(Fixed) DNS Server Not Responding Error (9 Ways) Windows and Mac

DNS server not responding error is one of the most common errors, everyone faces it at some stage. This error can be really frustrating, especially when you are working on something important. But, every problem has a solution.

In this article, we gonna look at some of the most effective ways to solve a DNS Server Not Responding Error in Windows and Mac.

Thi article is quite simple to read. If you still face any issues, you can leave a comment, I will surely help you!

First, let’s learn about what exactly is a DNS server not responding error?

What does DNS server not responding mean?

The Domain Name System (DNS) is the phonebook of the web. We access information online through domain names, like nytimes.com or goal.com. But, web browsers do not follow the same path as humans, they interact through Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. DNS translates domain names to IP addresses so browsers can load web resources.

Each device linked to the web has a unique IP address that other machines use to locate the device. DNS servers stop the need for humans to memorize IP addresses such as (in IPv4), or more difficult newer alphanumeric IP addresses such as 2400:cb00:2049:1::c629:d7a2 (in IPv6).

In case, the DNS server is unable to complete this name resolution process, you’ll end up getting a DNS server not responding message on your browser screen.

So this error basically means that your browser was unable to establish a connection to the internet.

Normally, this error is caused by issues on the user end, whether that’s with a network or internet connection, misconfigured DNS settings, or using an outdated browser, but in some cases, this error may also appear if the server of the website is temporarily down.

How To Fix DNS Server Not Responding Error

Now, you know what this error means, so let’s learn how to solve it. I request you to pay attention, otherwise, these solutions might not work. Also, If one solution didn’t help, follow the next one. I’m pretty sure that following all the solutions one by one will definitely help you in eliminating this error.

Solution 1: Check Your Router (Restart it)

Most people don’t know that a router is also a computer just like smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Routers like computers have a central processor, memory, and an operating system.

We normally reboot our phones and computers. When those devices are not working well, sp what’s the first thing you should do when your router is not working? That’s right — restart it. You should do the same with your router to give it the chance to reset and start fresh. 

How to restart a router
  • Unplug your router first and your modem second.
  • Wait at least 15 seconds.
  • Plug your modem back in first and your router second.
  • Wait at least two or three minutes before you test whether you are back online.
  • Check your internet.
A suggestion

Never put a router close to a source of heat or hide it behind furniture where fresh air can’t smoothly reach it. Of course, hiding a router behind furniture or placing it close to large metal things is also guaranteed to significantly reduce the router’s range which could bring errors like DNS Server Not Responding.

If you wanna know more about how to properly restart a router with images, check this article by netspotapp.com

Solution 2: Use a Different Browser

It might be surprising for some people, but yes, using a different browser may fix the problem. If you think your browser is outdated, then update it quickly and check the site again.

If not, then download a new browser, for example, use Mozilla if your default browser is Chrome.

If using a different browser works, then uninstall your default browser and install it again.

Solution 3: Clear Brower Cache

Web browsers locally store websites on your computer’s hard drive which is called the “cache”.  The cache contains a history of all visited sites as well as images, audio files.  Cookies are also stored in the cache.  They are often stored in the Temporary Internet Files folder.

In many cases, the cached pages will not be current.  When the cache is full, the browser’s performance will slow down. It could also bring errors.

How To Clear Cache in Google Chrome
  • Open Google Chrome
  • Tap on the ︙icon from the top right corner
  • A new menu will open, click on Settings from the menu
  • Scroll down a little bit, and you’ll find Privacy and security, click Clear Browsing Data under Privacy and security
  • Select the time range as “All Time”, select both cookies and cache, and don’t check browsing history. Click on Clear Data.
  • Wait for one minute, the data will be erased
How To Clear Cache in Safari
  • Open the Safari Browser
  • Open the Safari tab from the top right of your screen and then click Preferences from the dropdown menu.
  • Now you can click on the Advanced tab of the menu that pops up.
  • Select the “Show Develop menu in menu bar” box and click close the Preferences menu.
  • Click on the Develop tab from the Safari menu visible at the top of the page.
  • Click Empty Caches from the dropdown menu and wait for some time.
How To Clear Cache in Mozilla Firefox
  • Select the menu drop-down in the right upper-hand corner to choose Preferences.
  • Go to the Privacy & Security tab and hit Clear Data under the Cookies and Site Data area.
  • Select the Cookies and Site Data option, after that click the Clear button. Close the Preferences page. Any changes you have made will automatically be saved.

Solution 4: Boot Your Device in Safe Mode

A safe mode is a boot option in which the operating system begins in diagnostic mode rather than in standard operating mode. It is utilized primarily for troubleshooting a system that has crashed, failed to boot perfectly, or is undergoing instability after installing an update, device driver, or latest software.

Safe mode is also known as safe boot.

How to Start your PC in safe mode in Windows

There are two really great ways to start your PC in Safe Mode, you can follow any of both methods.

From Windows Settings
  • Press Windows logo key  and I on your keyboard to open Settings. Or, you can simply click on the Start  button, then select Settings .
  • Now, click Update & Security  > Recovery .
    (Click here to Open Recovery Settings directly)
  • Under Advanced startup, click Restart now.
  • After your PC restarts to the Choose an option screen, click Troubleshoot Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart. You may have to enter your BitLocker recovery key.
  • After your PC restarts, you will see a list of options. Click on 4 or press F4 to open your PC in Safe Mode. Or if you’ll need to use the internet, then click 5 or press F5 for Safe Mode with Networking.
From sign-in Screen

There is another way to start your PC in Safe Mode, you can use your Windows sign-in screen.  

  • On the Windows sign-in page, you need to press and hold the Shift key while you click Power  Restart.
  • After your PC restarts to the Choose an option page, choose Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart. You may be requested to enter your BitLocker recovery key.
  • After your PC restarts, you’ll see a checklist of options. Click 4 or F4 to begin your PC in safe mode. Or if you’ll require to use the internet, click 5 or F5 for Safe Mode with Networking.
How to Start your PC in safe mode in Apple

To start up into Safe Mode in Apple

  • Shut down your PC
  • Click the POWER button of your device
  • As soon as you hear the start up tone, press and hold the SHIFT key on your keyboard
  • Continue holding down the SHIFT key until the grey Apple icon is visible and you notice the progress indicator (spinning gear)

To leave Safe Mode, simply restart the computer normally.

Once your device is in Safe Mode, go to the website and refresh it. The website should load perfectly, if it isn’t, then maybe a third-party application is causing the issue. follow the next solution.

Solution 5: Deactivate Anti-Virus Tool

Anti-Virus helps us all day. They are really important as they keep our system safe. But these anti-viruses are third-party tools and they can cause issues.

Deactivating it, especially, when you’re facing a DNS Server Not Responding Error can be really helpful.

How To Disable Anti-Virus in Windows 10

Disabling Anti-Virus temporarily is simple. Follow the steps shown below.

  • Click on Start Button
  • Open Settings

The settings option is easily visible once you click on the Windows start button. It is above the Power Button. You can also use the Windows logo key and I on your keyboard to open Settings.

  • Click Update & Security
  • Click on Windows Security
  • Click on Open Windows Defender Security Center
  • Click Virus & threat protection
  • Click Virus & threat protection Settings
  • Turn Off Real Time Protection

When you’ll click on the On-Off button, the window will ask you to confirm the action. Click on Yes to confirm.

Now, open the browser and check the website. If it is working, try to install a new anti-virus, o contact the support of the anti-virus.

How To Disable Mac Firewall
  • Turn on the device and access the Spotlight search box
  • Now type the name of the antivirus you are using currently
  • Once you enter the name, it should show on the screen; click the icon, and it will show on the screen
  • Once the program’s interface is on the show, you should find the term Stop or Disable
  • Click the function and on conformation hit “Yes” or “OK.”

There is another way to do it-

  • Use the Mac menu bar, and there you should see the antivirus icon
  • Right-click it or just left-click and a drop-down menu arises.
  • Click the ideal function such as Disable or Stop and if it requests any confirmation, hit “Yes” or “Confirm.”

Solution 6: Disable Multiple Connections

Most of us don’t even care about how many network connections are connected with our device, we take it very lightly, you may not know but this can affect our PC.

If you have followed all the solutions above and still the issue hasn’t been solved, then try to disable the secondary connections.

Here is how to disable multiple connections windows

  • Open your Settings option.
  • Select Network & Security.
  • Click on Status.Quick Tip: You can also quickly access to the Network & Security option by using the search box. Search Network & Security and you’ll find it.
  • Click on Change adapter options under Change your network settings.
  • This will carry you to the Network Connections page. Any connections you’re not using right now will have a red (X) next to them. Right-click on one, and then choose Disable:
Disable The connection

If you have more than one inactive connection, then repeat the steps and disable all of them one by one. Once you’re done with that, check your website.

How to do it in Mac

  • In the Menu, go to System Preferences…
  • Under Internet & Wireless, select Network.
  • If the lock on the lower-left corner of the Network window is closed, click on it to make changes to the network settings (do not click the lock if it is “open”), then enter your password when prompted.
  • From the choices at right, choose the connection you wish to disable:
  • Ethernet and from the Configure IPv4 drop-down menu, choose Off
  • Wireless: and click Turn AirPort Off (at right).

Solution 7: Flush DNS Cache

It’s important to flush a DNS cache for a few reasons.

The first is the cache may contain outdated information. You might experience this as difficulty accessing websites or applications. If the domain name in the cache points to an old or incorrect IP address, the website won’t return the correct information. Even if you clear your browser history, the DNS cache will still have the old information, and the server needs to be flushed to get the updated results.

Another reason to clear the cache is privacy. Although the DNS cache doesn’t contain the same type of information stored in cookies or JavaScript, it does retain a history of which addresses you’ve visited recently, including those you go to on a regular basis. More information stored means less privacy if someone gets access to the cache.

How To Flush DNS Cache in Windows

  • Click and press both Windows+R keys at the same time or simply right-click the Windows Start menu and after that press Run. No, type cmd to open the command prompt console of Window. If you don’t have administrator privileges currently, then run the cmd command by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Enter together.
  • Once the command console is open type ipconfig /flushdns on the command prompt and then press enter. This command will now clear DNS cache files on your computer and reset the DNS resolver cache.
  • If everything goes well, you’ll see the confirmation message on your screen.

How To Clear Cache in Linux

Some of you might be aware that Ubuntu doesn’t cache DNS records by default.

The steps shown below are only for those who have manually installed DNS services like name service caching daemon (NSCD).

  • Click on the Ctrl+Alt+T keys together to open the terminal window.
  • Enter the below command line to flush DNS cache files on the init.d subdirectory:
sudo /etc/init.d/nscd restart

Here is how to flush the DNS cache on a system that utilizes systemd.

  • Now, click Ctrl+Alt+T keys together to open the terminal window.
  • Enter the following command line:
systemd-resolve --flush-caches
  • Type the following in the command prompt to see whether or not the previous command has successfully cleared the DNS cache.
systemd-resolve --statistics

How To Clear Cache in Mac OS X

  • Click the F4 key, enter terminal in the Launchpad’s search field to open the command terminal window.
  • If you’re currently using Mac OS SierraX El CapitanX MavericksX Mountain Lion, or X Lion, then the next step is to type the following in the command prompt:
sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder
  • To clear DNS cache on Mac OS X Yosemite, put the command:
sudo discoveryutil udnsflushcaches
  • If you are running on Mac OS X Snow Leopard, type the below command:
sudo dscacheutil -flushcache
  • For people who are using Mac OS X Leopard and below, enter the following command to clear DNS cache:
sudo lookupd -flushcache
  • To flush DNS cache on Mac OS X High Sierra, put this line in the command prompt:
sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder
  • Enter this command to flush DNS cache on Mac OS X Mojave:
sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder
  • If you are running on Mac OS X Catalina, type this command:
sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder
  • Follow this command to flush DNS cache on Mac OS X Big Sur:
sudo dscacheutil -flushcache; 
sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder

How To Clear Cache in Google Chrome

  • Open Google Chrome and enter the following address into its search address bar:
  • Click on Clear host cache once the page is open.

Solution 8: Disable Peer to Peer Feature (P2P)

A peer-to-peer (P2P) network is formed when two or more PCs are linked and share resources without going through a separate server computer.

How To Disable Peer to Peer
  • On the keyboard, press the Windows logo key and R and then type control update in the box and click Enter. You can also open your settings, then go to the Windows update.
  • Scroll down and select Advanced options.
  • Scroll down again and click Delivery Optimization
  • Turn off the Allow downloads from other PCs option.

If you would like to enable the Peer to Peer sharing of Windows updates, you can select to only share the updates with other computers on the local network, or with local computers and those on the Internet.

Solution 9: Deactivate IPv6

Only follow this solution if nothing is working for you. IPv6 functions are similar to IPv4, it provides the unique IP addresses required for Internet-enabled devices to communicate.

How to Disable IPv6 in Windows
  • Use the shortcut, Windows button + X to open the Control Panel.
  • Click Network and Internet.
  • Click Network and Sharing Center.
  • Select  Change Adapter Settings.
  • Right-click on your current connection and go to Properties.
  • Uncheck the box next to Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) to deactivate it.
  •  Select OK to confirm the modification.
How to Disable it in Mac Os

To disable IPv6 in macOS, you are first required to choose what network interface you’re currently using. To do this, open the Terminal application, then give the following command:

networksetup -listallnetworkservices

If you like to disable IPv6 for a wireless connection, you can use the following command:

networksetup -setv6off Wi-Fi

For an Ethernet connection, you should use:

networksetup -setv6off Ethernet

Then click the Enter key, and refresh your browser to see if the problem is resolved.

It’s a Wrap!

Thanks for reading! I hope the above solutions helped you in eliminating DNS Server Not Responding Error.

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Sumit is a regular contributor to Hostinggrow.com. He has 6 years of experience in blogging, and he loves football, his favorite player is - Lionel Messi (GOAT), but he has no hate for Ronaldo.

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