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DNS server not responding – how to fix the error

Help guide with 6 simple steps

If you’ve received the message DNS server not responding on your computer or smartphone, we have a solution for you. This guide helps you troubleshoot and find the error in just 6 steps. Read till the end for tips on how to change your DNS server to surf more securely. 

What does DNS server not responding mean? 

A DNS server is a computer that interprets the web address you type into your web browser. For example, when you type one.com in your browser, a request is sent to a DNS server that responds with the IP address that leads to one.com, such as Your computer then sends a request to to fetch and display the webpage. When you get the message DNS server not responding, it means that the server that’s supposed to translate web addresses to IP addresses isn’t working properly. 

When you browse the web, your computer doesn’t always send requests to your DNS server. IP addresses can also be saved on your computer to make webpages load faster. That means that DNS server not responding can also be that something has gone wrong in your computer or with the router you’re using. Since the error can be caused by many different reasons, we’ll help you troubleshoot. 

How to fix “DNS server not responding”

In this guide, we will help you find the cause of why your computer or smartphone is giving you the message DNS server not responding. At the end of the article, we also offer tips on how a simple change of your DNS can make your web surfing safer. 

1. Change browser

A common cause of DNS server not responding is a fault that occurs in your web browser. The browser may store DNS information to make your web browsing experience faster. This information can sometimes be incorrect. A fault in your web browser can be easy to remedy. The first thing you need to do is to try another browser. If another browser works, you have successfully found the error. We recommend that you clear your browser’s cache

If the error occurs on an iPhone or Android mobile, you may not be able to change browser. You might also be using a Mac or Windows computer and do not have another browser installed. It that case, you can try clearing your browser’s cache to see if it helps. 

2. Try another device

If you’ve tried another browser without success, it’s a good idea to try another device on the same network. If you’re using a computer, for example, try surfing on the same network with a smartphone. If you get the same error message on your smartphone, there are three options: 

  1. The website you’re visiting has a DNS problem. In this case, try another web address to see if it works.  
    If another web address doesn’t work, read step 3 in this guide.
  2. Your broadband provider has problems: continue to step 4.
  3. It’s your router that has problems: continue to step 5.

3. Use another connection

If you have a problem with your computer and have smartphone on hand, you can turn off Wi-Fi and use your mobile operator’s network to see if you get the same error message. If you still encounter DNS server not responding, it’s likely that the website you’re trying to visit has a problem. If so, you can contact the website’s administrator. If it’s your website that has a problem, you can contact customer support or switch to a hosting provider with high uptime

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4. Change DNS

By default, you’re likely using your broadband operator’s DNS server, and it’s often fast due to its proximity to your home or office. However, it may actually be your operator’s DNS server that is causing your problems.  

To rule this out, you can change the DNS server on your computer or smartphone. If the error message disappears, the problem is with your operator. Here are instructions for how to change DNS with Windows, Mac, Android, and iPhone: 

Windows 11

  1. Right-click the Windows button 
  2. Select Settings 
  3. Click on Network & Internet 
  4. Choose the connection you are using, for example, Wi-Fi 
  5. Select Edit next to DNS server assignment 
  6. Enter under Preferred DNS and under Alternate DNS


  1. Click the Apple button at the top left 
  2. Select System Preferences 
  3. Choose Network 
  4. Click on your current connection, for example, Wi-Fi 
  5. Select Advanced 
  6. Click on DNS 
  7. Click on + 
  8. Enter 

Android (12+)

  1. Open Settings 
  2. Tap on Network & internet 
  3. Choose Private DNS 
  4. Select Private DNS provider hostname 
  5. Enter 
  6. Tap on Save 


  1. Go to Settings 
  2. Tap on Wi-Fi 
  3. Click on the i icon next to your current network 
  4. Choose Configure DNS 
  5. Tap on Manual 
  6. Select Add Server 
  7. Enter 
  8. Tap on Save 

5. Restart your router

In some cases, a DNS problem can be caused by a fault in your router. The first step is always to restart the router. Unplug the cord from the outlet and wait ten seconds before plugging it back in. 

If that doesn’t help and the next step in this guide doesn’t help either, you can reset the router by pressing the Reset button on the router. 

6. Turn off VPN and other connections

If your computer has more than one active Internet connection, you can experience problems with DNS. If you’re using a VPN or proxy, for example, you can try turning it off. Make sure you only have one active internet connection. You should also disable Bluetooth on your computer as it can sometimes be used for network connections. 

Still not working?

If you still haven’t found a solution, you can try contacting your broadband provider. They may be able to help you with troubleshooting. If that doesn’t help, you can contact the manufacturer of the device that isn’t working correctly. 

Bonus tip: improve your security with DNS 

In step 4, we talked about how you can change DNS for your devices. Aside from being a way to troubleshoot for DNS issues, changing DNS can also increase your performance, improve security, and provide better privacy. 

There are many DNS servers that you can use. Here are some options and their biggest advantages. At the end, we offer tips on how you can change DNS server on your router instead of changing DNS server per device. is a DNS server from Cloudflare, a company that sells CDN services among other products. has two main advantages: 

  1. It’s one of the fastest DNS servers.
  2. Cloudflare does not store any information about your usage.

Cloudflare says that many other DNS servers store information about websites you visit and can sell the information to others. does not store any data about you and is therefore a more private way to surf the web.

Quad9 is run by a non-profit organisation in Switzerland. Their DNS server also promises to be private since it does not store any information about its users. In addition, it increases security for all users by actively blocking addresses that lead to malicious software. 


OpenDNS is a DNS server from Cisco that offers filtered DNS. OpenDNS has filters for malicious and adult content and is therefore suitable for households or organisations where children have Internet access. The protections in Open DNS are not guaranteed but they can make it harder for children to accidentally visit inappropriate websites. The DNS server addresses for OpenDNS is and 

Change DNS on your router

It can be cumbersome to set up a custom DNS server on all devices in the home but there’s an easier way! Just change the DNS server on your router so that the same DNS server is used by all devices on the network. 

You can change the DNS server in your router by going to your router’s settings panel. You can access the settings page by typing the IP address of the router into your browser. The IP address is often indicated on a label on the bottom or back of the router. If you can’t find the address, you can try typing these addresses into your web browser’s address bar:, Log in with the login details that are stated on the label of the router. Then follow the instructions from your router manufacturer. Here are instructions for some popular router manufacturers: 

If “DNS server not responding” appears again 

We hope you have found the cause of the DNS server not responding message. If the problem recurs, you can read this guide again to understand what is causing the error and what you can do to solve it for the long term. 

Also, remember that DNS is not always troublesome. You can also use a DNS server to gain increased control over your browsing safety and security. 

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  • High-performance SSD servers
  • Easy-to-use Control Panel
  • Free website builder
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Daily backup
  • 24/7 support