘Configure a DNS Server’, then choose ‘Create reverse lookup zone’. Follow similar steps as above to create a reverse lookup zone.

      4. Add Resource Records

      • To start resolving domain names, you need to add resource records (e., A, MX, CNAME) to your forward lookup zone. Right-click on your zone name and select ‘New Host (A or AAAA)’, ‘New Mail Exchanger (MX)’, or other record types as per your requirements.
      • Follow the prompts to enter the necessary information for each resource record.

      Step 3: Testing the DNS Server
      Now that your DNS server is configured, it’s time to test if it is functioning correctly. Open Command Prompt

      • Click on the Windows icon located on the bottom left corner of your desktop.
      • Type ‘cmd’ in the search box and click on ‘Command Prompt’ when it appears. Use nslookup Command
        • In the Command Prompt window, type ‘nslookup’ followed by a space and enter the domain name you want to resolve (e.,
        • Press Enter and check if the IP address of the domain name is correctly resolved by your DNS server.


        Congratulations! You have successfully set up a DNS server in Windows Server 2012.

        By following these steps, you can now efficiently manage domain names within your network and ensure smooth communication between devices. Remember to regularly monitor and maintain your DNS server to ensure its optimal performance.

        If you encounter any issues during the setup process or face difficulties with resolving domain names, refer to Microsoft’s official documentation or seek assistance from experienced network administrators.

        Thank you for reading this tutorial! We hope it has been informative and visually engaging with the proper use of HTML styling elements. Happy networking!

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