Fix This: ‘Your DNS Server Might be Unavailable’ in Windows 8, 8.1, 10

By: Andrew Wafer
7 minute read

Since Windows 8 is designed to fit on any kind of device, especially on portable and touch based ones, the Internet connection is a must when talking about this new OS developed by Microsoft.

Also, in order to have access to Windows Store and for being able to check your emails, to connect with your friends and coworkers trough Skype or social media platforms you must have an internet connection enabled all the time.

So, when dealing with DNS problems you need to act quickly in order to restore and troubleshoot your internet connections, whether we are talking about your router, WiFi adapter or any other connections that are coming towards your Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 device.

Related to your network, a common problem that might be displayed on your device is the following one “Your DNS server might be unavailable”.

This alert is telling you that something isn’t working properly and you can’t connect to internet until all the issues are being fixed. We recommend you to download this tool to fix various PC problems, such as file loss, malware and hardware failure. It will also optimize your PC for maximum performance.

The reasons that might cause the DNS system error are various, but we will try to address the most common ones by explaining the methods from below. By following the guidelines from this tutorial you will be able to learn how to resolve the Windows 8 / Windows 8.1 ‘Your DNS server might be unavailable’ error message with ease, so don’t hesitate and check the same.

How to Fix Windows 8 Your DNS Server Might be Unavailable Error

DNS problems can be serious and they can prevent you from accessing the Internet. Speaking of DNS problems, users reported the following issues:

  • DNS server might be experiencing problems – This is a common problem that can occur on almost any PC. If this error occurs, be sure to wait for a couple of minutes and try to access Internet again.
  • DNS server might be down – This is an unlikely error, but it can still occur once in a while. To fix this problem, you might have to temporarily switch to a different DNS.
  • DNS server not responding, not available – Sometimes you might get this error message if your DNS server isn’t properly configured. To fix the problem, be sure to check your DNS configuration.
  • DNS server timed out – This is another common error that can occur. If you’re getting this error message, your PC might not be able to reach the DNS server.
  • DNS server not found – Sometimes you might get DNS server not found message. If this occurs, it’s advised to check your network configuration and DNS server’s address.
  • DNS server disconnected – Another problem that can occur with DNS is DNS server disconnected message. Like many other DNS-related problems this one can be caused by your network configuration.
  • DNS server keeps disconnecting – Many users reported that their DNS server keeps disconnecting. This problem is usually related to your network connection or configuration.
  • DNS server could not be found, could not be reached – This is another problem that can occur with DNS. To fix the issue, it’s advised to check if your DNS address is correct.

Solution 1 – Reset your Router

This is the easiest troubleshoot solution to perform when dealing with DNS errors. In case you are using a router for establishing your network connection, just unplug and reconnect the router cable or press the router reset button. In this way, if the problem is only minor, you will be able to quickly address the “Your DNS server might be unavailable” error.


Solution 2 – Remove additional security programs

In case you are using more than one security tool on your Windows 8 device, you might get a DNS alert. This is happening due to incompatibility problems and other conflicts between your antivirus and / or antimalware software. Therefore, just uninstall the additional security platforms and keep just one antivirus program on your device.

Several users reported that Avast antivirus caused this problem on their PC, so if you’re using Avast, be sure to remove it and check if that solves the problem.


Solution 3 – Run your Windows 8 / Windows 8.1 Network Troubleshooter

Each Windows system features an in built network troubleshooter. By running the same you will be able to find the cause of your DNS problem and to address the issue. The Network Troubleshooter is perfect for newbies and for those who doesn’t know how to manually fix a system problem.

You can initiate this process by going to your Start Screen; from there point your mouse on the upper-right corner of the screen until the search box is being displayed; there type network troubleshooter and follow the on-screen prompts.


Solution 4 – Flush the DNS

In this way you will be able to request a new IP address from your ISP server and this might just resolve your network issue; just follow the next steps:

  1. Go to your Start Screen.
  2. From there press Windows key + R.
    DNS server might be experiencing problems
  3. On the Run box that will be displayed type cmd.exe and click on OK.
  4. Then, on the cmd window enter the following commands (type enter after each one): “ipconfig /flushdns”; “ipconfig /release”; “ipconfig /renew”; “exit”.

That’s it; you now know how to easily fix the Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 ‘Your DNS server might be unavailable’ error. If you know other methods that can be used in the same matter, don’t hesitate and share the same with us – just use the comments field from below. Of course we will update this tutorial accordingly and we will assist you as soon as possible.


Solution 5 – Reset TCP/IP using netsh command

If you’re getting Your DNS Server Might be Unavailable message frequently, you might be able to solve the problem simply by using netsh command. This is rather simple, and you can do it by following these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + X to open Win + X menu. Select Command Prompt (Admin) from the list. If Command Prompt isn’t available, select PowerShell (Admin) instead.
    DNS server might be down
  2. When Command Prompt opens, enter netsh int ip reset. Press Enter to run the command.
    DNS server not responding

After the command is executed, check if the problem still appears.


Solution 6 – Enter the IP address manually

Sometimes Your DNS Server Might be Unavailable error message might appear if your IP address isn’t set manually. To manually set your IP address, you need to do the following:

  1. Press Windows Key + R and enter ncpa.cpl. Press Enter or click OK.
    DNS server timed out
  2. Locate your network connection, right click it and choose Properties.
    DNS server not found
  3. When Properties window opens, select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and click the Properties button.
    DNS server disconnected
  4. In General tab, select Use the following IP address option. Enter the desired IP address, Subnet mask, Default gateway,Preferred DNS server and Alternate DNS server. Once you’re done, click on OK. If you don’t know the correct values to enter, you can check the network configuration on other device on your network.
    DNS server keeps disconnecting

After doing that, the problem should be resolved and you should be able to access the Internet.


Solution 7 – Make sure that DNS is automatically obtained

According to users, Your DNS Server Might be Unavailable message can appear if your DNS is manually configured. To fix the problem, users are suggesting to set your DNS to automatic. This is rather simple and you can do it by following these steps:

  1. Follow Steps 1-3 from previous solution.
  2. Select Obtain DNS server address automatically and click OK.
    DNS server could not be found
  3. Now select Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) and click on Properties.
  4. Select Obtain DNS server address automatically and click OK button to save changes.

After setting DNS server address to obtain automatically, the problem should be resolved.


Solution 8 – Use OpenDNS or Google’s DNS

If you’re getting Your DNS Server Might be Unavailable message, you might be able to fix it simply by setting your DNS manually. To do that, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Follow Steps 1-3 from Solution 5.
  2. Select Use the following DNS server addresses. Now enter 8.8.8.8 as Preferred DNS server and 8.8.4.4 as Alternate DNS server. Alternatively, you can use 208.67.222.123 and 208.67.220.123 instead. Now click OK to save changes.
    DNS server might be experiencing problems

Solution 9 – Check if your PC is properly connected

Sometimes Your DNS Server Might be Unavailable message can appear if your computer isn’t properly connected to your modem or router. Few users reported that this error occurred because their PC was connected directly to the modem instead of router. If you use both modem and router, be sure to check if your PC is properly connected.


Your DNS Server Might be Unavailable is a common problem that can occur on almost any PC, but we hope that you managed to fix it by using one of our solutions.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2014 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.


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