What Happens if I Remove a DNS Server?


Heather Bennett

What Happens if I Remove a DNS Server?

When it comes to managing your website or network infrastructure, understanding the role and impact of DNS servers is crucial. DNS (Domain Name System) servers are responsible for translating human-readable domain names into IP addresses that computers can understand. They play a vital role in ensuring that your website is accessible to users around the world.

Why Would You Want to Remove a DNS Server?

There can be several reasons why you might consider removing a DNS server from your network:

  • You are migrating to a new hosting provider or infrastructure and no longer require the old DNS server.
  • You have identified performance issues with a particular DNS server and want to replace it with a more reliable one.
  • You have consolidated your network infrastructure and no longer need multiple DNS servers.

The Impact of Removing a DNS Server

Removing a DNS server can have various implications depending on how your network is configured. Here are some potential outcomes:

Data Loss:

If you remove a primary DNS server without having secondary or backup servers in place, it can result in data loss. Without an active DNS server, visitors won’t be able to access your website, leading to potential revenue loss for businesses.


During the time it takes for the changes to propagate across the internet, there may be downtime where users cannot access your website. This period typically lasts between a few minutes up to several hours, depending on factors such as TTL (Time-to-Live) settings and caching behavior of ISPs (Internet Service Providers).

Reduced Redundancy:

If you remove a DNS server without having appropriate redundancy in place, such as secondary servers or utilizing a DNS failover service, your website’s resilience and availability may be compromised. Network or server failures can result in complete unavailability of your website.

Delayed DNS Updates:

After removing a DNS server, it may take some time for the changes to propagate across the internet. During this period, some users might still receive the old DNS information, leading to inconsistent or incorrect access to your website. This delay is primarily due to caching at various levels including ISPs and user devices.

Best Practices for Removing a DNS Server

To minimize the impact and ensure a smooth transition when removing a DNS server, follow these best practices:

  1. Plan Ahead: Before removing any DNS server, thoroughly assess your network infrastructure and understand the potential impact.
  2. Backup Configuration: Take a backup of the configuration of the existing DNS server(s) before removal.
  3. Add Redundancy: If you’re removing a primary DNS server, ensure you have secondary servers in place to maintain redundancy and availability.
  4. TTL Adjustment: Consider lowering the TTL value for your domain’s records well in advance. This will help reduce the propagation time during the transition.
  5. Migrate Gradually: If possible, migrate gradually by adding new DNS servers and updating configurations to avoid sudden disruptions.
  6. Monitor Propagation: Keep an eye on the propagation progress using tools like DNS lookup tools or global monitoring services.

In Conclusion

The removal of a DNS server should be approached with careful planning and consideration. Understanding the potential impact and following best practices can help minimize downtime, data loss, and ensure a smooth transition. By incorporating these precautions, you can successfully remove a DNS server while maintaining the availability and accessibility of your website.

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