What Is the DNS Server for Windows 7?


Larry Thompson

In Windows 7, the DNS server plays a crucial role in translating domain names into IP addresses. Understanding how the DNS server works is essential for troubleshooting network issues and ensuring smooth internet connectivity.

What is a DNS server?

A DNS (Domain Name System) server is like a phone book for the internet. When you type a web address (URL) into your browser, such as www.example.com, your computer needs to know the IP address associated with that domain name in order to connect to the correct website. This translation from domain name to IP address is performed by a DNS server.

Primary and Secondary DNS servers

In Windows 7, you can configure both primary and secondary DNS servers. The primary server is the first point of contact for translating domain names, while the secondary server acts as a backup in case the primary server is unavailable or slow.

Configuring DNS servers in Windows 7

To configure DNS servers in Windows 7, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Click on the Start button and open Control Panel.
  • Step 2: In Control Panel, click on “Network and Internet” and then “Network and Sharing Center”.
  • Step 3: In Network and Sharing Center, click on “Change adapter settings” on the left-hand side.
  • Step 4: Right-click on the network adapter you are currently using (e.g., Ethernet or Wi-Fi) and select “Properties”.
  • Step 5: In the Properties window, scroll down to find “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” and select it.
  • Step 6: Click on the “Properties” button below.
  • Step 7: In the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) Properties window, select “Use the following DNS server addresses”.
  • Step 8: Enter the IP addresses of your preferred DNS servers in the “Preferred DNS server” and “Alternate DNS server” fields. These addresses are typically provided by your internet service provider (ISP) or can be obtained from public DNS providers like Google (8.8.8) or Cloudflare (1.1.1).
  • Step 9: Click on “OK” to save the changes.

Note: You may need administrative privileges to modify network settings in Windows 7.

DNS cache in Windows 7

In addition to configuring DNS servers, Windows 7 also maintains a local DNS cache to speed up future requests for already visited websites. When you access a website, its IP address is stored in this cache for a certain period of time, making subsequent visits faster.

If you encounter issues with accessing a website that has recently changed its IP address, clearing the DNS cache can help resolve the problem. To clear the DNS cache in Windows 7, open Command Prompt as an administrator and run the following command:

ipconfig /flushdns

This command will clear the DNS cache and force your computer to retrieve fresh IP address information from the configured DNS servers.


In summary, understanding the DNS server in Windows 7 is essential for troubleshooting network issues and ensuring smooth internet connectivity. By configuring the primary and secondary DNS servers, you can ensure reliable domain name resolution. Additionally, being aware of the DNS cache and how to clear it can help resolve any issues related to outdated IP address information.

Now that you have a better understanding of the DNS server in Windows 7, you are equipped with the knowledge to effectively manage your network settings and troubleshoot connectivity problems.

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