The DNS Server isn’t Responding on Windows 11 – SOLVED

The DNS Server is not Responding Windows 11

It’s been a while since Microsoft has released Windows 11 stable build for public users. But, still, users are discovering many bugs every day in new Windows. So yes we can say that Windows 11 isn’t stable yet. Recently, many users are getting “The DNS Server isn’t Responding” while running Windows Network Diagnostic. This error is quite a bit frustrating because it prevents users from accessing some websites. Well, if you’re facing a similar DNS-related error in Windows 11, then no worries you can fix it by yourself. But, before that, you need to understand a few things about DNS.

What is DNS?.

The Domain Name System (DNS) is nothing but just a phonebook of the Internet. We humans use the domain name to access sites on the Internet. But, the web browser can only interact through IP addresses. Through the DNS Protocol, all Domain Names are mapped to IP Addresses. DNS resolves a hostname (such as www.example.com) into a computer-friendly IP address (such as 192.168.1.1).

Each device on the internet has an IP address. And yes there are so many DNS servers available that you can use. So basically, DNS servers eliminate the need for humans to memorize IP addresses like 192.168.1.1 (IPv4 address) and even more complex IPv6 addresses.

Why DNS server is not responding on Windows 11 problem occurs.

When DNS Server is unable to resolve the domain name into IP address. Then, a DNS-related error usually occurs. Well, there could be multiple reasons why the DNS server is not working. And, here are some of the reasons given.

The DNS Server isn't Responding
  • Incorrect or misconfigured Internet Settings.
  • DHCP Client or DNS Client service is not running.
  • Issue from the ISP side.
  • VPN service is running in the background.
  • Due to Antivirus Program.
  • DNS Provider has some issues.
  • Incorrect WiFi Router Settings.

Well, whatever is the reason preventing you from accessing the Internet properly. Just follow all solutions mentioned in this article to fix the “DNS server not responding” error on Windows 11.

Solutions: The DNS Server isn’t Responding.

Disable VPN or third-party Antivirus Program.

If you’re using a proxy or a VPN connection, then try disabling that first. Because some VPN services indirectly interfere with the DNS server. To check VPN is enabled or not – open Windows 11 settings app > click on Network & Internet from the left pane > VPN. (You can also check for proxy servers from the same “Network & Internet” settings.)

Windows 11 VPN Settings

If active VPN is not visible in Windows 11 settings App. Then, do check your system tray to find if any VPN service is running in the background or not. Also, you can use any speed test site to find out.

Apart from VPN, make sure you’re not using any third-party antivirus program. These days some antivirus program does come with web protection. Which also interferes with DNS and browser default network settings. Mostly, AVG, Avast, and McAfee antivirus users face these DNS-related issues. So, it’s better to disable your Anti-Virus firewall, network monitor, web protection, and all other internet-related tools.

Restart your WiFi Router and Modem.

It could be possible that DNS errors are occurring due to the router. Restarting the WiFi router can fix many Internet issues. So, do power off your WiFi router. And, wait for a minute before you turn the power on. Power cycling the router helps in re-establishing a connection with the internet service provider. And, it also does refresh DNS, which will automatically fix all DNS errors. If the problem is occurring with WiFi Extender/Repeater then make sure you have configured it correctly. You can now also Use TP-Link Router as a WiFi Extender.

Restart DHCP and DNS Client Service.

Every Windows feature relies on its services. There are two DNS-related services that should run in the background. If these two services are stopped working due to some third-party software interference. Then, The DNS Server isn’t Responding Windows 11 error will surely appear.

DHCP Client – Register and update IP addresses and DNS records. It also resolves domain names into IP addresses.
DNS Client – It links directly to the DNS servers for DNS resolution. It caches the results to provide quicker DNS resolution for repeatedly visited sites.

  1. Press the Windows + R key to open the Run Window.
  1. Type services.MSC in the Run window and press enter.
Open Windows 11 Services
  1. Once the services window gets open. Do look for DHCP Client and DNS Client service.
  1. Make sure both these services are running.
Windows 11 DHCP and DNS Client Service Running
  1. If any of these services are stopped. Then, do right-click on it and then click on properties.
Windows 11 DHCP Client Properties
  1. Now, do select Automatic in Startup type. And, click on apply and then OK.
Set DHCP Client Automatic Startup Type to fix DNS Errors

That’s it, do this for both services and restart your Windows once. And, both DNS services will automatically start running.

Flush DNS Cache and release and renew the IP address.

If both DHCP and DNS services are running perfectly fine. And still, you’re getting DNS errors, then you can Flush and Renew your DNS on Windows 11.

  1. Search for Command Prompt in Windows 11. And, click on “Run as administrator”.

UAC window will appear, click on Yes.

  1. Once, the command prompt gets open with administrator privileges. You have to run the following commands one by one.
ipconfig /flushdns

ipconfig /registerdns

ipconfig /release

ipconfig /renew

netsh winsock reset
The DNS Server isn't Responding - Windows 11 Flush DNS

Once you complete running all commands, you have to restart your Windows 11 PC/Laptop. And, the “DNS server not responding on Windows 11” problem will be resolved now.

Clear Chrome Browser Data and Host Cache

Chrome host cache does store up to 100 domains and their IP address details. Even if you have cleared the DNS cache, you have to clear the Chrome host cache. Although, I will suggest you reset your browser settings. Or, you can clear your browsing data.

Clear Host Cache.

  1. Open the following URL in Google Chrome.
chrome://net-internals/#dns
  1. Click on Clear host cache.
Clear Chrome Host Cache to fix DNS Errors

Clear Chrome Browsing Cache and Data.

If clearing the host cache doesn’t resolve this problem. Then, you can clear Chrome data or reset Google Chrome. Make sure you have backups of all your saved passwords.

  1. Open the following URL in the chrome browser.
chrome://settings/clearBrowserData
  1. Click on the Advanced Tab. And, select “All time” in the time range.
Clear Chrome Cache and Data

After that select all the data that you want to clear and click on “Clear data”. Hopefully, this will fix DNS errors and sites will open without any issue.

Delete hosts files from the etc folder.

This solution is suggested by a user on the Windows 11 Forum. Users were able to fix the “DNS Server isn’t Responding” error with this solution. So, you can give it a try. Etc folder in Windows contains hosts, networks, protocol, and services files. And, these files are related to DNS. So, you can delete these files, no error will occur.

  1. Open the following directory in file explorer.
C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc
  1. Select all files in this folder and then delete them. Make sure you’re logged in from the admin account. Else, you will not be able to delete any of these files. Because the etc folder exists inside the system32 folder, which is an integral part of Windows OS.
Fix The DNS Server isn't Responding - Delete Host files on Windows 11

Change your DNS Provider.

It might be possible that your default DNS provider is having some issues. In that case, you can switch to a free DNS provider. DNS providers will help you to resolve the domain names into IP addresses. There are many ways to change the DNS provider in Windows 11. We will stick with the new way to do so. Because Microsoft keeps updating its settings.

Here is the list of Free & Public DNS Servers.

DNS ProviderPreferred DNSAlternate DNS
Google 8.8.8.88.8.4.4
Quad99.9.9.9149.112.112.112
OpenDNS Home208.67.222.222208.67.220.220
Cloudflare1.1.1.11.0.0.1
CleanBrowsing185.228.168.9185.228.169.9
Alternate DNS76.76.19.1976.223.122.150
AdGuard DNS94.140.14.1494.140.15.15

How to change your DNS server in Windows 11.

  1. Press the Windows + I keyboard shortcut to open the settings app in Windows 11. (You can also check out our Windows 11 Keyboard Shortcuts List.)
  1. From the left pane, click on “Network & Internet”.
  1. If you’re using an Ethernet connection, then click on Properties. (If you’re using a WiFi connection, then click on Wi-Fi > Hardware Properties.)
WiFi Hardware Properties
  1. Click on edit beside the “DNS server assignment”.
  1. Drop-down menu will appear, select “Manual”.
Edit DNS Settings Manually on Windows 11
  1. Turn on the IPv4 toggle. We are going to enter IPv4 DNS server details only.
  1. Now, enter preferred DNS and Alternate DNS from the above list of DNS servers.
  1. Also, select the “Encrypted preferred, unencrypted allowed” option from the drop-down menu.
  1. Click on Save.
Change DNS Provider on Windows 11 - The DNS Server isn't Responding

That’s it, you have successfully changed your DNS provider. Now do try to open websites that were not opening due to DNS issues. Hopefully, now your internet will work seamlessly.

Reset Network adapters and settings in Windows 11.

If you think, you’ve made some unwanted changes to Windows 11 network settings. And due to that, you are experiencing DNS Error. Then, you can simply reset your network settings in Windows 11. Which will remove and reinstall all your network adapters. And also will reset other network components to their defaults. It will also remove VPN if you were using any VPN before.

  1. Press the Windows + I key to open the Windows 11 Settings App.
  1. Click on Network & Internet from the left.
  1. After that, click on Advanced network settings > Network reset.
  1. Click on reset now.
Network reset Windows 11 to fix DNS Error

That’s it, it will reset all your network adapters and your PC will get restarted.

Contact your ISP for help.

Sometimes when the Internet Service Provider (ISP) runs some maintenance task then DNS related error occurs. So yes, the issue could be from the network provider side. Contact your network service provider and they will assess your connection. Or, if the problem is from their side, you will find out that as well.

Summing-up.

Okay, so these were the solutions that you can try to fix “The DNS Server isn’t Responding” or other DNS errors. Yes, you can also run Windows 11 network troubleshooter. But since the troubleshooter is showing you the error, you have to manually fix it. Although for most of the users, changing DNS servers helps, so you can try that first. If the error still persists, then you can reinstall Windows. Reinstall Windows only if the error is occurring on the computer, not on other devices on the network. Also, you can leave a comment if your DNS-related problem got resolved.