DNS Server Not Responding – Reasons and Trouble Shooting Steps

DNS Server Not Responding – Reasons and Trouble Shooting Steps


DNS Server Not Responding – Reasons and Trouble Shooting Steps

DNS stands for Domain Name System. It is a directory service that translates alphanumeric domain names into numeric IP addresses. Your router forwards every website address that you search on your browser to a DNS server. This server dissolves the domain name and returns an IP address corresponding to the domain’s numeric sequence.  You cannot access a website without going through a DNS server. There would have been times when you might have seen the message ‘DNS server not responding’ on your computer screen. What do you do in such cases? Do you panic because it might be crucial for you to visit a particular website for any reason? Do you frantically start calling up people in the hope they might be able to resolve the issue?

We are sure most of you go through the situations listed above. But hold on. The problem might not be as grave as you think it is. In this post, we bring you the top 2 reasons why this might happen and a few easy troubleshooting steps so that you no longer have to panic or call for help. So, please read till the very end.

Why are You Getting the ‘DNS Server Not Responding’ Message?

Broadly, there are a couple of reasons why you may get the error message ‘DNS Server Not Responding’:

  1. If your browser cannot go online and establish an internet connection, you will see the message ‘DNS server not responding’ on your computer screen.
  2. Even if your computer is correctly configured and establishes an internet connection, you might still receive the same error message. It means either the website address you entered is outdated or the DNS server has some issues because of which it is not responding.

How to Troubleshoot?

Fortunately, most of the issues that result in receiving the ‘DNS server not responding’ message are easy to resolve. There are several different ways to resolve these issues. However, we will limit ourselves to the top 5 solutions that can help fix these issues for Windows and macOS supported devices because of space restrictions. Let’s proceed.

  1. Connect Using a Different Device

If you can connect using a secondary device such as a phone, computer, or tablet, the issue lies with the primary device and not your router. Even if you cannot connect with the secondary device, it does not necessarily mean there is a problem with the router. In such cases, try using your mobile data to connect. If you still cannot access the website, the issue lies with the website and not your devices.

  1. Change Your Web Browser

It is the easiest way to test DNS connections. Download a different browser and try connecting to the internet. If you still cannot connect, the browser is not the problem. However, if you do connect, uninstall and reinstall your old browser. It should fix the issues in all likelihood.

  1. Deactivate Firewall

In case changing your browser does not help, try deactivating the firewall temporarily. If you can connect to the website, it means the firewall is the problem. If you cannot, the problem seems to be with the DNS server.

  1. Restart Your Router

Restarting your server often resolves connection issues. You can restart the server by pressing the power button on your device. If this does not work, try rebooting the device by pulling out the power plug. Wait for around 30-45 seconds before restarting the device. If the problem persists, then the only choice you are left with is to choose a different DNS server.

  1. Change Your DNS Server

Once you figure that a router software crash or firewall is not the issue, try changing your DNS server. Typically, the DNS server address automatically used is that of the internet provider. However, it may sometimes be overloaded and slow. Replace your internet provider’s server with your preferred server. You can try using a reliable, fast, and free public DNS server also if you want.

Enter the URL of a popular website, for example, www.google.com. If you can access it, it means the new DNS server is working fine. Whether, if you cannot, try entering one of Google’s IP addresses, If the Google website does not open, there is more likely a problem with your internet connection than with the DNS server.


Receiving the ‘DNS server not responding’ message repeatedly can be a matter of concern and may lead to frustration. Trying out the top 5 resolutions listed above should help you resolve the issue. However, if you still cannot, you can try certain other ways, such as restarting your system in safe mode, flushing the DNS cache and resetting your IP, or disabling the Windows peer-to-peer feature. If nothing still works, we would suggest consulting an expert.


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