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Troubleshooting Guide: DNS Server Is Not Responding – Fixing Common Connectivity Issues

DNS Server Is Not Responding


Troubleshooting Guide: DNS Server Is Not Responding – Fixing Common Connectivity Issues

Are you experiencing the bothersome error notification “The DNS server is unresponsive” while attempting to connect with your preferred website? Rest assured. You’re not the only aggrieved party. This article is designed to offer a thorough troubleshooting manual that can assist you in resolving the problem promptly and restoring your internet connectivity. By understanding the root causes of the problem and implementing the suggested solutions, you can regain a stable internet connection and smoothly navigate the web. Discover the underlying reasons behind the occurrence of the “DNS server is not responding” error and acquire effective solutions to resolve the issue.

Understanding DNS

Before we explore the best troubleshooting practices for the common DNS issue, take the time to understand the Domain Name System in its entirety. The DNS is a crucial component of the internet infrastructure, translating domain names into IP addresses that computers can understand. At its core, the DNS server has a significant role in locating the IP address of the entered URL. If the DNS server does not function properly or, for some reason, does not respond, you are denied access to your favorite website. Rest assured. We understand that encountering this situation can be both frustrating and confusing. You can set aside any concerns because we are here to support you in resolving the problem and offering the essential guidance you need.

Common Causes of “DNS Server Is Not Responding” 

Several factors can contribute to the “DNS server is not responding” error. You will enhance your ability to identify and resolve the problem by acquainting yourself with these prevalent factors. A few possible offenders encompass:

1. Unstable Internet connection: A weak or intermittent Internet connection can prevent your DNS requests from reaching the server properly.

2. Inaccurate DNS configurations: Improperly set DNS parameters on your device may disrupt communication with the DNS server.

3. DNS server issues: The DNS server itself may be experiencing technical difficulties or be temporarily unavailable.

4. Firewall or antivirus restrictions: Overly strict firewall or antivirus settings can sometimes block DNS queries, resulting in an error message.

5. Router configuration problems: Incorrect router settings can interfere with the DNS resolution process and cause errors.

6. Malware or adware: Certain malicious software can tamper with your DNS settings, disrupting the connection.

7. ISP-related problems: Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) might have issues with their DNS servers, leading to the error.

Now, let’s delve into the systematic troubleshooting procedures to assist you in resolving the error message “DNS server is not responding.

Method 1: Restart Your Router 

One of the simplest yet effective troubleshooting steps is to restart your router. This action can help resolve minor connectivity issues and refresh the router’s DNS cache. To achieve this goal, do the followings steps:

1. Locate the power button on your router and turn it off.

2. Wait for approximately 10 to 15 seconds prior to powering on the router again.

3. Allow the router to boot up fully and establish a stable connection.

4. Try reaccessing websites to see if the “DNS server is not responding” error persists.

If the issue continues to persist, proceed to the subsequent method.

Method 2: Verify Your Internet Connection 

To mitigate the occurrence of the “DNS server is unresponsive” error being attributed to an unreliable internet connection, kindly adhere to the subsequent guidelines:

1. Verify if any other devices connected to the identical network are encountering the exact problem by utilizing an AI detector. If they are, the problem likely lies with your internet connection rather than a specific device.

2. You could attempt connecting your device to a different network or utilizing a hotspot to investigate whether the issue might be linked to your ISP or router configurations.

Method 3: Update DNS Server Addresses 

Updating your DNS server addresses can help resolve the “DNS server is not responding” error. Abide by the following steps to make modifications to the settings of your DNS server:

1. On Windows:

   – Locate the Control Panel and choose the “Network and Internet” button. Then click on “Network and Sharing Center.”

   – Select your active network connection and click on “Properties.”

   – Search for the “TCP/IPv4”. And then click on “Properties.”

   – Select “Use the following DNS server addresses.” And then key in the preferred DNS server and alternate DNS server addresses. Note that public DNS servers are available to use.

   – And then lick “OK.”

2. On Mac:

   – Find the “System Preferences” button and click on “Network.”

   – Select your active network connection and click on “Advanced.”

   – Locate the “DNS” tab and select it. Look for the “+” button and click on it to access the option of adding new DNS server addresses.

   – Enter the preferred and alternate DNS server addresses.

   – Click “OK.”

After updating the DNS server addresses, check if the error persists.

Method 4: Disable Firewall and Antivirus Temporarily 

Sometimes, overly strict firewall or antivirus settings can interfere with DNS queries, resulting in the “DNS server is not responding” error. Temporarily disabling these security measures can help identify if they are the cause. Follow these steps:

1. To deactivate the firewall:

   – Access the Control Panel on a Windows system and navigate to “System and Security.”

   – Click on “Windows Defender Firewall” and proceed to “Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off.”

   – Choose the option to disable the firewall for both private and public networks.

   – When it comes to a Mac device, look for the tab “System Preferences” and find the option “Security & Privacy.” Proceed to navigate to the “Firewall” tab as the next step in the process. After that, hit the lock icon, key in your password, and then disable the firewall.

2. Disable Antivirus:

   – Right-click on the system tray icon to temporarily disable your antivirus software and opt for the disable or turn off the option

Try accessing websites to check if the error persists. Remember to re-enable your firewall and antivirus once you’ve identified the cause.

Method 5: Clear DNS Cache

Clearing your DNS cache can help resolve any conflicts or outdated entries that might be causing the “DNS server is not responding” error. Here’s the instruction to clear the DNS cache::

1. On Windows:

   – Open the Command Prompt as an administrator.

   – Type the command “ipconfig /flushdns” and press Enter.

   – Give it time to complete the process, and then process a reboot of your computer.

2. On Mac:

   – Open the Terminal application.

   – Enter the command “sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder” and press Enter.

   – Provide your administrator password when prompted.

   – Restart your Mac.

Once the DNS cache is cleared, try reaccessing websites to check if the error is resolved.


Encountering the “DNS server is not responding” error can be frustrating, but with the troubleshooting methods mentioned in this article, you can resolve the issue and regain your internet connectivity. Remember to restart your router, verify your internet connection, update DNS server addresses, temporarily disable firewall and antivirus, and clear your DNS cache. By adhering to these outlined steps, you can efficiently address prevalent connectivity problems and ensure a smooth browsing experience.

About Bytagig
Bytagig is dedicated to providing reliable, full-scale cyber security and IT support for businesses, entrepreneurs, and startups in a variety of industries. Bytagig works both remotely with on-site support in Portland, San Diego, and Boston. Acting as internal IT staff, Bytagig handles employee desktop setup and support, comprehensive IT systems analysis, IT project management, website design, and more. Bytagig is setting the standard for MSPs by being placed on Channel Future’s NexGen 101 list.

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