The Windows operating system uses a cache for DNS entries. DNS (Domain Name System) is a core technology of the Internet that is used for communication. In particular, it is used to find IP addresses of domain names.
When users type a domain name into the browser, one of the first tasks performed when the site loads is to look up its IP address. The process requires access to DNS servers. Often, the ISP’s DNS servers are used automatically, but administrators can switch to other DNS servers, as these may be faster or offer better privacy.
Changing DNS providers can also help circumvent Internet censorship, if DNS is used to block access to certain sites.
Windows uses the DNS resolver cache to speed up lookups. Each DNS lookup is added to the cache to speed up consecutive visits to domains. Sometimes entries can become stale and point to the wrong IP address. Our guide to fixing host issues in browsers is still valid today. Clearing the cache can help with this, as it removes all cached items to start fresh.
Tip: You can use the freeware DNSLookupView to log all DNS activity on Windows.
View all cached DNS entries
The list of cached entries can be useful for several purposes. Webmasters and developers can check if the correct IP address is assigned to a property, and users may be interested in seeing all entries, for example, to find out which domains were viewed during a session.
- Open the run box with the shortcut Windows-R.
- Type cmd.exe and press the Enter key.
- Type ipconfig /displayDNS to execute the command.
Windows returns all cached DNS entries in a long list. You can also redirect the output to a plain text file by running the command ipconfig /displayDNS > %USERPROFILE%Desktopdns.txt. This saves the output to the dns.txt file on the desktop.
The same command can also be run using PowerShell:
- Open Start, type powershell and select the result. If you have Terminal installed, type Terminal instead and select this result.
- Run the command powershell “Get-DnsClientCache | Format-Table -AutoSize”.
The output uses better formatting. You can also redirect the output to a text file using the command powershell “Get-DnsClientCache | Format-Table -AutoSize” >%USERPROFILE%DesktopDNS.txt.
To flush the DNS cache, run the command ipconfig /flushdns. Check this guide if you get the error Unable to flush DNS resolver.
Now you: Which DNS provider are you using? (Going through Eleven Forum)