Diagnosing and Resolving the DNS Server Not Responding Issue

Diagnosing and Resolving the DNS Server Not Responding Issue

/ Shayne Sherman

Receiving errors eventually on your PC is inevitable, especially if you use it frequently. One of these errors includes your DNS server and the data traffic that often impacts it and its performance.

Several variables will cause your DNS server to stop responding on your PC, ranging from your internet connection to the operating system’s DNS settings. The page below will provide high-percentage solutions if your server is not responding.

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Check for Network Issues that could Impact DNS Server Addresses

A DNS server not responding error appears on the device when the DNS server fails to approach the web page. This error message could occur due to the following;

  • Outdated drivers.
  • Faulty network connection.
  • Corrupted system files and settings related to the network.

Hence, checking network issues via network diagnostics can resolve the error. Before following the steps, try to restart your internet service provider and your operating system. Restarting both of these will help you as the user to determine if this has to do with network connections or not,

Here are the steps to follow for checking further internet connection issues;

Step 1: Launch the control panel via run utility. Click windows key+ R; in the command box, type control and click ok to continue.

control panel

Step 2: Select the network and internet options in the control panel window.

network and internet settings

Step 3: Select the network and sharing center option in the next window.

network and sharing center

Step 4: Under the section of changing your network settings in the network and sharing center, select the option of troubleshooting problems.

Step 5: In the next step, click on additional troubleshooter, followed by selecting internet connections.

Step 6: Click on run the troubleshooter to complete the action. Let the troubleshooting complete, and restart your device to check if the error persists.

run internet connections troubleshooter

Set DNS Server

Setting a DNS server configures a computer to use a specific DNS server for name resolution. This can be done on a local machine or a network-wide basis. You can control how your machines resolve names into IP addresses by setting up a DNS server.

You might want to set up a DNS server for several reasons. One common reason is to improve performance. A locally hosted DNS server can speed up name resolution and improve overall performance if you have a slow or unreliable internet connection. Another reason to set up a DNS server is for your security. If you are concerned about malicious actors spoofing or hijacking your domain names, you can use a DNS server that enforces stricter security policies.

DNS server not responding may result when the DNS server is down. But changing or setting the DNS server can fix the error. You can manually adjust or set the DNS server to your preferences by following the steps below;

Step 1: Launch the control panel from the taskbar’s search box—type control and double-click the option in the list.

search control panel

Step 2: Select the network and internet options in the control panel menu.

network and internet settings

Step 3: In the next window, select network and sharing center.

Step 4: Select your connection from the list. Right-click the option to select properties to launch the properties pop-up window.

network properties

Step 5: In the next step, under the connection section, use the following items and click on internet protocol version 4(TCP/IPv4).

ipv4 properties

Step 6: Under alternate DNS server and preferred DNS server options, enter the values linked to the DNS server.

reconfigure dns settings

Step 7: Uncheck the option of validate settings upon exit and click ok to save changes. Restart your device to comply with the changes.  

Clear DNS Cache

If you are confronting the DNS server not responding error code, it could be due to the DNS cache burdening the device resulting in the error. The cache could be the IP addresses or other data files related to the DNS server.

Clearing your DNS server cache forces your computer to query the website’s DNS servers again, which may fix the error. A command prompt for clearing the DNS cache can help resolve the problem, and here is how you can do it.

Step 1: Launch the Run utility via windows key + R, and in the run command box, type cmd. Simultaneously click shift+ctrl+enter. It will launch the command prompt as an administrator.

control find cmd

Step 2: In the command prompt, type ipconfig /flushdns and click enter to complete the action. As the command runs successfully on the device, it will clear all DNS cache. Restart your device to check if the error persists.

ipconfig flushdns

Disable Internet Protocol Version 6

Compatibility issues with IP versions and DNS servers can also lead to the DNS server not responding to errors. So disabling the IP version 6 on windows can help to fix the problem. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Launch the control panel from the taskbar’s search box. Type control in the search box and double-click the option in the list to launch the utility.

windows search control panel

Step 2: In the control panel menu, select network and internet, followed by selecting network and sharing center.

select network and sharing

Step 3: In the list appearing in the next window, select your network and right-click the option to choose properties from the context menu.

update network properties

Step 4: In the next window, under this connection section, use the following items and click to uncheck the box for IP version 6 (TCP/IPv6). It will disable the version.

uncheck ipv6

Step 5: Click ok to save changes and complete the action.

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Temporarily Deactivate Firewall and Antivirus Software

If you cannot reach a web page due to the DNS server not responding error, it could be due to the firewall and windows defender antivirus on the device. Temporarily disabling/deactivating the in-build features can fix the error. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Launch the Run utility via windows key+ R, and in the command box, type control to launch the control panel. Click ok to continue.

Step 2: In the control panel window, type win in the search bar and select the option of windows defender firewall.

windows defender firewall options

Step 3: Click the option to allow an app through the Windows firewall.

allow app through firewall

Step 4: In the window of allow an app through windows firewall, click on the change settings button.

change settings in firewall

Step 5: In the next step, click on the browser you are currently using, along with checking boxes for both private and public options.

select browser to allow in firewall

You can also deactivate Microsoft defender antivirus to resolve the DNS server not responding error. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: In the search box of the taskbar in the main menu, type windows security and double-click the option in the list to launch the application.

Step 2: Select the virus and threat protection option in the windows security window.

Step 3: Select manage settings in the next window under the virus and threat protection settings section.

Step 4:  Now, toggle the real-time protection button off.

switch off real time protection

Reset DNS Settings

Resetting your DNS settings can help with DNS errors because it will clear out any old or corrupt DNS cache entries that may be causing problems. Additionally, resetting your DNS settings can help you use the latest and most accurate DNS information.

Apart from trying to switch or set the DNS server settings, these DNS servers can be reset via a command prompt. A command-based solution to fix the DNS server not responding can help with a quick fix. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Launch Run utility via windows key+ R, and in the command box, type cmd along with simultaneously clicking shift + ctrl + enter to launch a command prompt as administrator.

control find cmd

Step 2: In the command prompt, type the following commands and click enter after each command line. Once the commands run successfully, restart the device to check if the error continues.

ipconfig /registerdns

ipconfig /release

Ipconfig /renew

netsh winsock reset

ipconfig register dns

Update Network Drivers if Your Receiving DNS Errors

Outdated network drivers can result in the DNS server not responding error. It will impede the server’s functionality and won’t load the requested web page. In this context, updating the network drivers can resolve the error.

Updating your network adapters is an essential step in resolving DNS errors. When your network adapter is up to date, it can communicate with DNS servers more effectively. This can help reduce the number of DNS errors that you experience.

If you are experiencing DNS errors, update your network adapter drivers. You can do this by visiting your device manufacturer’s website and downloading the latest drivers for your device. Once you have downloaded the drivers, install them on your computer.

Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Launch the device manager by right-clicking the main menu.

windows search device manager

Step 2: Select the network adapters option in the device manager window. A list of all adapters will appear on the screen. Select the one you are currently using.

Step 3: Select the driver tab, and select the option of update drivers.

network adapter update driver

Step 4: Select the method of update, i.e., search automatically for drivers for updating the driver or select the new driver file already present on the device. 

search automatically for network adapter

Step 5: Repeat the process for all network adapters available on your device. 

Restart the PC in Safe Mode to Recover the DNS Server Address

If your computer cannot connect to the DNS server, it will not be able to access the websites you are trying to visit. One way to try to fix this is to restart your computer in safe mode and then try to reconnect to the internet. Safe mode can help if a problem with a specific program or driver prevents your computer from connecting to the DNS server.

Restarting windows in safe mode will limit the number of drivers and system files corresponding to various functions. It can help to detect the root cause for the DNS server not responding error. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Launch settings from the main menu (windows icon) and select the option of update and security.

windows settings 4
windows update and security

Step 2: Select the recovery option from the left pane in the update and security window. Under the recovery section, select advanced startup, followed by clicking restart now.

advanced startup restart now

Step 3: Select the startup mode and troubleshoot as the device restarts in safe mode.

Step 4: In the next window, select advanced options followed by selecting startup settings. Click Restart.

advanced options troubleshoot

Common DNS Server Errors and Issues

Several common DNS server issues can cause problems with accessing websites and online services. One of the most common issues is incorrect or outdated DNS server settings. If the DNS server settings are not configured correctly, it can result in websites not being accessible or online services not working correctly.

Another common issue is DNS server overload. If there are too many requests for lookups on a DNS server, it can cause the server to become overloaded and crash. This can happen when a significant surge in traffic to a website, such as during a major news event or when a new product is released.

DNS servers can also be subjected to DDoS attacks. A DDoS attack floods the DNS server with illegitimate requests, which can overwhelm the server and cause it to crash.

Keep Your Operating System Updated Frequently

Although you can’t prevent a future DNS server error from happening, you can still prepare your device to be fully up-to-date regularly. Updating your drivers to the latest version will help keep your operating system’s features at optimum performance.

Frequently Asked Questions About the “DNS Server Not Responding” Error Message

How do I Fix DNS Server Errors?

DNS server errors can be caused by various issues, from network problems to corrupted data. Check to ensure that your network is functioning correctly. Try pinging a website or another server on the network to see if you can connect. If you can’t connect, there may be a problem with your network hardware or configuration.

Can My Internet Cause Repeated DNS Error Messages?

Yes, your internet connection may be causing repeated DNS error messages. To rule this out as a potential source of the problem, try connecting to the internet using a different device or network. If the problem persists, there may be an issue with your router or modem that requires further troubleshooting.

Why Won’t My DNS Address Respond?

One possible reason is that your computer’s DNS cache might be full. To clear the DNS cache on a Windows computer, open a command prompt window and type “ipconfig /flushdns.”

Why is My Device Showing Incorrect DNS Server Addresses?

If your device is showing incorrect DNS server addresses, there are a few potential causes:
– Incorrect DNS server addresses may be entered into the device, and the device may use the wrong DNS servers.
– The network may block or filter traffic to the correct DNS servers.
– The device’s Wi-Fi connection may not be working correctly.
– The device’s network connection may not be working correctly.

What is a Domain Name System?

A Domain Name System (DNS) is a system that associates human-readable names with computer addresses. DNS servers are computers that maintain a directory of domain names and their corresponding computer addresses; when you enter a domain name into your web browser, your computer contacts a DNS server to translate it into its corresponding computer address.

How do I Stop Receiving DNS Server Errors on My PC?

There’s no permanent way to prevent an individual from receiving a DNS error message being sent to them. Simply taking care of your PC and regularly checking the stability of your network connections are simple steps to take. Also, make sure that your operating system and the drivers that you use frequently are constantly being updated.

Which DNS Server is Best for Google Chrome?

Google Chrome supports IPv4 and IPv6 addresses, so you can use either a public IPv4 DNS service or a shared IPv6 DNS service.

Will Switching My DNS Service Help with My DNS Error Messages?

Switching to a different DNS address can help clear up DNS error messages. However, it is essential to select a DNS service that is reliable and trustworthy to minimize the chances of experiencing any errors.

Will I Receive More DNS Errors if I have a Wireless Connection to the Network?

A wireless connection to the network shouldn’t be the key problem that would automatically cause you to have any DNS error message. However, a LAN cable that connects the device directly to the internet source could help prevent an error that a network connection would cause.

What is a Network Adapter Driver?

A network adapter driver is a computer program that allows your computer to communicate with the network. Before making adjustments to your adapter settings, ensure a strong internet connection.

Should I Manually Set My DNS Server?

Setting up a DNS server is often necessary to provide name resolution for your operating system if you are running your network. In most cases, your ISP will not provide this service, so it’s up to you to set up your DNS server. There are many different options for setting up a DNS server, so consult your operating system’s documentation or search the web for instructions specific to your setup.

Why Should I Change My DNS Server Address?

Your computer’s DNS server address is used to look up the IP address of a website. If there is a typo in the DNS server address, your computer will not be able to find the website. By changing your DNS server address, you can fix the typo and eliminate the DNS server error.

Do Web Browsers Cause DNS Errors?

Yes, Web browsers can cause DNS errors. This is because when a user visits a website, their browser will send a request to the DNS server for the IP address of the website. If the DNS server does not have the requested information, it will return an error message to the browser.

What System Preferences Improve My DNS Server?

The DNS tab in the Network pane of System Preferences lets you specify which DNS server should be used to resolve domain names into IP addresses. To improve the performance of your DNS server, you can increase its cache size.

Shayne Sherman
Meet the author

Shayne is an expert on all things Microsoft Windows and computer security. As a Windows user of over 30 years, he has been featured on Business Insider, Yahoo, Tech Republic, Hacker Noon, Techopedia, and many other publications. Aside from entertaining at his home theater, he enjoys spending time with his family, including his English bulldog, Fergie.