How to Flush and Clear Windows DNS Cache

Ways to flush DNS in Windows 10

What to Know

  • Clear your DNS with the ipconfig /flushdns command in the Run dialog box.
  • The ipconfig /flushdns command also works via Command Prompt.
  • You can also clear DNS via PowerShell with the Clear-DnsClientCache command.

This article explains how to flush and clear Windows DNS cache, including methods that utilize the Run dialog box, Command Prompt, and Windows PowerShell. If you aren’t sure which one to use, start with the Run dialog box method.

The instructions included in this article apply to Windows 10.

How to Flush and Clear Your Windows DNS Cache

The easiest way to clear your DNS cache is to use the Run dialog box, a Windows tool that allows you to quickly run commands, launch apps, and open files if you know what to type.

  1. Press and hold the Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box.

    The Run dialog box on Windows 10.
  2. Type ipconfig /flushdns into the text field, and click OK.

    Using the Run dialog box to flush DNS on Windows 10.
  3. Check to see if your problem has been resolved.

How to Use Command Prompt to Clear Your DNS Cache

The Run dialog box is quick and easy, but it doesn’t provide much feedback or options. If you aren’t sure whether the Run dialog box method worked or prefer some more feedback about whether the process is complete, you can use the same command in the Windows Command Prompt.

  1. Click the Start button or Taskbar search field, and type command.

    The Windows 10 Taskbar search field.
  2. Click Run as Administrator.

    Command Prompt in the Windows 10 Taskbar search.
  3. Type ipconfig /flushdns and press the enter key.

    Flushing DNS using the Command Prompt.
  4. Wait for the process to finish.

    DNS flushed using the Command Prompt.
  5. Check to see if your problem has been resolved.

How to Use Windows PowerShell to Clear DNS in Windows 10

The last method you can use to clear and flush your DNS in Windows 10 is slightly different. It uses Windows PowerShell instead of the Command Prompt, so it uses an entirely different command.

  1. Right click the Start button, and select Windows PowerShell (Admin).

    Windows 10 start menu right click options.
  2. If prompted for permission from User Account Control, click Yes.

  3. Type Clear-DnsClientCache and then press the enter key.

    Clearing DNS using the Windows PowerShell.
  4. Wait for the process to finish.

    DNS cleared using the Windows PowerShell.
  5. Check to see if your problem has been resolved.

Why Flush Your DNS Cache?

The purpose of DNS is to let you visit websites by typing a URL instead of an IP address. The point of a DNS cache is to speed up website access by making it so that your computer doesn’t have to wait for a DNS lookup every time you visit a website that you’ve already been to in the past. If this local record ends up getting corrupted, it’s out of date, or you connected to a DNS server that provided incorrect information, you may have trouble accessing websites. By clearing or flushing your DNS cache, you force your computer to check a DNS server when visiting sites because there is no longer a local record.

While Windows 10 maintains a local DNS cache that you can flush with the methods found in this article, your router may also keep a cache. If you find that flushing your DNS in Windows 10 doesn’t fix your internet connectivity problem, then rebooting your router may help.

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