Trying to access a web page but cannot? Maybe, it’s time to flush DNS.
We call each other by names; computers do that with IP addresses (ex. 184.108.40.206). This creates a problem every time we type in a website domain name, like Geekflare.com.
DNS servers exist to solve this issue.
They store the IP addresses of the websites and match them with the domain names every time your computer does a DNS lookup for a specific website, completing a DNS query.
But this adds a small lag for each lookup. So, our computers (and most internet-connected devices) store a local copy of DNS records for already visited websites for a particular time (TTL).
TTL (aka time-to-live) is the duration after which the local cache flushes automatically, and new records are fetched thereon.
However, before this, some websites may update to a new DNS record and render your locally-stored cache useless, which may prevent loading those specific websites in your browser.
Additionally, your DNS could be poisoned by a computer virus or hack, sending you to malicious websites even if you type the correct domain names. These fakes usually perfectly resemble the genuine versions and can cause the users to reveal sensitive information like their credit card details.
So, if you suspect DNS poisoning (aka spoofing) or connectivity issues, you can try…
As the name suggests, we ‘flush’ the local DNS cache before the expected TTL. Subsequently, your computer does a DNS lookup with the DNS resolver for every new website visitor.
This again creates local caches to avoid the same process until the next TTL or manual DNS flush.
One objective is to regain connectivity to a website in cases such as a 404 error. Flushing DNS will reset the cache and try to get the latest DNS record to resume normalcy.
Besides, it helps to get fresh DNS records and eliminate corrupt DNS cache.
One more and less expected benefit of flushing DNS is privacy. As the DNS cache tells anyone about the websites you visit, treat them like an ultra-short, time-based version of browser history.
You can check the local DNS cache by typing
ipconfig/displaydnsin the command prompt.
So, these were some of the advantages of flushing DNS. Now, coming to the other side:
None that are known.
However, it may make the websites load a little slower since you won’t have local DNS data. And, that too happens only on the first visits.
As you continue using the device, cache starts to build up, and things will return to where they were.
How to Flush DNS on Windows 10/11
Flushing DNS is a few seconds process identical to Windows 10 and 11.
Open Command Prompt and type
ipconfig/flushdns and press enter.
And you’re done.
However, you won’t see any difference to tell if something happened. Still, you can verify flushing by running the
ipconfig/displaydns to see the shortened list this time.
DNS flushing can help come out of connection problems, DNS poisoning, or spoofing and protects your privacy if someone gets access to your device.
It has no side effects, is extremely easy to do, and takes only a few seconds.
PS: Try changing the DNS server for faster browsing on Windows, Linus, and Mac.