DNS server is not responding on Windows 10

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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  • Billions of people surf the Internet every day but not many think about or understand the intricate architecture that makes the world wide web possible.
  • DNS servers are key components of the Internet associating information to domain names. If you want to access any website on the Internet, you need to access the DNS server first.
  • But if DNS servers fail to respond, this can at first seem like a daunting problem to tackle. In this guide, we'll show you what you can do to fix it.
  • This guide is part of our Network and Internet Hub. Feel free to visit our hub for additional guides, as well as tips and tricks on the best network settings to use.
DNS server is not responding on Windows 10

The DNS server is a crucial component of the Internet. Unfortunately, few users reported DNS server is not responding error messages 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
  17. Fix Comcast DNS server not responding

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 Preferred 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. The 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 the 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 errors 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 the Internet at all, it might be caused  by the DNS server not being 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 on it and choose Uninstall.
    uninstall driver dns server not available
  3. The confirmation dialog window will now appear. If available, click on Delete driver software for this device and then 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 automatic solution. Below you can find a quick guide how to do it.

  1. Download and install TweakBit Driver Updater
  2. Once 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.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.

FAQ: Learn more about DNS servers

  • What does changing your DNS to 8.8 8.8 do?

Changing your DNS to Google’s public DNS servers (8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4) can speed up your connection time to most websites. This means your computer will access websites faster. Keep in mind that does not improve your download speed when it comes to streaming or downloading large files.

  • Is changing DNS dangerous?

Changing your DNS settings is not dangerous. This change won’t damage your computer or harm your network. This is a completely safe and reversible action and you can always go back to your previous settings if you’re not satisfied with the connection quality or speed.

  • What causes a DNS error?

DNS errors are usually caused by network and Internet issues on users’ end, incorrect DNS and DHCP settings, website outage or restrictions set in place by your ISP.

Editor’s Note: This article continues on the next page. If you want to read more about DNS settings on Windows 10, check out our collection of guides.