How to fix DNS server isn’t responding?

by Gabriel E. Hall - -
12

Question

Issue: How to fix DNS server isn’t responding?

Hello, I recently moved to a new apartment and was in a hurry to establish an internet connection, as I need it for work. However, once I tried to connect to the WiFi, it did not work. So I ran Network Troubleshooter to find out what's wrong and it returned the DNS server isn't responding error. I am not sure what DNS is and what am I suppose to do to fix it? Any tips that would help me fix DNS server isn't responding error?

Solved Answer

Whenever most users think about the internet and browsing, they immediately relate to the domain name, such as “Ugetfix.com.” However, this is just a mask that is used by the Domain Name System (DNS) for users to access the destination easier. Without it, people would have to type in the IP address to enter every website on the internet – that is a lot of numbers to remember!

DNS is a communication system established between clients and servers on the network. Basically, DNS serves as an intermediate between the hostname and the IP address.[1] Additionally, computers do not need to contact DNS servers every single time, as long as the settings were already set locally from before. Typically, ISPs provide the DNS settings, although they are not as reliable and perform worse than public Internet DNS services (got example, users often prefer using Google's DNS).

However, there are several factors that can disturb the proper operation of the DNS functionality. One of the most popular errors users receive is the unresponsive DNS server error:

The DNS server isn't responding
Your computer appears to be correctly configured, but the device or resource (DNS server) is not responding

Fix DNS server isn't responding

DNS errors are not that easy to troubleshoot, as it depends on various factors, for example, an overly aggressive anti-virus program, router malfunctions, driver[2] corruption, DNS provider issues, and similar.

In this tutorial, we will discuss the most likely causes for the error and as well as ways how to fix DNS server isn't responding error. Please follow the below instructions.

Fix 1. Restart your router

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Let's start from very basic troubleshooting. Your router is a device that connects you to the internet. In case it bugs, you can receive various errors, including DNS server isn't responding. Therefore, you should restart your router by simply disconnecting it from the cable that is powering it, waiting around 30 seconds, and reconnecting it again. NOTE: do not reset the router, as it can be set to factory settings.

Fix 2. Temporarily disable your anti-virus software

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Some users said that an overly-aggressive anti-virus application might cause DNS server isn't responding error. You should temporarily disable your anti-virus software and see if that helps you fix the issue:

  • Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager
  • Locate your anti-virus program
  • Click on it and press End task at the bottom-right corner of the window
  • Restart your PC and check if you can connect to the internetDisable your anti-virus

Note that leaving your PC unprotected might cause malware infections. Therefore, either use a default anti-virus Windows Defender or employ Reimage – it can also fix numerous issues with the device automatically.

Fix 3. Change DNS server manually

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In some cases, DNS servers you are connected to might fail. Therefore, to fix DNS server isn't responding error, change your DNS to Google's public one:

  • Right-click on Start button and select Network Connections
  • Select Ethernet (or WiFi, if that's your preferred connection) on the left side of the window
  • Under Related settings, click on Change adapter optionsGo to your internet connection
  • Right-click on the connection and pick Properties
  • Click on Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and then tap on Properties
  • Click on Use the following DNS server address and type 8.8.8.8 in Preferred DNS server field and type 8.8.4.4 into the Alternate DNS server field
  • Press OKChange DNS settings

Fix 4. Check for potentially unwanted programs

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There are numerous potentially unwanted programs that are called DNS hijackers,[3] for example, DNS Unlocker. These malicious programs might keep altering your DNS settings to the bad actors' preferred servers until the application is removed. To do that, perform the following:

  • Type in Control Panel into the search bar and hit Enter
  • Go to Program > Uninstall a program
  • Locate an application that you do not recognize, right-click on it and select Uninstall
  • Follow on-screen instructions to complete the removal

Fix 5. Update Network adapters

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If your Network adapter drivers are outdated, corrupted or missing, it might result in DNS server isn't responding error (you will have to connect to the internet for this step and place the downloaded drivers onto a portable device). First, you should find out the model of your network adapter:

  • Right-click on Start and select Device Manager
  • Expand Network adapters and pick your device
  • Right-click on it and select Properties
  • Click on Details and select Hardware IDs from the drop-down menu. Write down the name
  • Next, download the appropriate drivers from your network card manufacturer's site and upload it on a flash drive or other portable device
  • Connect the portable device to your computer
  • Navigate back to your network adapter's Properties
  • Select Driver tab and pick Update Driver
  • Click on Browse my computer for driver softwareUpdate Network adapters
  • Go to your external storage and load the driver
  • Proceed with on-screen instructions and restart the PC

Fix 6. Use the Ipconfig command to clear DNS cache and reset IP address

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  • Type in Command Prompt or cmd into Cortana's search box
  • Right-click on the search result and select Run as administrator
  • When Command Prompt window opens, type the following and press Enter after each command:

    ipconfig /flushdns

    ipconfig /registerdns

    ipconfig /release

    ipconfig /renew

  • Restart your PCFlush DNS and reset IP

Fix 7. Disable all additional connections

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You might have several connections enabled, and some of them might be not active. To disable unused connections, follow these steps:

  • Right-click on the Start button and select Network Connections
  • Go to Ethernet or WiFi
  • Go to Change adapter options
  • Disable all the unused connections by clicking on it and selecting Disable

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About the author

Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate computer expert

Gabriel E. Hall is an expert troubleshooter who has been working in the information technology industry for years.

Contact Gabriel E. Hall
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