Why Is My DNS Server Not Available?


Heather Bennett

Have you ever encountered the frustrating message “DNS server not available” while trying to browse the internet? This error can be quite perplexing, especially if you’re not familiar with how DNS works. In this article, we will delve into the reasons behind this error and explore possible solutions.

Understanding DNS

DNS, which stands for Domain Name System, is a crucial component of the internet infrastructure. Its primary function is to translate human-readable domain names (like www.example.com) into machine-readable IP addresses (like This translation allows your web browser to connect to the appropriate server and load the requested website.

Possible Causes of DNS Server Unavailability

When you encounter the “DNS server not available” error, several factors could be at play:

  • Network Connectivity Issues: Problems with your internet connection can lead to an unresponsive DNS server. Ensure that your modem or router is properly connected and functioning.
  • Incorrect DNS Settings: If your computer or network is configured with incorrect DNS settings, it may struggle to reach the appropriate DNS server.

    Double-check your network settings or consider using alternative DNS servers like Google Public DNS or OpenDNS.

  • DNS Server Outage: Sometimes, the issue lies with your Internet Service Provider (ISP) itself. If their DNS servers are experiencing problems or undergoing maintenance, you may encounter difficulties accessing websites.
  • Firewall or Antivirus Interference: Overly strict firewall rules or antivirus software can sometimes block access to certain DNS servers. Temporarily disabling these security measures can help identify if they are causing the problem.

Troubleshooting Steps

If you’re facing the “DNS server not available” error, here are some steps you can take to resolve the issue:

1. Restart Your Router and Computer

Begin by turning off your router and computer. Wait for a few minutes, then turn them back on. This simple step can often resolve temporary network glitches.

2. Flush DNS Cache

Your computer stores DNS information in a cache to speed up future requests. However, this cache can sometimes become corrupted, leading to DNS errors. To fix this, open the Command Prompt (Windows) or Terminal (Mac), and type the following command: ipconfig /flushdns for Windows or sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder for Mac.

3. Check Network Settings

If your DNS settings are incorrect, your computer won’t be able to connect to the appropriate DNS server. Verify that your network settings are configured correctly by going to the network adapter settings on your device.

4. Temporarily Disable Firewall or Antivirus Software

If you suspect that your security software is causing the issue, try disabling it temporarily and see if the “DNS server not available” error persists.

5. Use Alternative DNS Servers

If all else fails, consider using alternative DNS servers like Google Public DNS (8.8.8 and 8.4.4) or OpenDNS ( and 208.220). Changing your DNS server settings can sometimes bypass issues with your ISP’s servers.

In Conclusion

The “DNS server not available” error can be frustrating, but with some troubleshooting steps, you can often resolve it. By understanding the basics of DNS and following the suggested solutions in this article, you’ll be better equipped to tackle DNS-related issues and get back to browsing the internet smoothly.

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