What Does It Mean When My Computer Says the DNS Server Isn’t Responding?


Heather Bennett

What Does It Mean When My Computer Says the DNS Server Isn’t Responding?

When you encounter the error message “DNS Server Isn’t Responding” on your computer, it means that your device is having trouble connecting to the Domain Name System (DNS). The DNS is responsible for translating human-readable website addresses, like www.example.com, into machine-readable IP addresses, such as

Why does this error occur?

There are several reasons why your computer may display this error message:

  • Your internet connection might be experiencing issues.
  • The DNS server you are trying to connect to could be down or experiencing problems.
  • There might be an issue with your network settings or configuration.

How to troubleshoot the DNS server issue:

Step 1: Check your internet connection

The first thing you should do when encountering a DNS server issue is to verify that your internet connection is working correctly. Ensure that you are connected to a stable network and try accessing other websites to confirm if the problem is specific to a particular site or affecting all websites.

Step 2: Restart your router and modem

If you have determined that your internet connection is stable but still encountering the DNS server error, try restarting your router and modem. Sometimes, these devices can encounter temporary issues that can be resolved by a simple restart. Unplug both devices from power, wait for about 30 seconds, then plug them back in and allow them to fully reboot.

Step 3: Flush DNS cache

The DNS cache on your computer stores information about previously visited websites, and sometimes it can become corrupted, leading to DNS-related issues. To flush the DNS cache:

  1. Open the Command Prompt on your computer.
  2. Type “ipconfig /flushdns” and press Enter.
  3. Wait for the process to complete, then restart your computer.

Step 4: Change DNS server settings

If flushing the DNS cache didn’t resolve the issue, you can try changing your DNS server settings manually. By default, your computer uses the DNS servers provided by your internet service provider (ISP), but you can switch to public DNS servers like Google DNS or OpenDNS. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Control Panel on your computer.
  2. Select “Network and Internet” and then click on “Network and Sharing Center”.
  3. Click on “Change adapter settings” from the left sidebar.
  4. Right-click on your active network connection and select “Properties”.
  5. In the Properties window, scroll down and double-click on “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)”.
  6. Select “Use the following DNS server addresses” and enter the desired DNS server addresses (e.g., Google DNS: Preferred DNS Server – 8.8.8, Alternate DNS Server – 8.4.4).
  7. Click “OK” to save your changes.

Step 5: Disable firewall or antivirus temporarily

Sometimes, firewall or antivirus software can interfere with your network connections and cause issues with accessing the DNS server. Temporarily disable these programs to see if they are the cause of the problem. Remember to re-enable them once you have finished troubleshooting.

Step 6: Contact your ISP or network administrator

If none of the above steps resolve the DNS server issue, it’s possible that there is a problem with your ISP’s DNS servers or your network configuration. Contact your internet service provider or network administrator for further assistance and guidance.


The “DNS Server Isn’t Responding” error message can be frustrating, but by following the troubleshooting steps outlined above, you can often resolve the issue and regain access to the internet. Remember to check your internet connection, restart your router and modem, flush DNS cache, change DNS server settings if necessary, and temporarily disable firewall or antivirus software if needed. If all else fails, don’t hesitate to reach out to your ISP or network administrator for help.

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