Why Is My DNS Server Not Working?


Scott Campbell

Are you experiencing issues with your DNS server? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

DNS (Domain Name System) is a critical component of the internet that translates domain names into IP addresses, allowing us to access websites easily. When your DNS server is not working properly, it can disrupt your online experience. In this article, we’ll explore common reasons why your DNS server may not be functioning correctly and how to troubleshoot these issues.

1. Incorrect DNS Settings

If you’re unable to access websites or experiencing slow internet speed, the first thing to check is your DNS settings. The incorrect configuration of DNS settings can cause problems with your internet connection.

To check your DNS settings on Windows, go to Control Panel → Network and Internet → Network and Sharing Center. From there, click on ‘Change adapter settings’.

Right-click on your active network connection and select ‘Properties’. In the Properties window, select ‘Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)’ and click on ‘Properties’. Ensure that both ‘Obtain an IP address automatically’ and ‘Obtain DNS server address automatically’ options are selected.

If you prefer using custom DNS servers (such as Google Public DNS or OpenDNS), you can enter their respective IP addresses in the ‘Preferred DNS server’ and ‘Alternate DNS server’ fields.

2. Clearing Your DNS Cache

Another potential issue that can affect your DNS server is a cached entry.

Your computer keeps a record of previously visited websites to load them quickly in the future. However, if this cache becomes outdated or corrupted, it can cause problems with accessing websites.

To clear your DNS cache on Windows, open the Command Prompt by pressing Windows key + R, typing ‘cmd’, and pressing Enter. In the Command Prompt window, type ‘ipconfig /flushdns’ and press Enter. This will clear your DNS cache.

3. Firewall or Antivirus Blocking DNS

Your firewall or antivirus software may sometimes block the DNS requests, preventing your computer from accessing the DNS server. This can be due to a false positive or misconfiguration.

To troubleshoot this issue, temporarily disable your firewall or antivirus software and check if the problem persists. If disabling the software resolves the issue, you may need to adjust its settings to allow DNS requests.

4. Router Configuration Issues

If you’re experiencing DNS problems on multiple devices connected to the same network, it could indicate a router configuration issue. The router acts as a gateway between your devices and the internet, so any misconfiguration can impact your DNS server connectivity.

To resolve router configuration issues, access your router’s settings by typing its IP address into your web browser (usually mentioned on the router itself). Look for DNS settings within the router’s interface and ensure they are set to ‘Obtain DNS server address automatically’ or enter custom DNS servers if desired.

5. Contacting Your ISP

If all else fails and you’re unable to resolve the issue on your own, it might be time to contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Your ISP manages your network connection and is responsible for maintaining reliable DNS servers.

Contact their support team and explain the problem you’re facing with your DNS server. They will be able to guide you through further troubleshooting steps specific to their network.


When your DNS server is not working correctly, it can be frustrating and disrupt your online activities. By checking and adjusting your DNS settings, clearing your DNS cache, ensuring firewall or antivirus software is not blocking DNS requests, resolving router configuration issues, and reaching out to your ISP if needed, you can troubleshoot the problem effectively.

Remember to regularly check the functionality of your DNS server to ensure a smooth browsing experience. Happy troubleshooting!

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