What is DNS?
DNS is an acronym for the Domain Name System. The memory of all the DNS lookups which your computer has performed is called the ‘DNS cache’.
Purpose of this Tutorial
This tutorial walks you through the process of showing you how to flush your DNS. Sometimes, for various reasons, the DNS cache becomes corrupt or out of date. The most common is that you are unable to access some websites in your browser. When this happens, you might receive an error message when you know the website is there on the internet. I am sure this happened to you at one point.
Sometimes you need to clear out your cache on your computer. Flushing the DNS will permit your computer to receive new data by flushing out the old data that is causing you problems.
Open your Command Prompt
If using a PC in Windows, your first step will be to access your command prompt. A command prompt is an entry point where you can give direct commands to the computer without having to interact with the Windows interface. You are instead using the original operating system for all computers – DOS (Disk Operating System). DOS was the first operating system before Windows and graphic interfaces were invented. To access the command prompt:
Click on the Start Icon in the lower left hand corner of your screen:
There are two ways you can access your command prompt from the start menu. You can enter “cmd” in the search box on your start menu as shown here:
Another way you can access your command prompt is by clicking on All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt.
Your command prompt will look like the following. Please note I am using my computer and thus, it lists my name as the user. The computer you are using will list you as the user.
Enter the Command to Flush DNS
At the prompt, end the following command as shown in the image and press <Enter>:
What the first part of the command before the slash / is indicating is that for your specific IP address, you are wanting to configure your computer. The second part of the command is telling the computer to flush the DNS or clear the cache for this computer’s IP address.
You will receive the following message:
Elevation Error Message
If you do not get the success message and instead get an error message such as:
The requested operation requires elevation
You will want to make sure you run the command as an Administrator of your computer. If you are using a work computer, for instance, you may not be logged in as an Administrator. To fix this error, access the command point by following the steps above for opening the command point. Specifically, repeat accessing your command prompt by clicking on the start menu icon and clicking All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt. Mouse over the words “Command Prompt” and right-click and click on “Run As Administrator“.
Close the Command Prompt
There are two ways to close the command prompt.
First way is to click on the X in the upper right hand corner of the screen as shown here:
The second way is to enter “exit” as shown here:
Questions or Comments
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below and I will help you.