Recently, we wrote a tutorial on how to edit Hosts file in Windows 11 if you want to block specific websites on your PC. However, if you want to improve your privacy on Windows 11, changing DNS settings is also a must. It will secure internet communication on your computer, whether it’s opening a website or an application trying to connect to its server in the background. If you’re new to this, learn how to change DNS settings in Windows 11 in this step-by-step guide.
Change DNS settings in Windows 11 (2022)
In this guide, we have included five methods to change DNS settings in Windows 11. Along with that, we have explained what DNS is and why you need to change DNS settings on your PC. Expand the table below to read the explanation or skip to the desired method.
What is DNS in Windows 11?
DNS or Domain Name System is like a internet directory. When you open a website, your computer connects to a DNS server to find the website’s IP address. This is how it locates the address and connects you to the website. The DNS server is necessary so that you don’t have to remember complex IP addresses for websites.
There are many DNS servers, from ISPs to servers offered by Google, Cloudflare, OpenDNS, etc. Each DNS server claims that it can retrieve information faster than the other. Some offer built-in security like DNS over TLS, and some offer lower latency. It depends on which one you want to use on your Windows 11 PC.
That said, the reason I suggest users change the default DNS server in Windows 11 is that ISPs are logging more and more DNS query, which is not good for your privacy. This means that your internet service provider can find out which website you have visited via the DNS log. So, to be safer, use well-known custom DNS servers, which do not log your queries, provide reliable performance, and security against phishing and malware attacks.
Now that that’s clear, let’s go ahead and check out some popular DNS servers for Windows 11.
Free DNS Servers for Windows 11
Here are some popular free DNS servers you can use on your Windows 11 PC. We’ve added preferred (also called primary) and alternate (also called secondary) DNS addresses for popular services.
4. Comodo Secure DNS
5. Quad9 DNS
Change DNS server using Settings app in Windows 11
The easiest method to change the DNS server in Windows 11 is from Settings. It allows you to set DNS with both IPv4 and IPv6 protocols. Here’s how:
1. Press the Windows 11 keyboard shortcut “Windows + I” to open the Settings app. Here, switch to “Network and Internetin the settings menu on the left sidebar and click on “Wireless” in the right pane. If you have a wired Ethernet connection, click “Ethernet”.
2. Then scroll down and search for “Material properties“. Open it.
3. Now click on “Editnext to “DNS Server Assignment”. It will be set to “Automatic (DHCP)”, which means that Windows 11 uses the DNS server chosen by your ISP. This is what we need to change.
4. On the next page, select “Manualfrom the drop-down menu and enable the “IPv4” toggle.
5. After that, in the “Preferred” and “Alternative” DNS fields, enter the custom dns server the address you want to use. You can find the best DNS servers from our linked article. I usually go with Google’s DNS server, which is:
- Preferred DNS:
- Alternate DNS:
6. Once you are done, click “to safeguard“, and you have successfully changed the DNS server in Windows 11. If you also want to learn how to enable DNS-over-HTTPS on Windows 11, which will encrypt all DNS requests, continue to the next step.
7. Click the drop-down menu under “preferred” and “alternate” DNS encryption and change the encryption type to “Encrypted only (DNS over HTTPS)”.
8. Now click on “to safeguard“, and you are done. Along with a custom DNS server in Windows 11, you’ve also enabled encryption for all your DNS queries, which will make network communication on your PC more secure.
Change DNS Server from Control Panel in Windows 11
If you are old school like me and want to change DNS server in Windows 11 from Control Panel, follow our guide below.
1. Use the “Windows+R” shortcut to open the run prompt window. Here, type
ncpa.cpl and press Enter.
2. This will open the Network and Internet directly in the Control Panel. You can also manually open the Control Panel in Windows 11 and go to “Network and Sharing Center”.
3. Once you are here, right click on your “Wi-Fi” adapter and select “Properties“. If you are using a wired Ethernet connection, right click on “Ethernet” and select “Properties”.
4. Then scroll down and double click on “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)“.
5. Now it will open a new pop-up window, where you need to select “Use the following DNS server addresses”. This is where we will configure our custom DNS server.
6. Now enter the Preferred and alternate DNS servers in their respective fields. For example, here I’m using Cloudflare’s DNS servers, which are mentioned below. You are free to choose yours.
- Preferred DNS:
- Alternate DNS:
7. Finally, click on “OKAY“, and that’s it. You have configured a custom DNS server on your Windows 11 PC.
Change DNS Settings Using Command Prompt (CMD)
Besides Windows settings and Control Panel, you can also change DNS settings using Command Prompt. Just use a few commands and you’re set. Here are the steps you need to follow:
1. Press the Windows key and type “cmd” in the search bar. Now click on “Execute as administrator” in the right pane. If you still want to run apps with administrator privileges in Windows 11, check out our linked guide.
2. Then run the command below in the CMD window. Be sure to replace
preferred with your server’s primary DNS. For example – I used
18.104.22.168, which is Cloudflare’s preferred DNS server. Similarly, if you are using Ethernet, replace
Ethernet in the command below.
netsh interface ipv4 set dnsservers Wi-Fi Static preferred primary
3. To set a alternate DNS server Using the command prompt run the below command. Here, replace
Alternative with the secondary DNS server. I defined Cloudflare
22.214.171.124 as an alternate DNS.
netsh interface ipv4 add dnsservers Wi-Fi Alternative index=2
4. And you’re done. Open the Settings app and you will find that the custom DNS servers have been updated.
6. If you wish reset dns settings to Automatic (DHCP), run the below command in CMD on your Windows 11 PC.
netsh interface ip set dns "Local Area Connection" dhcp
Change DNS Settings Using PowerShell in Windows 11
1. Press the Windows key and type “powershell“. Now click on “Execute as administrator“.
2. Then run the below command in powershell to note the InterfaceIndex your Wi-Fi or Ethernet adapter. For example, I am connected to a wireless network and my InterfaceIndex is
Get-NetAdapter | Select-Object InterfaceAlias , InterfaceIndex
3. Now run the command below. Be sure to replace
N with the InterfaceIndex value (Wi-Fi or Ethernet) displayed on your PC. After that, replace
alternative with the DNS servers of your choice.
set-DnsClientServerAddress -InterfaceIndex N -ServerAddresses ("preferred","alternative")
Change DNS Server in Windows 11 with DNS Jumper
If you are looking for a third-party app to change DNS settings in Windows 11, DNS Jumper is one of the best programs available. It’s free and offers a long list of DNS servers that you can apply with a click. Here’s how it works:
1. Head to this link and download the DNS Jumper ZIP file. Now unzip the file in Windows 11 and navigate to the DnsJumper folder. Here, double-click “DnsJumper.exe“.
2. Now choose a DNS server from the drop-down menu and click “Apply DNS“. That’s it, and you’re set.
3. If you want to set a custom dns server, check the box and enter the primary and secondary server addresses in the fields below. After that, click “Apply DNS”.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is a DNS Server in Windows 11?
The DNS server allows your Windows 11 PC to find the IP address of websites. It is basically a directory where the IP address is located and you are connected to the website.
What is the best DNS server for Windows 11?
In my opinion, Cloudflare and Google’s DNS servers are perfect for Windows 11.
Which DNS server offers the lowest latency in Windows 11?
If you want fast performance from your DNS server on Windows 11, I would recommend Cloudflare.
Can we change DNS server from Windows 11 control panel?
Yes, you can still change the DNS server from Windows 11 Control Panel. Follow our guide for more details.
Configure a Custom DNS Server in Windows 11
So here are the five easy methods you can use to set up a custom DNS server in Windows 11. I will strongly recommend changing the DNS server from the Windows Settings page. In addition to custom DNS, you can also enable DNS over HTTPS from here. Anyway, it all comes from us. If you’re having internet issues and the Wi-Fi keeps disconnecting on your Windows 11 PC, follow our linked guide for an easy fix. Also, to fix “Network discovery is disabled” error on Windows 11, we have a handy tutorial for you. Finally, if you have any questions, let us know in the comment section below.