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3 Steps How To Really Clear Your DNS Cache on Windows

A lot of guides on the internet get this wrong, so I thought I would write an article how you can really clear your DNS cache when your DNS provider is caching IPs

About DNS

And here’s where it gets edgy: In order to prevent a DNS network flood, constant queries whenever you visit the same website there are many caches involved:
  • 1) A Local Cache
  • 2) An External Cache (By Your DNS Provider)

DNS is a global system that involves many servers around the world. In order to resolve a domain name that is bound to a server IP like 173.100.5.5 you need to query the DNS server of your ISP or another DNS provider like OpenDNS.

Your DNS provider will store a lot of IP’s and their domain equivalent in their cache.

What does that mean? Even if you clear your local DNS cache (yes, Windows is caching IP addresses too!) your provider may cache DNS addresses. So, in some cases an IP address has successfully propagated throughout the world but your DNS provider may still have an “old copy” / old IP. In that case, clearing your local DNS cache won’t help.

Step 0: Download IP Extension

The first pre-requisite is that you know the IP of the website that you want to visit:

1. Step Download the IP extension for Chrome. If you don’t use Chrome, download it just for this. You will come across many situations where it’s handy to have a 2nd browser like Chrome

2. Step Enter the URL of the website you want to visit and check the corner for an address. In this case, the IP is 178.63.84.66:

Check Cornr For Website Ip.png

Step 1: Clearing LOCAL Cache

The first step, as many other websites will tell you, is to clear the local DNS cache that is storing the old outdated IP address:

1. Step Open a command prompt

2. Step Enter ipconfig /flushdns

Done, that is all you have to do to clear your local DNS cache. If that already works for you, you don’t have to follow the steps below.

Flushing Your Local Dns Cache.png

Step 2: Checking The IP Again

Ok, now visit the website again and if the IP changes you are golden. Your DNS provider did not cache the old IP.

Optional – Step 3: Changing your DNS Provider

For more instructions on this step, also read our full tutorial on changing DNS providers

If the IP did not change and you still get an outdated website and IP address, it’s very possible your DNS provider is using caching technology.

Alright, that’s ok – in order to “clear” the DNS you actually have to change your DNS provider, everything else will fail. You may wait for 48 hours if it’s not critical and your DNS provider may clear the cache, but if time is of the essence we don’t have that luxury so we are going to change our DNS provider.

1. Step Right-click on the internet connection icon in your tray, select Open Network and Sharing Center

2. Step Click on change adapter settings on the left (in the blue sidebar)

3. Step Right-click on your main ethernet adapter usually Ethernet 1, Local Internet Connection 1, LAN Connection 1 or similar (if you really don’t know which one, disable all via right-click->disable, then enable one by one and always check when your internet connection is working again)

4. Step Double-click Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)

5. Step Enter 8.8.8.8 into the the 4th box (2nd fieldset)

6. Step Here are steps in one picture:

Changing Your Dns Provider.png

Warning: Why Open DNS Providers May Threaten Your Privacy

Here’s an article on why you may not want to use open DNS providers and change to a VPN with built-in DNS

Alternative Solutions: Auto-Repair Your PC And Drivers

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Published: Tuesday, August 5th, 2014 Last Modified: October 20, 2014

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