What Causes DNS Server Issues?


Scott Campbell

What Causes DNS Server Issues?

When it comes to accessing websites, the Domain Name System (DNS) plays a crucial role. It acts as a translator between human-readable domain names and the corresponding IP addresses that computers use to communicate with each other.

However, there are times when DNS server issues can disrupt this translation process, resulting in website accessibility problems. In this article, we will explore some common causes of DNS server issues and how they can be resolved.

1. Network Connectivity Problems

Network connectivity problems can often be the root cause of DNS server issues. If your computer is unable to establish a stable internet connection, it won’t be able to reach the DNS servers responsible for translating domain names into IP addresses. This can happen due to various reasons:

  • Issues with your Internet Service Provider (ISP)
  • Faulty network cables or hardware
  • Router misconfiguration
  • Firewall settings blocking DNS traffic

To resolve network connectivity problems, you can try:

  • Contacting your ISP for assistance
  • Checking and replacing faulty network cables or hardware
  • Verifying router settings and restarting it if necessary
  • Adjusting firewall settings to allow DNS traffic

2. Incorrect DNS Settings

Incorrect DNS settings, either on your computer or router, can also lead to DNS server issues. If your device is configured to use an incorrect or non-functional DNS server address, it won’t be able to translate domain names correctly.

To check and update your DNS settings:

  • On Windows, go to Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center > Change Adapter Settings. Right-click on your active network connection, select Properties, and double-click on Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4). Ensure that “Obtain DNS server address automatically” is selected or enter the correct DNS server addresses.
  • On macOS, go to System Preferences > Network.

    Select your active network connection, click on Advanced, and navigate to the DNS tab. Remove any incorrect DNS server addresses and add valid ones.

  • On routers, access the administration panel through a web browser and look for the DNS settings. Ensure that the correct DNS server addresses are configured.

3. DNS Server Outages or Malfunctions

DNS server outages or malfunctions can occur due to various factors:

  • Server maintenance or upgrades
  • Hardware failures
  • Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks

If you suspect a DNS server issue due to an outage or malfunction:

  • Contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to inquire about any known DNS server issues.
  • Use alternative public DNS servers such as Google’s Public DNS (8.8.8 and 8.4.4) or Cloudflare’s DNS (1.1.1 and 1.0.1).

4. Cached DNS Records

Cached DNS records can sometimes cause issues if they become outdated or corrupted in your computer’s cache or browser cache.

To clear DNS cache on your computer:

  • On Windows, open Command Prompt as an administrator and run the command: ipconfig /flushdns.
  • On macOS, open Terminal and run the command: sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder.

To clear DNS cache in your web browser:

  • In Google Chrome, type chrome://net-internals/#dns in the address bar, click “Clear host cache”, and restart the browser.
  • In Mozilla Firefox, type about:config in the address bar, search for “network.dns.cache.entries”, right-click on it, and select “Reset” to set it to zero.
  • In Safari, go to Preferences > Advanced. Check the box next to “Show Develop menu in menu bar”. Then, go to Develop > Empty Caches.


DNS server issues can be frustrating when trying to access websites or resources on the internet. By understanding the common causes of these issues and following the appropriate troubleshooting steps, you can resolve them effectively. Whether it’s network connectivity problems, incorrect DNS settings, DNS server outages/malfunctions, or cached DNS records causing troubles – now you know how to tackle them!

Note: It’s always a good idea to consult with technical support or professionals if you are unsure about making changes to your network or device settings.

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