Flushing the DNS Cache On Your Computer

Did you know that when you visit a website Windows maintains a cache (temporary holding area) of the DNS information about the site?  I know you are probably wondering what is all this talk about DNS and who cares.

I recently was required to change internet service providers.  I went from DSL to Cable.  I immediately noticed, on a frequent basis, that there was lag time in page loads and that many web sites would time out and not load at all.  As a result, I started getting an error in my browser where the server could not be found. First instinct was that my cable provider was the problem; however, after some thought; and research to confirm my thoughts, I discovered that my DNS Cache on my PC needed flushed out.  Once I flushed the DNS Cache, the lag time disappeared on the page loads and the sites ceased timing out.

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What is the DNS? DNS is the computer term for Domain Name System (or Service or Server)… The DNS translates domain names (such as wordpress.com or microsoft.com) into IP addresses (or numerical identifiers) that network equipment on the internet can read (or translate).  In essence the DNS is like a phonebook.

If you experience the same problems I indicated, try flushing out the Windows DNS Cache.  It is easy and safe to do. You can do this by:

  • Clicking on “Start”, then “Run”
  • Type cmd
  • At the command prompt, at the blinking cursor, type ipconfig /flushdns and hit “Enter”
  • You will see the message, “Successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache”
  • You are finished! Your Window DNS cache has just been flush. You can close the window.

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10 Responses to Flushing the DNS Cache On Your Computer

  1. techpaul says:

    Nice to see you back, Rick!

  2. Ramblinrick says:

    TechPaul,

    Thank you… As always, good to especially see you here!

    Rick

  3. pochp says:

    Great tip again Rick.
    I’ll do this at once. Thanks!

  4. Adrian says:

    Does this delete anything else of your browsing history, or makes site-loading slower?

  5. jessica says:

    great site. Great information. helped me alot thank you very much

  6. Margie says:

    Okay, what do you do if you flushed the dns cache, it told you it was successful. but when you display again, there are 10 websites still listed? I dont think i ever accessed some of them, like google.co.nz. Isnt that new zealand? I know i am in the usa. Is there any other way to delete them?

  7. Mark says:

    When I run the ipconfig /flushdns, I get a “could not flush the DNS Resolver Cache”. Any ideas?

  8. Mark says:

    Never mind. I found the answer on Microsoft’s site: To resolve this problem, follow these steps:

    1. Click Start, click Run, type services.msc, and then click OK.
    2. In the list of services, click DNS Client.
    3. Make sure that the Status column displays Started and that the Startup Type column displays Automatic.
    4. If the service is not set to Started or if the startup type for the DNS Client service is not set to Automatic, follow these steps:
    1. Right-click DNS Client, and then click Properties.
    2. In the DNS Client Properties dialog box, click the General tab, and then click Automatic in the Startup type list.
    3. Click Start, click Apply, and then click OK.

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