8 Ways to Fix DNS Server Not Responding

By Dominic Chooper on August 23, 2023

When you experience the ‘DNS server not responding’ error on your Windows or Mac computer, you will not be able to browse the internet.

This can cause inconvenience and can be quite frustrating when you need to look up something online.

However, the good news is that this error can be rectified very easily, which is what this article is all about.

If you do not know about these solutions, read on to know more and implement one or a couple of them when you face this error on your PC.

Note: Different approaches for Mac computers for a few specific solutions are mentioned separately.


Why is DNS Server Not Responding?

The most significant reason for experiencing the ‘DNS server not responding’ error is the issues in the DNS settings and issues in its address. It may also be a result of improper settings of your PC in the first place.

Other significant reasons for such an error to occur are:

Despite the varied reasons for the ‘DNS server not responding’ error to occur, fortunately, the fixes to it are relatively simple.

How to Fix DNS Server Not Responding Error?

How to Fix DNS Server Not Responding

One of the easiest solutions to the ‘DNS server nor responding’ error is switching browsers or devices.

In other situations, you may try resolving it by changing the DNS servers or addresses, flushing the DNS cache or disabling a few specific network connections.

Some other easy fixes of this issue could be:

Now, if these easy and quick solutions could not resolve the issue, here are a few advanced solutions to try.

Update Network Driver: Press Windows and X keys together > Select Device Manager from the options > Select and expand Network drivers > Select your network adapter > Right-click on it > Select Uninstall device from the options > Click on the square box next to Delete driver software for this device > Click on Uninstall > Restart your PC.

Reset Network Settings: Go to the Start Menu > Settings > Network and Internet > Status > Network reset > Restore Now > Restart your computer when prompted.

Run Internet Connections troubleshooter: Go to the Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center > Troubleshoot problems > Additional troubleshooters > ​Internet Connections > Run the troubleshooter.

If these could not rectify the problem, try the following solutions.

Method 1: Change the DNS Server Manually

You may change the DNS server to Google DNS or OpenDNS manually and solve the issue.

Note: Changing the DNS server might slow down your internet speed depending on the location. You are therefore advised to check using different servers.


In Windows:

Clicking on the OK button

Choosing Properties from the list of options

Clicking on the Properties button

Clicking on the OK button

In Mac:

If you are using a Mac system, follow these steps:

Clicking on System Preferences

Clicking on Network in the System Preferences window

Selecting Advanced

Clicking on the Plus button

Clicking on the OK button

When you are done, disconnect your internet connection and reconnect. The problem should be resolved now.

Method 2: Enter the MAC Address Manually

You may enter the MAC address of the network adapter, preferably after changing to Google DNS or OpenDNS. This might resolve the issue in a few situations.


Physical Address

Now, to configure your network connection and change the MAC address, go to the Wi-Fi Properties as before.

Clicking on the Configure button

Selecting Network Address

Check whether the issue is resolved or not. If it still persists, move to the next solution.

Method 3: Run Specific Commands to Clear DNS Cache and Reset IP

Clearing the DNS cache and resetting the IP by running a few specific netsh commands in the Command Prompt may resolve this issue.


In Windows:

Type each of these commands one after the other and pressing Enter after each completes its execution:

When the process is complete, exit Command prompt and restart your PC to check whether or not the issue is resolved.

If the issue still persists, you can try running additional commands in the Command Prompt as follows:

Now, try connecting again to your internet to see whether the issue is resolved, or else move to the next method.

In Mac:

If you are using a Mac computer, you will need to run different commands for different operating systems to flush DNS cache. So be cautious while performing this method.

Run the command from the following list that applies to your operating system:

When the process is complete, the DNS configuration will be refreshed. Now, reconnect and check whether the issue is resolved.

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Method 4: Disable Microsoft Virtual Wi-Fi Miniport Adapter

The issue of ‘DNS server not responding’ might be resolved by disabling the Microsoft Virtual Wi-Fi Miniport Adapter.


Selecting Show hidden devices

Do the same if you have multiple Virtual Miniport Adapters.

When you are done, close the Device Manager window, restart your PC, connect to the network again and check whether or not the issue is resolved.

If it still persists, move to the next method.

Method 5: Disable Internet Protocol Version 6

You may try to fix the issue by disabling the Internet Protocol Version 6 from your PC, if it is enabled. This will not affect the functionality of your PC negatively but might resolve the ‘DNS server not responding’ issue.


In Windows:

Internet Protocol Version 6

Check whether the problem is fixed or not.

In Mac:

If you are using a Mac system, these are the steps to follow:

Going to the TCP/IP tab

However, in some cases, the Off option may not be available. In that case, you will need to run a specific command in the Terminal app. The commands will vary on the type of connection.

When the process is complete, restart your system and reconnect to the internet to check whether or not the DNS server not responding issue is resolved.

Method 6: Disable Additional Connections Other than Wi-Fi

If you have multiple network connections enabled on your system PC, it might cause the issue. So, disable them when you use the Wi-Fi connections to fix this issue.


In Windows:

Selecting the Disable option

In Mac:

If you are using a Mac computer, follow these steps:

Clicking on the minus

Connect again to see whether or not the error is resolved.

Method 7: Disable the Peer-to-Peer Feature

The peer-to-peer feature in Windows may cause this issue as well. Disabling it is one potential solution.


Going to Update & Security

Clicking on Advanced options

Selecting the Delivery Optimization option

Allow downloads from other PCs

Now check if the ‘DNS server not responding issue’ is resolved.

Method 8: Remove Conflicting Third-Party Apps and Programs

Sometimes third-party software programs and applications such as VPN and antivirus may cause interference and result in this error.

Finding them first and removing them might solve the issue.


In Windows:

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Selecting Troubleshoot

Going to Advanced options

Selecting Startup Settings

Clicking on the Restart button

Selecting Enable Safe Mode with Networking

Now, check whether or not you can access the internet in the safe mode. If you can, there may be software or apps interfering in the normal operations.

Now remove these apps from the system to fix the issue.

Clicking on Apps

Selecting Apps & features

Clicking on Uninstall

Alternatively, you can remove it from the Task Manager as well, if it is there running.

Selecting End task

Note: Either way it is a tedious and time-consuming process because you will need to know which particular app is causing the problem. For that, you will need to remove each, restart the system, and connect to the internet.

If your system connects, the app or software program is good to keep. You may reinstall it later. If it does not, leave it uninstalled.

In Mac:

If you are using a Mac computer, you can enter into safe mode in two different ways.

If you are using an Intel processor:

(You may be asked to login for a second time. Go ahead and do so).

If you are using an Apple Silicon M1 chip:

You can remove the conflicting app or software program, if you know about it that is, in the following way:

Opening Applications

Clicking on the Plus button

Selecting Other from the drop-down options

Clicking on the OK button

Clicking on the arrow keys in the box written ‘aren’t included’

Dragging all these files to the Trash

The item “VLC” can’t be moved to the Trash because it’s open

Select Quit

Now check whether or not the issue is resolved.


So, as you can see, there are lots of ways in which you can rectify the ‘DNS server not responding’ error.

While some of the solutions are as easy as restarting your PC and router or changing the web browser, there are other relatively advanced solutions such as changing the DNS address that might also help.