DNS server is not responding on Windows 10 [SOLVED]


Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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dns server not responding

DNS server is a crucial component of the Internet. Unfortunately, few users reported DNS server is not responding error message on their Windows 10 PC, therefore today we’re going to show you how to fix this problem.

If you want to access any website on the Internet, you need to access the DNS server first. After DNS server receives your request, you’ll be directed to the desired website.

What to do if DNS server is not responding Windows 10? The quickest fix is to change the DNS server settings manually. Then disable your firewall, reset your router and test the connection again.

If the problem persists, use the additional troubleshooting methods listed below.

How to fix DNS server not responding error on Windows 10?

  1. Change the DNS server manually
  2. Enter your MAC address manually
  3. Install the latest drivers
  4. Disable your antivirus and firewall
  5. Update your router’s firmware
  6. Use netsh command
  7. Restart your modem
  8. Start your PC in Safe Mode
  9. Disable Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter
  10. Disable Internet Protocol Version 6
  11. Disable all additional connections
  12. Check for third-party applications
  13. Change the DNS address on your router
  14. Reset your router
  15. Turn off peer-to-peer update feature
  16. Wait for your ISP to fix the problem

We’ve written extensively about DNS issues before. Bookmark this page in case you need it later.


1. Change the DNS server manually

When you try to access a certain website, you’ll automatically connect to your ISP’s DNS server.

However, it can happen that your DNS server is not available. If that’s the case, you’ll see DNS server is not responding error message.

One way to fix this problem is to change your DNS server to OpenDNS or Google DNS. This is a pretty simple procedure, and you can perform it by following these steps:

  1. Open Network Connections. You can do that by pressing Windows Key + X on your keyboard and choosing Network Connections option.
    network connections dns failure
  2. Locate your network connection, right click it and choose Properties from the menu.
    internet properties dns server not responding wifi
  3. When Properties window opens, select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and click the Properties button.
    ipv4 properties dns server not responding wireless
  4. Now select Use the following DNS server addresses option.
  5. As Preferred DNS server enter 8.8.8.8. As for Alternate DNS server, you need to enter 8.8.4.4. If you want, you can also use 208.67.222.222 as Preffered and 208.67.220.220 as Alternate DNS server.
  6. After you’re done, click OK to save changes.
    internet protocol version 4 properties dns server unavailable
  7. Optional: Disconnect from the Internet and connect back again

After changing the DNS server, check if the problem is resolved.

Keep in mind that changing your DNS server might make your Internet connection a bit slower depending on your location, so you might want to experiment with different servers.


2. Enter your MAC address manually

According to users, you can sometimes DNS failure simply by entering the MAC address of your network adapter manually.

This is a simple procedure, and in order to enter your MAC address, you need to find it first. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows key + X and choose Command Prompt (Admin).
    command prompt admin dns server is not responding
  2. When Command Prompt opens, enter ipconfig /all and press Enter.
  3. List of information will now appear. Locate Physical Address and write it down.
  4. Close Command Prompt.

Now that you know your MAC address, you need to configure your network connection. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Open Network Connections window. Locate your connection and open its properties.
  2. When Properties window opens, click on Configure.
    configure network adapter dns server not available
  3. Go to Advanced tab and select Network Address from the Property list.
  4. Now select Value and enter the MAC address that you got from Command Prompt. Be sure not to enter any dashes while entering your MAC address.
    mac address change dns failure
  5. Click OK to save changes.

Users report that this solution works best after switching to Google DNS or OpenDNS, so be sure to try it.


Need to change your MAC address? It’s easier than you think with one of these MAC address changer tools!


3. Install the latest drivers

Your network adapter relies on drivers in order to work properly, and if you have any problems with it, it might be due to your drivers.

To fix DNS server is not responding error on Windows 10 you need to visit your network adapter manufacturer’s website, download the latest drivers and install them on your PC.

If you can’t access Internet at all, it might be caused DNS server is unavailable, so download the drivers on a  different device and install them on your PC.

Some users are also recommending to uninstall your network drivers before installing the new drivers. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + X and choose Device Manager from the list.
    device manager dns server unavailable
  2. When Device Manager opens, locate your network adapter, right click it and choose Uninstall.
    uninstall driver dns server not available
  3. Confirmation dialog will now appear. If available, check Delete driver software for this device and click Uninstall.
    uninstall driver confirm dns failure
  4. After you delete the driver, restart your PC.
  5. When your PC restarts, the default network driver will be installed. Check if the problem is resolved.
  6. If the issue still persists, install the latest drivers for your network device and check if that solves the issue.

Learn how to update your drivers like a real technician with this complete guide!


Update drivers automatically

Downloading drivers manually can cause damage to your computer in case you downloaded the wrong version. We strongly suggest to do it automatically by using Tweakbit’s Driver Updater tool.

This tool is approved by Microsoft and Norton Antivirus. After several tests, our team concluded that this is the best automatized solution. Below you can find a quick guide how to do it.

  1. Download and install TweakBit Driver Updater
  2. driver updater starting window dns server unavailableOnce installed, the program will start scanning your PC for outdated drivers automatically. Driver Updater will check your installed driver versions against its cloud database of the latest versions and recommend proper updates. All you need to do is wait for the scan to complete.
  3. driver updater diagnozing dns server not responding windows 7Upon scan completion, you get a report on all problem drivers found on your PC. Review the list and see if you want to update each driver individually or all at once. To update one driver at a time, click the ‘Update driver’ link next to the driver name. Or simply click the ‘Update all’ button at the bottom to automatically install all recommended updates.
    driver updater scan finished how to fix dns server windows 10
    Note: Some drivers need to be installed in multiple steps so you will have to hit the ‘Update’ button several times until all of its components are installed.

Disclaimer: some functions of this tool are not free.


4. Disable your antivirus and firewall

Antivirus and firewall are necessary if you want to protect your PC from malicious users, but sometimes your antivirus and firewall can interfere with your Internet connection.

To fix DNS server not responding message on Windows 10, try temporarily disabling your antivirus and firewall client.

Keep in mind that your PC will still be protected by Windows Defender even if you disable your antivirus, so there’s no need to worry about your safety.

If your antivirus or firewall client was causing this issue, be sure to change its configuration or switch to a different client.

Users reported that Bitdefender Total Security antivirus tool can sometimes cause this problem to appear. If you’re using Bitdefender, you need to go to Firewall settings and disable Block Internet connection sharing option.

After that, the problem should be resolved. Users reported that Avast can also cause this problem. To fix it, simply open Avast settings and disable Secure DNS option.

You can also try disabling firewall on your router. This is a bit advanced and potentially dangerous solution, so keep that in mind. By disabling your router’s firewall your PC will be completely vulnerable.

If you decide to do that, just disable your router’s firewall temporarily and check if that fixes the problem.

If the problem was your firewall, you need to turn it back on again and check your firewall configuration for the source of the problem.

To see how to disable your router’s firewall be sure to check its instruction manual.


Stay safe on the Internet with the best antivirus tools for browsing!


5. Update your router’s firmware

update router firmware dns server not responding wireless

Few users reported that DNS server not responding while using wireless network. However, you can fix that simply by updating your router’s firmware. We have to warn you that this is an advanced process, so you need to be extra cautious in order to avoid causing damage.

Before updating your router’s firmware be sure to back up its settings. To see how to properly update the firmware, we advise you to check your instruction manual.


6. Use netsh command

dns failure netsh command prompt

According to users, you can fix DNS failure simply by running few commands from Command Prompt. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Open Command Prompt as administrator.
  2. When Command Prompt opens, enter:
    • netsh int ip reset
    • netsh winsock reset
    • ipconfig /flushdns
    • ipconfig /renew
  3. After all commands are executed, restart your computer.

By performing these commands you’ll reset your IP and clear the DNS cache, so be sure to try this method.


7. Restart your modem

restart router dns server not responding wireless

One way to fix DNS server not responding error on Windows 10, is by restarting your modem. To do that, simply press the power button on your modem to turn it off.

Wait for 30 seconds and press the power button again to turn it on. Wait until the modem turns on completely and check if the problem still persists.


8. Start your PC in Safe Mode

start PC in safe mode dns failure

Sometimes third-party applications such as antivirus or VPN tools can interfere with your Internet connection.

In order to fix DNS server not responding error on Windows 10, be sure to try accessing the Internet from Safe Mode.

If you’re not familiar, Safe Mode is a special mode in Windows that runs only with basic software and drivers. To enter Safe Mode on Windows 10, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Open the Start Menu and click the Power button. Hold down the Shift key on your keyboard and click Restart.
  2. You’ll see three options available. Choose Troubleshoot.
  3. Select Advanced options > Startup Settings and click the Restart button.
  4. When your PC restarts you’ll see a list of options available. Select Safe Mode with Networking by pressing F5 on the keyboard.
  5. Safe Mode will now start.

When Safe Mode starts, check if your network connection is working. If there are no problems with your Internet connection in Safe Mode it means that third-party software is interfering with your network connection.

To fix this issue, you need to find and remove the problematic application from your PC.


9. Disable Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter

If DNS server is not responding on WiFi connection, the problem might be caused by Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter. To fix this issue, you need to find and disable these adapters.

You can do that by following these steps:

  1. Open Device Manager.
  2. When Device Manager opens, go to View and select Show hidden devices.
    device manager show hidden devices dns server not responding wifi
  3. Locate Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter, right click it and choose Disable. Repeat this step for all available Virtual Miniport Adapters.
  4. After you’re done, close Device Manager and check if the problem is resolved.

USB Wi-Fi Adapter isn’t recognized by your PC? No problem, there’s a fix for that!


10. Disable Internet Protocol Version 6

There are two types of IP addresses, v4 and v6. If you are having DNS server is not responding error on your PC, you might be able to fix it by disabling Internet Protocol Version 6.

This is rather simple, and in order to do it you need to follow these steps:

  1. Open Network Connections.
  2. Right click your connection and choose Properties.
  3. Now Locate Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) and disable it.
    internet protocol version 6 disable dns failure
  4. Click the OK button to save changes.

Disabling IPv6 won’t affect your computer in any negative way, but hopefully it should fix the problem with the DNS server.


11. Disable all additional connections

You might have multiple connections available on your PC, that can sometimes cause DNS server not responding while using WiFi connection problem.

To fix this issue, you need to disable those connections from Network Connections window.

  1. Simply open Network Connections window and disable all connections except your active network connection.
  2. To do that, simply right click the connection that you want to disable and choose Disable from the menu.
    disable network connection dns server not responding windows 7

12. Check for third-party applications

Some third-party applications can affect your DNS and cause this problem to appear. Users reported that their DNS changes automatically to certain address.

Apparently, the problem was caused by a third-party application called ColdTurkey.

After disabling or uninstalling the problematic application, the DNS server is not responding error was completely resolved.

Keep in mind that almost any network-related or security application can interfere with your DNS, so keep a close eye on all installed applications.


13. Change the DNS address on your router

According to users, you might be able to fix this problem by setting a different DNS address on your router. To do that, you need to access your router’s configuration page and look for DNS setting.

Change DNS server to Google DNS or OpenDNS and check if the problem is resolved. For detailed instructions on how to change your DNS, be sure to check your router’s instruction manual.


14. Reset your router

reset router dns failure

Your router configuration can sometimes cause DNS problems to appear. To fix DNS server not responding error on Windows 10, you need to reset your router to default settings.

To do that, you need to open your router’s configuration page and select the Reset option.

If you want, you can also export your configuration so you don’t have to configure wireless networks again.

Another way to reset your router is to hold the reset button on it for few seconds. Both methods work the same, and you should use the one that you’re most comfortable with.

If you’re not sure how to reset your router, check your instruction manual for step by step instructions.


15. Turn off peer-to-peer update feature

Windows 10 comes with a great feature that allows you to download Windows updates using peer-to-peer technology.

Basically, this features allows you to download Windows updates directly from other users in your area.

This is a useful and innovative feature, but it seems that this feature can sometimes cause DNS failure. One potential solution for DNS problems is to disable this feature.

To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings app by pressing Windows Key + I.
  2. Navigate to Update & security section and click on Advanced options.
    dns server is not responding advanced update settings
  3. Click on Choose how updates are delivered.
    choose how updates are delivered dns server not responding wifi
  4. Make sure that Updates from more than one place is set to Off.
    dns server not responding updates from more than one place

After turning this feature off, check if the problem with DNS server is resolved.


16. Wait for your ISP to fix the problem

Sometimes DNS server is not responding error can be caused by your ISP. Your ISP might be having some problems, so you might have to wait for a few hours while your ISP resolves technical difficulties.

DNS server is not responding error will prevent you from accessing the Internet, but you should be able to fix it by using one of our solutions.

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2016 and has been since updated for freshness, and accuracy.