How to Flush Your DNS

Posted on Posted in Computer Tutorials, Web Design Tutorials, Web Development Tools

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  Sometimes, for various reasons, the DNS cache becomes corrupt or out of date.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:

start-button

 

 

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:

Enter "cmd" in the Search Box
Enter “cmd” in the Search Box

 

 

 

 

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.

open-cmd

Enter the Command to Flush DNS

At the prompt, end the following command as shown in the image and press <Enter>:

ipconfig/flushdns

enter-command

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.

Success Message

You will receive the following message:

screen-shot

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:

Click the "X" to Close the Command Prompt
Click the “X” to Close the Command Prompt

The second way is to enter “exit” as shown here:

 

Enter "exit" to Close Command Prompt
Enter “exit” to Close Command Prompt

Questions or Comments

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below and I will help you.

Steph Hill

Greetings! It is a pleasure to meet you. My name is Stephanie and the aim of this website is to help newcomers to the field of internet marketing by providing free easy-to-follow tutorials, product reviews and resources. I hope you find the information useful and down-to-earth. My background is in librarianship, technical writing, special education, software training and web design. Please leave a comment with your questions and I will be happy to answer them.

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8 thoughts on “How to Flush Your DNS

  1. Wow.
    Thanks for taking the time to dig into code and show us how to flush DNS and clear the cache from our computers. It is so easy to do.

  2. Hi Steph

    Very good review thank you for sharing this information. I will definitely be using this process on my home computers.

    Have a Great Day!
    Trish

  3. This is great information for anyone who uses a computer on a regular basis! Thank you for the step-by-step tutorial. I will have to do this to a few computers at my office! One of my co-workers was having an issue with a website today. I’m going to look like an IT genius to my co-workers!

    1. Hi Devin!

      Thank you for checking out my tutorial on how to flush DNS. I got a chuckle when I read your comment about looking “like an IT genius to my co-workers!” Be sure to check out some of my other computer tutorials so you can look even more like an IT genius. 🙂

      Steph

  4. Thank you Steph for this quick and effective guide on how to flush your DNS. It’s strange because a little while ago I found that some websites I went to didn’t load properly, and still don’t to this day. I’ve just assumed it was probably a compatibility problem with the site and Windows 10, or it was on the website’s end.

    Now that you’ve brought to my attention the fact that the DNS cache sometimes needs to be cleaned, I’ll give it a try and see if it fixes my issues.

    1. Hi Paul:

      I am glad you were able to find this article helpful. I would be curious to know if it worked and are now able to access some of those websites. I perhaps did not mention in the tutorial, but there is no guarantee that this will work. As you probably know, computers are complex and there are numerous reasons why you may not be able to access some websites that you know are there. But, this is one possibility.

      Thank you for checking out my website. Please be sure to check out some of other computer tutorials.

      Steph

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