If you’re experiencing connectivity issues, trouble accessing a certain web page, DNS cache corrupted, or getting the ‘DNS Server Unavailable’ error, the problem may be due to an outdated or corrupted local DNS cache. Most of these problems can be resolved by manually clearing or resting the DNS cache in Windows 11. This process is called ‘DNS flushing’.
There are four different methods to flush DNS cache in Windows 11, using Command Prompt, PowerShell, Run Command as well as in the browser. Flushing DNS cache in Windows 11 is a fairly easy process and you don’t need any technical expertise to do that. This tutorial will walk you through the detailed steps of flushing the DNS cache in Windows 11 using different methods.
What is DNS Cache and What Does It Do?
DNS, which stands for Domain Name System, is an index of all publicly available websites and their IP addresses (like a phonebook of the Internet). The primary function of DNS is to translate human-readable domain names (for example, www.youtube.com) to machine-readable IP addresses (18.104.22.168).
When a user searches for a website in the web browser, the DNS server translates the user’s domain name (website name/URL) into an IP address and uses that IP address to direct the device to the corresponding website to access the site’s data. Once the connection is established between the device and the website, the DNS stores information about DNS lookups in temporary storage called ‘DNS cache’.
DNS cache contains hostnames and IP addresses of the websites and other domains you have visited or currently visiting on your device. This helps the computer to quickly refer to the cache whenever you try to visit the same websites, so it’s can easily resolve the URL of a website to its corresponding IP, which results in the site loading faster the next time you open it.
What Does Flushing DNS Cache Do?
DNS cache can get cluttered with useless records or corrupted with faulty information over time, which results in significantly slowing down your network connection and causing some network issues.
Devices automatically update the cache and hostname periodically. However, websites don’t always remain the same, their domains or IP addresses change from time to time, so if the IP address of a website got changed before the DNS cache is updated, the existing data in the cache becomes obsolete and invalid. This also causes connectivity problems with the websites.
Flushing the DNS cache removes all the IP addresses or other DNS records from your cache, and thus forcing your computer to retrieve updated DNS records from scratch. This can help resolve connectivity issues, incorrectly displayed web content, and other issues as well as improve the speed and performance of your internet connection.
DNS records are often the target of cyberattacks. Hackers could access the DNS cache and altered Domain Name records to redirect traffic to a fake website, which is called DNS spoofing or DNS poisoning. So, clearing or resetting the cache is also important for security reasons.
Now, you know the basics of DNS cache and what does flushing does, let’s see how to clear the DNS cache in Windows 11.
Flushing DNS Cache Using Command Prompt
You can utilize the Command prompt to remove or reset the DNS cache in Windows 11.
First, click on the ‘Start’ or ‘Search’ button from the taskbar and search for ‘Command Prompt’ or ‘cmd’. Then, select the ‘Run as Administrator’ option for the relevant result on the right pane.
Before we get down to clearing the DNS cache, let’s review all the current DNS entries under Windows IP configuration. To do that, type or copy/paste the following command in the CMD and hit Enter:
This will display all the DNS information on your computer. If you just want to flush the DNS cache, then use the next command.
To flush the DNS cache, type or copy/paste the following command in the Command Prompt:
After the task has been completed, you will get a message stating that the DNS resolver Cache has been flushed successfully.
If you have connectivity problems with only a certain website, then stopping the DNS for the current session may fix the issue. To turn off the DNS caching temporarily, enter the below command:
net stop dns cache
To turn on the DNS cache back again, enter this command:
net start dnscache
Flushing DNS Cache Using Windows PowerShell
The second method to flush DNS in Windows 11 is by using the PowerShell program. Here’s how:
Open Windows PowerShell in Admin mode by searching for ‘Powershell’ in the Windows search bar and clicking the ‘Run as administrator’.
Either type or copy and paste the following command into the PowerShell window then press Enter.
This will delete all your DNS cache immediately as shown above.
Flushing DNS Cache with the RUN Command
Another easy way to flush DNS cache is by using the Run command. You can use the Run dialog box to delete the DNS cache directly without opening either the Command Prompt or PowerShell. Here’s how:
Open the Run box by pressing the shortcut keys Windows key + R. Then, just type or copy the below formula in the Run box:
Then, press Enter or click ‘OK’.
This will clear the DNS cache on your Windows 11 system.
Clear DNS Cache in Web Browser
Some Web browsers such as Google Chrome, Firefox, save their own DNS cache. It differs from the DNS cache saved by your working system. For example, if a particular website is not working on Google Chrome, but it opens on another browser, then clearing the DNS cache of the Chrome browser may fix the issue.
Clear DNS Cache in Chrome
First, launch the Google Chrome web browser in your system. Then, type or copy and paste the followoing URL in the URL bar and press Enter.
This will open the DNS tab of Chrome’s ‘net internals’ web page. Here, click the ‘Clear host cache’ button to clear the Chrome’s DNS resolver cache.
Now, your DNS cache of the chrome browser is flushed.
Clear DNS Cache in Mozilla Firefox
Clearing the DNS cache in Firefox is just as easy as the chrome browser. To do this, open Firefox and enter this address in the address bar, and press Enter.
Then, click the ‘Clear DNS Cache’ button on the landing page to clear the browser’s DNS cache.
That’s everything you need to know about flushing DNS resolver.