Ways to Fix DNS Server Not Responding Windows 11 Edition

Deyan Georgiev
Deyan Georgiev

Updated · Jan 26, 2023

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Is your DNS server not responding? You're not alone. This issue is affecting many Windows 11 users. But don't worry, you can do a few things to fix it. This guide will show you ten ways to fix the DNS server not responding in Windows 11.

How to Fix DNS Server Not Responding Issue on Windows 11

1. Troubleshoot Windows Network Diagnostic

The first step to repairing the "DNS server isn't responding" error is running network diagnostics. This will also help detect any other issues on the network.

  1. Open Control Panel - Network and Internet - Network and Sharing Center.
  2. Click on Troubleshoot problems option under Change your networking settings.
  3. Select Additional Troubleshooters - Internet Connections - Run the troubleshooter.

windows additional troubleshooters menu with a highlight on the run troubleshooter button

Image credit: hostinger.com

2. Restart the Router/Modem

The easiest solution to Windows 11 DNS issues is restarting your router/modem.

To reboot your router, open the router's Settings page in your web browser. Click on the Maintenance tab and select the appropriate button, which is probably called restart or reboot the router, depending on your router model.

If you’re struggling to find your router's settings page, turn the device off by pressing its power button. Next, turn the router back on by pressing the same button again. You can also use the power socket switch to turn your modem off and on.

3. Change DNS Servers

By default, Windows will use the DNS server set on your router. If that DNS server has any issues, Google's public DNS servers will be more helpful. This is how you do it.

  1. Click Windows key + R to start the Run interface where you input ncpa.cpl followed by Enter.
  2. Right-click your Internet connection on the Network connection window and select Properties.
  3. Double-click 'Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPV4)' in the Networking tab.
  4. Select the 'Use the following DNS server addresses' option under the General tab.
    • In the 'Preferred DNS Server' field, enter '8.8.8.8', and in the 'Alternate DNS Server' field, enter '8.8.4.4'.

Switch your ISP's DNS address to a different one.

If you want to see a more detailed approach to changing your DNS server, check out our thorough guide on how to change the DNS server on a Windows 11.

4. Flush and Renew DNS Cache

If the problems you're experiencing with DNS are due to a corrupt DNS cache or incorrect settings, you might be able to resolve them by flushing and renewing your DNS.

  1. Press the Windows key + S to open the search menu, type in cmd, and click on Run as administrator.
  2. From here, run the following commands:
    • ipconfig /flushdns
    • ipconfig /registerdns
    • ipconfig /release
  1. Run every command separately in your console, hitting Enter after each one.

windows command prompt command inputs and their output

image credit: hostinger.com

You can see a more detailed guide here: How to flush a DNS on Windows 10 and 11.

5. Use a Different Device or Switch Browsers

To see if the problem is with your device, connect a different one to the same home network and try reaccessing the site. If the second device can connect to the Internet using the same network, there might be an issue with your primary device.

If you're receiving the error message "DNS server isn't responding," another easy fix would be to try a different internet browser. For example, switch from Google Chrome to Microsoft Edge, or other Chromium-based browsers.

If this method is successful, update your browser to the newest version.

6. Update Network Drivers

An outdated network driver can be among the leading causes of DNS server failure to load on your Windows computer.

You can update your network adapter driver manually or automatically.

To do the former, you can use one of the best driver updaters on the market, Driver Easy:

  1. Install this software on your PC.
  2. After running the software, start Scan Now.
  3. Update every outdated driver.
  4. Once completed, restart your computer.

5. Boot the PC in Safe Mode

You can get the error message ‘DNS server not responding’ in Windows 11 when the operating system starts malfunctioning.

If you want to know if this problem prevents the DNS server from being accessible, restart your computer in Safe Mode.

Here is how to do it:

  1. Click on the Power button in the Start menu, then hold down the Shift key and click on Restart.
  2. To get started, click on Troubleshoot - Advanced options from the Choose an option window.
  3. Choose the Startup Settings tab under Advanced Options, and hit Restart.
  4. Click F5 on the keyboard to choose the Safe Mode with Networking option.

6. Disable Firewall/Antivirus

Although antivirus and firewall programs assist in protecting your device from malicious software, they can also affect your internet connection adversely. Try deactivating your antivirus and firewall programs to see if they're the source of the “DNS server is not responding” error.

  1. Choose the Start menu to locate the antivirus and firewall settings on Windows.
  2. Click Settings - Update & Security - Windows Security - Virus & threat protection.

windows security settings with the virus and threat protection option highlighted

Image credit: hostinger.com

7. Disable Other Connections

Another way to fix the “DNS server not responding” issue is by disabling any connections you're not using.

See the steps below:

  1. Open Control Panel - Network and Internet - Network and Sharing Center.
  2. Click on the Change adapter settings tab on the left side.
  3. The Network Connections page will pop up. To disable any connections you're not using, right-click on Local Area Connection and select Disable.

8. Disable IPv6

IPv6 is the internet protocol's latest version that identifies both devices on the internet and those on the local network. The "DNS server is not responding" issue can also occur with IPv6. 

This is how you disable IPv6 on Windows:

  1. Right-click on the active connection to access your network connections and click on Properties.
  2. Select the 'Networking' tab. Choose the box next to 'Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6)'.

windows 11 wi-fi properties settings with a highlight on a disabled internet protocol version 6 option

Image credit: hostinger.com

Reasons for the ‘DNS Server Not Responding’ Error

The ‘Windows 11 DNS server not responding’ error could also appear due to the following:

  • Unavailable DNS Provider

Your DNS service might cease functioning due to an error on the DNS server's network, such as increased traffic or a server outage.

  • Defective Router or Modem

If your router or modem is not functioning properly, this could cause a DNS server error. If you're having trouble with your DNS, try flashing the router, or changing the ports and cables.

  • Hardware or Network Issues

The "DNS server not responding" error can sometimes be caused by hardware or network failures. For example, when one server doesn't relay information correctly to the next server in line.

  • Antivirus Software

If your antivirus software vendor updates their program, it could cause issues where the program believes your computer is infected and then blocks your internet access. Thus, you’ll likely see the “DNS server not responding” error message in your browser.

Bottom Line

The "DNS server not responding" message means your browser can't connect to the Internet due to DNS errors or network problems. Hopefully, one of the solutions we’ve outlined in this article will help you fix the "DNS server not responding" error on Windows 11.

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Deyan Georgiev

Deyan Georgiev

Deyan has been fascinated by technology his whole life. From the first Tetris game all the way to Falcon Heavy. Working for TechJury is like a dream come true, combining both his passions – writing and technology. In his free time (which is pretty scarce, thanks to his three kids), Deyan enjoys traveling and exploring new places. Always with a few chargers and a couple of gadgets in the backpack. He makes mean dizzying Island Paradise cocktails too.

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