Here’s what to do if the DNS server cannot be reached

Milan Stanojevic avatar. By: Milan Stanojevic
6 minute read
dns server reached

Home » Fix » Here’s what to do if the DNS server cannot be reached

Sometimes your network might not work properly because the DNS server cannot be reached. This can be a problem, and today we’re going to show you how to fix this issue.

  • DNS server isn’t responding – According to users, this message can occur due to your antivirus. To fix the problem, temporarily disable your antivirus and check if that solves the issue.
  • DNS server unavailable – If this message occurs, try changing your DNS manually. Switch to OpenDNS or Google DNS and check if that helps.
  • Server IP address could not be found – Sometimes this problem is caused by a network glitch. However, you can reset your network connection simply by running a few commands in Command Prompt.
  • DNS server cannot be contacted – You might encounter this error message due to network problems. To fix this issue, try running a network troubleshooter on your PC and check if that solves the problem.

DNS server cannot be reached, how to fix it?


  1. Check your antivirus
  2. Change your DNS
  3. Use Command Prompt
  4. Use the network troubleshooter
  5. Set your DNS to Obtain an IP automatically
  6. Try using a different device to access the Internet
  7. Try restarting your router
  8. Use a VPN
  9. Delete the files from the etc directory

Solution 1 – Check your antivirus

bitdefender dns server not resonding

If you’re having any network issues, the first thing that you need to check is your antivirus software. Having a good antivirus is important, but sometimes antivirus can interfere with your system and cause this problem to appear. To fix the problem, be sure to check your antivirus settings, and perhaps disable certain features and check if that helps.

If that doesn’t work, you can try disabling your antivirus and check if that helps. Lastly, if the issue is still there, try removing your antivirus. If you’re on Windows 10, you’ll still be protected by Windows Defender even if you choose to remove your third-party antivirus, so there’s no need to worry about your safety too much.

If removing the antivirus solves the problem, this might be a perfect time to consider switching to different antivirus. There are many great antivirus tools on the market, but if you want reliable protection that won’t interfere with your system, we suggest that you consider Bitdefender.

READ ALSO: What to do if you are unable to restart DNS client


Solution 2 – Change your DNS

According to users, if the DNS server cannot be reached, perhaps there’s an issue with your ISP’s DNS server. However, you might be able to fix that simply by changing your DNS. This is quite simple to do, and you can do it by following these steps:

  1. Click the network icon on your Taskbar. Now select your network connection from the menu.
    network taskbar dns server can't be reached
  2. A new window will appear. In the right pane, click Change adapter options.
    change adapter options dns server can't be found
  3. You should now see a list of connections on your PC. Right-click your network connection and choose Properties from the menu.
    connection properties dns server can't be reached
  4. Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and click the Properties button.
    ipv4 properties dns server
  5. You should now see a new window. Select Use the following DNS server addresses and set the following values.
    • Preferred DSN server: 8.8.8
    • Alternate DNS server: 8.4.4
      dns change dns server cannot be reached
      Click the OK button to save changes.

After making these change your DNS will be changed and you’ll be using Google’s DNS. If you don’t want that, you can also use Open DNS by using the following servers:

  • Preferred DNS server: 67.222.222
  • Alternate DNS server: 67.220.220

After you change the DNS, check if the problem is still there.


Solution 3 – Use Command Prompt

If you’re still having network issues, and you can’t reach the DNS server, perhaps you can fix the issue by using the Command Prompt. According to users, you just need to run a complete of commands to restart your network, and that will fix your problem. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + X to open Win + X menu. Now choose Command Prompt (Admin) or PowerShell (Admin) from the menu.
    command prompt dns cannot be reached
  2. When Command Prompt opens, run these commands:
    • ipconfig /flushdns
    • ipconfig /registerdns
    • ipconfig /release
    • ipconfig /renew
    • NETSH winsock reset catalog
    • NETSH int ipv4 reset reset.log
    • NETSH int ipv6 reset reset.log
    • Exit

After these commands are executed, check if the problem is still there.


Solution 4 – Use the network troubleshooter

If the DNS server cannot be reached, there might be a glitch with your network connection. However, you can usually fix those problems simply by running a built-in troubleshooter.

Windows comes with many troubleshooters, and you can use them to diagnose and fix various problems. To fix this problem, you just need to do the following:

  1. Open the Settings app. You can do that using the Windows Key + I shortcut. Now navigate to the Update & Security section.
  2. Select Troubleshoot from the left pane. In the right pane, select Internet Connections and now click Run the troubleshooter button.
  3. Follow the instructions to complete the troubleshooter.

Once the troubleshooter is finished, check if the problem is still there. If the issue persists, try running the Network Adapter troubleshooter as well and check if that helps. Several users reported that a troubleshooter fixed the problem for them, so be sure to try it out.


Solution 5 – Set your DNS to Obtain an IP automatically

Sometimes in order to fix the problems with your network, it’s best to restore the settings to the default. The same goes for your DNS, and if the DNS server cannot be reached, it’s advised to restore it to the default.

This is quite simple to do, and you can do it by following these steps:

  1. Repeat steps 1-4 from Solution 2.
  2. Now select Obtain DNS server address automatically. Click OK to save changes.
    obtain ip adress automatically dns can't be reached
  3. Now do the same for Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6).

Once you make these changes, check if the problem is still there.


Solution 6 – Try using a different device to access the Internet

If the DNS server cannot be reached, the problem might be your PC configuration. To determine if the problem is related only to your PC, it’s advised to try other devices and see if they can access the Internet.

For the best results, it’s advised to use another Windows PC, but you can also use your phone or any other device. If other devices can connect to the internet, then the problem is most likely related to your PC and its settings, so you can focus on it in order to solve the problem.


Solution 7 – Try restarting your router

If this problem is still there, perhaps the issue is related to your router. To fix the problem, users are suggesting to restart your router/modem and check if that helps. This is fairly simple to do and in order to do it, just press the Power button on your modem/router to turn it off.

Now wait for about 30 seconds and press the Power button again to start your modem or router. Wait while the device boots completely and check if the problem is still there.


Solution 8 – Use a VPN

cyberghost dns server cannot be reached

According to users, if the DNS server cannot be reached, perhaps you can fix the problem by using a VPN. By using a VPN you’ll get a new IP address, and your privacy will be protected while surfing the web.

Even if you don’t have this problem, having a good VPN is a great way to protect your privacy online. There are many great VPN services available, and if you’re looking for a good and reliable VPN, be sure to try out Cyberghost VPN.

Why choose CyberGhost?
cyberghost vpn for windows logo
  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • Over 3000 servers worldwide
  • Great price plan
  • Excellent support

Solution 9 – Delete the files from the etc directory

According to users, if you’re having issues with the DNS server, perhaps the cause of the problems are certain files on your PC. According to users, sometimes files in your Windows directory can cause this issue, and in order to fix the problem, you need to do the following:

  1. Navigate to the C:WindowsSystem32driversetc directory.
  2. Now delete all files from this directory. Before you delete the files, we advise you to back them up, just in case.
    etc directory dns server cannot be reached

After deleting these files, check if the problem is still there.

Problems with DNS will prevent you from accessing the Internet, but if you’re having this problem, be sure to try some of our solutions.

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