dns server not responding

6 Way to Resolve the “DNS not responding error”

Most of us either use a computer or a Wi-Fi enabled smart device (phone or tablet) to connect to the internet. While there might be the convenience of this, there are also times when we might run into errors that are confusing. One of these errors could be the “DNS not responding error”. So here we will explain what the error could be and some steps in fixing it so you can get to your website in no time.

Your DNS server isn’t responding

This kind of failure can be related to the Domain Name System. The Domain Name System is a name resolution service that is used by Internet providers. Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 usually report this in the troubleshooting problems window.

The device used will not be able to connect to the Internet if this failure occurs.

There are a few different reasons why this DNS server error may occur. This guide aims to help you troubleshoot and fix the error.

Windows 10 and Windows 8.1

On Windows, windows network diagnostics can be used to diagnose Internet connection problems. This is intended for people you do not have much technical knowledge.

Step 1: Select Start and then choose Settings.

Step 2: Select Network & Internet.

Step 3: Select Network Trouble-shooter under the “Change Your Network Settings”. The Windows Network Diagnostics window will open.

Step 4: Run the wizard and wait for the troubleshooting to finish. The wizard will try and locate the problem. It will list the errors in the “Problem found” section of the wizard when it is complete.

Windows 7

The steps to troubleshoot your network connection is different on Windows 7.  Do the following steps, to find your problem.

Step 1: Open the Control Panel.

Step 2: Open the Network and Sharing Center

Step 3: Click the Troubleshoot problems under Change your Networking Settings.

Step 4: Click ​Internet Connections. A new Internet Connections window appears.

Step 5: Click Run the Trouble-shooter.

Step 6: Click Troubleshoot my connection to the Internet.

Step 7: Wait for the troubleshooting to finish

6 Quick Fixes for the ‘DNS server not responding error’

There can be a variety of issues that cause this error. And to fix it, requires us to identify the issue and its root cause. The common cause of this failure could be:

  1. A Problem with the Internet provider
  2. A problem with the TCP/IP or DHCP service
  3. DNS Issues
  4. An antivirus software
  5. Aggressive firewall rules
  6. A faulty router or modem

1. Internet provider

If your Internet provider seems to be at fault, it might be best to leave a service error ticket on the ISP provider’s website. This can be easily solved from the end of the ISP and their service team.

2. TCP/IP or DHCP service

It is possible that the TCP/IP module inside your device might be malfunctioning. If you are using a windows computer, a reboot might clear up this glitch. Another solution is to use or TCP/IP utility program that can release and renew the Windows IP settings.

Most TCP IP networks use the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol or DHCP service to map IP addresses to clients. DHCP also assigns the primary and secondary DNS addresses. This can also be solved with a reboot. You should also check and see whether your device and the network router both have DHCP enabled. If either side are not using DHCP, Internet connection errors are quite common

3. DNS provider issues

Home networks are configured to automatically obtain DNS server addresses from their ISP. If there are errors on the network, an outage or heavy traffic, DNS services might be affected and will stop working. Customers then, might have to wait until the issues are fixed.

Alternatively, customers can use a private DNS server like Google DNS and OpenDNS that are free public DNS servers. The routers administrator can switch the DNS addresses to that of Google DNS or OpenDNS manually.

A temporary fix can be to change the DNS settings through the network and sharing center in windows. The device normally obtains and overrides local settings if the DHCP service is managing the DNS settings

4. Antivirus Programs

Most antivirus software that people install on their Windows PCs, tend to keep intruders out but might also block Internet access if they detect unexpected behavior from a device.

All antivirus software work by using a special database file that software vendors update on a regular basis with new virus definitions. These updates happen in the background and are designed to not interrupt work.

Sometimes however, mistakes happen by a software vendor while updating this database. This might cause the antivirus program to believe that the computer is infected when it really is a false alarm. This false positive can block Internet access and make windows report the DNS server not responding error.

If you believe that there is no virus on your device, temporarily disable the antivirus program, rerun the windows network diagnostics. If this solves the issue, request the antivirus vendor for a new update. This is not a permanent fix as disabling your antivirus program is not safe.

5. Firewalls

Another cause for the DNS server not responding error is an aggressive firewall rules system or a faulty router firewall. If your computer is part of an enterprise network with its own firewall system, chances are the firewall is blocking access. If this happens, get in touch with your network administrator and asked them to provide access to the web page or port that is needed.

Like an antivirus program, windows may classify Internet access through the windows firewall. There are chances that a program might be blocked therefore throwing the DNS server not responding error. To solve this reset any custom rules that you might have created on the windows firewall.

Some routers might have firewalls that have aggressive rules blocking access. A router administrator can help with this.

6. Faulty router or modem

There are chances that a broadband router/modem can trigger this error if there is a fault with them. Restarting the router/modem will usually fix these errors. If they continue to exhibit failure, the router/modem must be replaced. But it is highly unlikely that DNS errors are regularly generated by a router. To properly diagnose these errors, you must switch Ethernet ports or use different Ethernet cables. Updating the router’s firmware is also a good solution.

If the router is regularly throwing errors, get a network professional to diagnose the issues, failing which the router/modem must be replaced


If none of these solutions help you fix your problem, it might be worth it to have a network professional come and diagnose your issues. Though this might be costly, it will save you a lot of issues in the long run.