What Does “DNS Server Not Responding” Mean and How to Fix It?

Greetings to all you digital wanderers! If you’ve found this post, chances are you’ve stumbled across the frustrating “DNS Server Not Responding” error while trying to surf the web. Don’t worry; you’re not alone. This issue is as common as a rainy day in the UK—yes, I’m speaking from experience.

So, what does this ominous message mean, and what can you do to resolve it? Grab a cuppa, sit back, and let’s dive into the nitty-gritty.

What is DNS?

To start, let’s talk about DNS, or Domain Name System. Imagine you wanted to visit a friend’s house but didn’t know the address. You’d probably ask someone to tell you how to get there, right? In the same vein, DNS is like the directory of the Internet. It converts human-readable website names like “www.google.com” into Internet Protocol (IP) addresses that computers understand.

Why the “DNS Server Not Responding” Error Occurs

Now that you have a basic understanding of DNS, let’s look at why this error might occur. Essentially, when you see a “DNS Server Not Responding” error, it means that your browser is having trouble converting the website name into an IP address, typically due to an issue with your network connection or DNS server settings. This prevents you from accessing the website you’re trying to visit.

How to Fix “DNS Server Not Responding”

Here are some strategies you can use to resolve this issue. I recommend proceeding in the order given.

1. Restart Your Router

The first and simplest step is to restart your router. Unplug the router from the wall socket, wait for 30 seconds, and plug it back in. Sometimes this simple act can reset your network and resolve the issue.

2. Use a Different Device

Before diving into more complex solutions, confirm whether the issue is with your device or the network. Try accessing the internet on another device connected to the same network. If it works, you know the problem lies with your original device.

3. Change Your DNS Server

If you suspect the DNS server provided by your ISP (Internet Service Provider) is the culprit, consider switching to a more reliable one like Google’s DNS or OpenDNS.

  • Google’s DNS
    • Primary DNS:
    • Secondary DNS:
  • OpenDNS
    • Primary DNS:
    • Secondary DNS:

You can change these settings via your device’s network preferences. The steps vary depending on your operating system, but generally, you’ll find this under Network Settings > Advanced > DNS.

4. Disable Extra Connections

If you have multiple network connections enabled, such as both Ethernet and Wi-Fi, it may cause conflicts. Disable any connections you’re not using and try again.

5. Run Network Troubleshooter (Windows)

If you’re on a Windows machine, running the built-in Network Troubleshooter can often automatically detect and fix problems.

6. Flush DNS Cache

Sometimes outdated or corrupted DNS cache can cause issues. You can flush the cache by opening the Command Prompt (Windows) or Terminal (Mac) and running the following command:

  • Windows: ipconfig /flushdns
  • Mac: sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder

7. Check Firewall and Security Software

Sometimes, security software can interfere with DNS operations. If you’ve recently installed new software, try disabling it temporarily to see if it solves the problem.

8. Consult Your ISP

If none of the above steps work, the issue might be with your ISP. It’s a good idea to call them and see if they’re experiencing outages or other issues.


I hope this guide has shed some light on the “DNS Server Not Responding” error and helped you resolve it. Should you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or reach out. Safe browsing!

About Robin Scott

I'm Robin Scott, a WordPress Consultant and WooCommerce expert developer who, along with three other people, runs a business called Silicon Dales Ltd remotely, from a base in the North of the UK. I enjoy using my talents for programming to track and interpret sporting, political or retail data - and therefore you'll see me posting some content in these spaces in this, my personal website. If you're interested to talk about leveraging this for your business (in sport, entertainment, retail, etc) please contact me.

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