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Fix: DNS server not responding

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  • 7 min read

The internet has become necessary in modern life and is now easier to access than ever. However, as seamless as we get online these days, there are still a few bugs and glitches that pop up from time to time that can prevent you from accessing the internet.

In this article, we’re talking about the “DNS server not responding” error, its causes and what you can do to fix the problem.


What causes the DNS server not responding error?

As the name suggests, the issue is primarily caused by misconfigured DNS settings. Some common causes include:

  • Internet connectivity issues
  • DNS setting or configuration issue
  • The website server is down

Also read: Your DNS server might be unavailable: 6 Fixes


How to fix the DNS server not responding error?

Here are 10 fixes you can try out.

Restart your router

Power cycling your network equipment is the fix to more issues than you can think. More often than not, connectivity issues can be caused by an underlying bug in your router and can be fixed by rebooting.


Try another browser or device

Sometimes different browsers treat URLs differently, which can cause problems with websites. Try using another browser, Edge, Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Tor or whatever you prefer to visit the site and see if it works. If it does, you’ve got a problem with your browser. Updating it might help. Another potential fix for the solution is to try a secondary device. This can also help point out issues in your primary device if any.


Use the Windows Internet troubleshooter

A lot of times, using the Windows troubleshooter can fix your issue. Right-click on the network icon in the taskbar, click on Troubleshoot problems and let the troubleshooter do its thing. 

How to fix the 'WiFi connected but no internet access' issue?

Try disabling your Windows firewall

Sometimes the Windows Firewall can be more of a hindrance rather than a security measure. Try disabling your firewall to check if you can get the browser up and running by fixing the error. 

Step 1: Press the Windows key and search for Windows Firewall. Click on Firewall & network protection.

How to fix DNS_Probe_Finished_Bad_Config error?

Step 2: Click on Private network or whichever is your active firewall.

How to fix DNS_Probe_Finished_Bad_Config error?

Step 3: Toggle the Microsoft Defender Firewall setting off. 

How to fix DNS_Probe_Finished_Bad_Config error?

Now restart your browser and try again. 


Clear the Chrome DNS cache

At times, a buggy DNS cache can redirect your browser to the wrong site and hence cause this error. You can try clearing your browser’s DNS cache to see if the issue gets resolved. 

Step 1: Fire up Chrome and head over to chrome://net-internals/#dns.

How to fix "ERR_ADDRESS_UNREACHABLE" in Google Chrome?

Step 2: Click on the Clear host cache button to clear out your DNS cache. 

How to fix "ERR_ADDRESS_UNREACHABLE" in Google Chrome?

Restart the browser and try to access the site you were having issues with again. 


Check your drivers

Your network adaptor’s drivers could be causing connectivity issues. Try connecting to the internet using either an ethernet connection or any other alternative and follow these steps to get your drivers in place.

Step 1: Press Windows key + R, type in devmgmt.msc and hit enter.

How to fix the 'WiFi connected but no internet access' issue?

Step 2: Double-click Network adaptors to expand it and right-click your Wi-Fi card or ethernet adaptor, depending upon what you need to fix. Click on Update driver.

How to fix the 'WiFi connected but no internet access' issue?

Step 3: Select Search automatically for drivers, and Windows will find and install any available updates. 

How to fix the 'WiFi connected but no internet access' issue?

Now restart your PC and try again. 


Disable IPv6

Having IPv6 enabled can sometimes cause problems with connectivity. Here’s what you need to do. 

Step 1: Press the Windows key + I to open the Windows settings and click on Network & Internet.

How to fix the 'WiFi connected but no internet access' issue?

Step 2: Click on Change adaptor options.

How to fix the 'WiFi connected but no internet access' issue?

Step 3: Right-click on your active network (WiFi or LAN) and click Properties.

How to fix the 'WiFi connected but no internet access' issue?

Step 4: Find and uncheck Internet Protocol Version 6 in the list.

How to fix the 'WiFi connected but no internet access' issue?

Reset your DNS settings

As you can probably guess by the error, there might be something wrong with your DNS settings. Here’s how you can reset them. 

Step 1: Press Windows key + R and type in cmd and hit enter.

How to fix the 'WiFi connected but no internet access' issue?

Step 2: Type in ipconfig /flushdns to reset DNS settings to default.

How to fix the 'WiFi connected but no internet access' issue?

If the above command doesn’t help, try entering these commands in the Command Prompt one at a time.

netsh winsock reset
netsh int ip reset

If you suspect an issue with your router’s DHCP assignment, use these commands to release your old IP and request a new one. 

ipconfig /release
ipconfig /renew

If this doesn’t work either, use the following commands to reset your network stack.

ipconfig/flushdns
nbtstat -R
nbtstat -RR
netsh int ip reset C:\resetlog.txt
netsh winsock reset

On a Mac, head over to your terminal and type in sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder. Type your password when prompted for it and try re-accessing the internet.


Try another DNS

There are multiple free DNS providers using whom you can fix this issue. In this example, we’re going to use Google’s DNS.

Step 1: Press Windows key + I to open the Windows settings and click on Network & Internet.

How to fix the 'WiFi connected but no internet access' issue?

Step 2: Click on Change adaptor options.

How to fix the 'WiFi connected but no internet access' issue?

Step 3: Right-click on your active network (WiFi or LAN) and click Properties.

How to fix the 'WiFi connected but no internet access' issue?

Step 4: Find Internet Protocol Version 4 in the list, click on it and then click Properties. 

How to fix the 'WiFi connected but no internet access' issue?

Step 5: Check the Use the following DNS server addresses radio button and type in 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4 in the preferred and alternative DNS addresses, respectively. 

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Reset your network settings

Try resetting the network settings on your PC, This should reset your entire network stack and help the data go through. 

Step 1: Press Windows Key + I to open Windows Settings. Click on Update and Security. 

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Step 2: Scroll down to find the Network reset option. Click on it to reset your PC’s network stack.

How to fix the 'Network Discovery is Turned Off' error in Windows 10?

Once the reset is complete, restart your PC and try again. 

Also read: How to fix DNS_Probe_Finished_Bad_Config error?

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Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: [email protected].

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