A Complete Guide on How to Correct ‘DNS Server not Responding’ Error on Windows and Mac

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Introduction

The technical world is not everyone’s cup of tea, and sometimes it becomes difficult to understand certain processes and terms. One of these odd-sounding but easy to deal with problems is the ‘DNS server not responding’ error on your computer while using the internet.

In this article, we’ll help you get a sound knowledge of what a DNS server is and how to go about when the server is not responding. You’ll find out that after you know what the problem actually is, it becomes a lot easier to tackle it.

A DNS or a ‘Domain Name Server’ is basically a database in the internet world that regulates the online traffic by connecting the domain names such as ‘Yahoo.com’ you enter to the actual web servers. It helps the internet understand where you want to be directed.

DNS has the IP addresses of all the websites on the internet, and it finds the right one for your entered domain. When the
DNS server is not responding, it basically means that the computer fails to connect with the DNS server, and so you cannot use your internet although you have access to the connection.

There can be many reasons when
the DNS server is not responding, and all of them have pretty simple solutions. We’ll discuss some of the common causes of the problem and how to get rid of them.

What is the ‘DNS Server not responding’ error?

As of now you already have an idea of what a DNS server is. It should be easy for you to gather what this error specifies. You can think of a DNS server as a translator between you and the internet.

When there is no translator, it’s not possible for you to communicate to the internet what you want to access. The hostnames you enter mean nothing to the internet, and it can only relate to their related IP addresses in the DNS database.

So, you will get an error message probably on the search engine or after troubleshooting saying, ‘
DNS server is not responding’. It is normally the issue on the user’s side. You might have an improper DNS setting, or your browser could be outdated. Sometimes, a temporary DNS server outage also occurs, rendering it unavailable.

You can try several things, such as changing the browser or restarting your computers. Don’t worry if the hit and the trial thing doesn’t go well; we’ve got you covered with a list of 10+ methods on ‘
how to fix DNS server not responding’ error. Without any further ado, let’s get to the main deal:

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How to Fix the ‘DNS Server Not Responding’ Error in Windows and macOS (10+ Methods)

You understand what the problem is, and by now, you have a notion of how to fix it. Now we will explain some methods where you will learn properly ‘how to fix DNS server not responding’ problem. Have a read of 10 methods on how to deal with ‘DNS server not responding Windows 10 and Mac’:

This is as simple as it gets. Switching to a different browser might not sound as effective as it is but it helps in many cases. Troubleshoot the issue by testing your DNS connections.

You can start by trying to access the internet from a different browser. Consider your default browser to be Google, you can try switching to Opera browser and see if anything changes.

If switching the browser resolves the issue, it means that the problem was with the database of your previous browser, due to which it cannot access the DNS server. You’ll need to update it to the latest version so that it can connect with the DNS database again.

You can also try uninstalling and reinstalling the program. However, if the
‘DNS server is not responding’ message still pops up, the browser is not the culprit, and you can read this article further to look for other problem sources.

It might be that your operating system is malfunctioning resulting in the DNS server not responding. You can try restarting your computer, this time in the safe mode to see if anything changes.

This also limits the files and background resources in use at the time so you can troubleshoot more effectively. To do this on Windows 10, first, reach the
power button in the Windows menu.

Now select the restart option while pressing on the shift key.

This will open a new window. Click on troubleshoot > advance. Now select the start-up settings in the advanced section and restart your computer. There will be 4 to 5 options from which you can select.

You can go for
Enable Safe Mode or Enable Safe Mode with Networking specifically. Your computer will now restart under the safe mode. If you are using Windows 7, you can simply restart and press the F7 button while it’s booting up.

The process is similar in the Mac OS with a difference in the procedure.

During the restarting of the machine, hold down the
shift key. Once the Apple logo appears, you can then release it. The device will then start in safe mode.

Once the system starts again, try accessing the internet again. If the problem still persists, it rules out the OS as well. Now you can look for the problem with third-party software such as an antivirus.

Antiviruses, especially Avast and McAfee antiviruses often cause problems with internet connectivity due to their regulatory processes. If switching browsers did not help you with the issue, it’s time to now disable the firewall of your antivirus for a short time.

Antiviruses and firewalls are crucial for the safe operation of your system; however, their strict quality checks can sometimes raise unwanted issues. This can also result in the DNS
server error.

For Windows 10, you can go to the control panel and navigate to
Update & Security > Windows Security > Virus & Threat Protection > Manage Settings.

Mac users also need to find the same setting. They can do this by navigating as
System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Firewall.

Try visiting the website again from your browser after deactivating the firewall. If the problem is still there. It indicates that the firewall is also not the root cause problem. Now you can consider switching the antivirus software or reconfigure the settings of the current software. This time reactivate the firewall while troubleshooting.

If switching the browsers or making changes in the antivirus software did not work, you can now work around any secondary connections your system is having. For this, you need to make sure you only have the connection that you are currently using and no others.

For this, type ‘network connections’ into the search bar and click on
view network connections.

The network connections menu will now open. The connections you are not currently using will have a red cross with the icon. You need to right-click on them and select disable.

When you are done with disabling all the connections other than the current one, open the browser again and try visiting a website.

For Mac OS users, you need to press on the apple icon and then select
system preferences > network. Your connections will now be listed on the left side of the window.

You will find the connections list on the left side. To disable, select a connection and click on the minus ‘-‘sign below it.

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After switching connections, antiviruses and disabling connections, Windows users can try one more method to solve this problem. The ‘DNS server is not responding’ error can also be dealt with by disabling Peer to Peer or P2P feature on the Windows.

This feature is only available on the Windows 10 and is used to preserve the device’s bandwidth. This also helps you in downloading the update one time and spreading it in the other devices available in your locality.

This feature can sometimes interrupt with the DNS features and intervene in the connectivity with the database. Therefore, you can also try disabling it to see if it helps in resolving the connectivity issue.

To do this, you need to proceed as
Window button > settings > Update & Security.

Now select the delivery optimization button in the window that now appears.

Now, go to ‘Allow downloads from other PCs’ and disable this option.

When you are done with this problem, restart your computer and try starting the website again. If the problem still exists, it shows that the P2P feature is also not the main culprit.

The next thing to try is to restart your internet router. This will flush the router cache which could help resolve the issue.

Most of the modern routers come with a power button which can be used to switch them ON and OFF. Switch the router OFF and wait for a minute. After that, turn it ON again and let the router establish a connection. It’ll take a few minutes typically.

Once the router starts again, check to see if you can access the website now or not. Note that sometimes, just restarting the router doesn’t do the trick. You might also need to reboot by unplugging the router completely. Wait for at least 30 seconds before plugging it back and turning it again.

If router reboot does not solve the issue, you are now sure that event the router is not the cause for your connectivity issue. Hoard your horses, there’s still a way to go. Stick with us and you’ll find your solution.

Another reason for getting the ‘DNS server not responding’ message on your computer is the outdated network adapter drivers. So, updating the drivers could be your way around this problem.

However, you cannot be expected to update your drivers if you are having trouble establishing a connection in the first place. What to do? Well, you can use a wired internet connection for this problem if the culprit is your Wi-fi. You can also connect with your phone’s sim internet using a data cable.

What you need to do is update the drivers. You can either use the manual or automatic way. The manual way should only be used if you are familiar with drivers and how they work. If not, you can go for the automatic way.

Use an automated such as
Driver Easy or Snappy Diver Installer.

Both of this software will automatically recognize the system and install the appropriate drivers compatible with it. This method is better as it removes the possibility of any human errors.

After downloading the software and getting done with the driver update, restart your system and check if the issue is resolved.

Now that the browser, antivirus and router are eliminated, you can look for the problem in the DNS configuration. As with the router cache, the problem could also be the DNS cache settings. It needs to be cleared before it can be used properly to connect to the internet.

You might also need to reset the IP address. If you’re using Windows, start by typing ‘cmd’ in the windows search bar. Then select the command prompt app.

Now type ‘ipconfig / flushdns’ in the window that opens and then hit enter.

When the process is finished, a message will be posted telling you that the DNS cache flush was successful. Repeat the process for the following commands:

Ipconfig /registerdns

Ipconfig/release

Ipconfig/renew

For Mac Users, the process differs slightly. You guys need to open the
terminal application by pressing the command plus space button and then typing terminal into the spotlight. In the terminal application window, enter this:

Dscachuetil -flushcache

Press the
Enter key. A success message does not appear as it does in the Windows. Simply running this command will flush the DNS cache.

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Ipv6 is the latest internet protocol version. It can also be the reason behind the ‘DNS server is not responding’ error. This protocol basically helps the router traffic between networks and the internet.

Trying to disable the IPv6 on your computer is also one of the potential solutions. To accomplish this method, you need to open your
Network Connections Protocol Panel. Then right-click on the current connection. In the drop-down menu that appears, select the ‘properties’ option.

Use the networking tab of the panel that appears and find the option named Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/ IPv6)

If it’s selected, unselect the box and click on OK. Refresh the browser and try connecting to the internet again. To do this in Mac OS, you first need to determine which network interface you are using.

To do this, go to the terminal application and right the following command:

Networksetup -listallnetworkservices

For disabling IPv6 for a wireless connection, use the following command:

Networksetup- setv6off Wi-Fi

For an ethernet connection, you can use:

Networksetup- setv6off Ethernet

Then hit the
enter key and refresh your browser to see if the issue is resolved.

You can also change your default DNS server settings on your Windows in order to try resolving this issue. You will change the current DNS server and select a new one.

For Windows 7,8 or 10 follow these instructions. After clicking the windows button in the taskbar, type ‘
Network Connections’ in the search bar and then select ‘view network connections’ in the menu.

Choose the internet adapter you are using currently and right-click on it. Click on the properties.

In the window that opens, choose the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/ IPV4). Now click on the properties button:

In order to manually assign a different DNS server address, select Use the following DNS server addresses and input the alternate address you want to opt for.

You can also input Google’s DNS server ‘8.8.8.8’ which is a preferred DNS server. Then you can add ‘8.8.4.4’ under the alternative DNS server. Then hit on the ‘OK’ button.

For Mac OS users, you can locate the settings by clicking on the Apple icon followed by
system preferences.

Next, select the network icon. Choose your current network and then click on the Advanced button.

Under the DNS tab, click the plus (+) button and select the ‘IPv4 or IPv6 address’. And hit the enter button.

After entering the new DNS information, click on the Ok and then Apply buttons.

Restart your web browser to see if the ‘
DNS Server not Responding’ error is still appearing or not. It should be resolved by now.

Conclusion

It can be very frustrating at times if you have a working internet connection and still you cannot access the internet. While there is a deluge of reasons for which this problem can occur, the good news for you is that the solution is a piece of cake.

As discussed in the article, there are 10 great methods to deal with the ‘
DNS Server not Responding’ error for both Windows 10 and Mac OS. You can try applying these methods one by one, eliminating the ones not working and end up at the last method.

The last method manually tells your browser where to look for in order to connect to the DNS database and it will most probably solve the issue. We hope this article saves you from your troubles and you’re relieved of the problem by now.

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