How to Change DNS Servers in Windows

Change DNS servers in any version of Windows

What to Know

  • Select Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center > Change adapter settings. Open a connection to change.
  • Select Properties. In the This connection uses the following items section, choose Internet Protocol Version 4 or Version 6.
  • Select Properties. In the Internet Protocol Properties window, select Use the following DNS server addresses and enter them.

This article explains how to change the DNS servers in Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7. It also includes information on changing DNS servers with Command Prompt.

How to Change Windows DNS Servers

Most computers and devices connect to a local network using DHCP and DNS servers that are automatically configured in Windows. DNS servers are sometimes the cause of certain types of internet problems, and changing them can help troubleshoot the problem.

Below are the steps required to change the DNS servers that Windows uses. However, the procedure differs somewhat depending on the version of Windows.

  1. Open Control Panel.

    On Windows 8.1, select Network Connections from the Power User Menu, then skip to Step 5.

  2. Select Network and Internet.

    Network and Internet link in Control Panel

    Network and Internet doesn't appear if the Control Panel displays large or small icons. Instead, choose Network and Sharing Center, then skip to Step 4.

  3. In the Network and Internet window, select Network and Sharing Center to open that applet.

    Network and Sharing Center link in Control Panel
  4. In the Network and Sharing Center window, select Change adapter settings.

    Change adapter settings link in Network and Sharing Center
  5. The Network Connections window lists connections to the computer. Wired connections are labeled as Ethernet or Local Area Connection, while wireless ones are labeled as Wi-Fi.

    Wi-Fi adapter in use

    If you don't see the right connection, change the view to Details, go to the Connectivity column, and use the connection that lists Internet access.

  6. Open the network connection you want to change the DNS servers for by double-clicking or double-tapping on its icon.

  7. In the Status window, select Properties.

    Properties button in Wi-Fi Status window

    In some versions of Windows, provide the administrator password if you're not logged in to an admin account.

  8. In the Properties window, go to the This connection uses the following items section and select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) or Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) to select the IPv4 option, or select Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) to change the IPv6 DNS server settings.

    Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) button in Wi-Fi Properties
  9. Select Properties.

  10. In the Internet Protocol Properties window, choose Use the following DNS server addresses.

    If Windows has custom DNS servers configured, replace the existing DNS server IP addresses with new ones.

  11. Enter the IP address for the Preferred DNS server and for the Alternate DNS server.

    Use the following DNS server addresses

    You can also enter only a preferred DNS server, replace the preferred DNS server from one provider with a secondary DNS server from another, or enter more than two DNS servers using fields in the DNS tab (select Advanced to enter multiple DNS servers).

  12. Select OK to make the DNS server changes.

  13. Close Control Panel.

  14. Verify that the new DNS servers work properly in Windows. Visit several websites in your favorite web browser. If the web pages show up as quickly as before, the new DNS servers are working properly.

How to Change DNS Servers With Command Prompt

The preferred DNS server in Windows can be changed through Command Prompt. Use this method if you're comfortable entering commands on the command line.

  1. Open an elevated Command Prompt.

  2. Type netsh and press Enter.

    Screenshot of netsh in elevated Command Prompt window
  3. At the netsh> prompt, type interface ip show config, then press Enter.

    Screenshot of netsh interface ip show config command in Windows 10
  4. Locate the network connection for which you want the DNS server changed.

    netsh interface ip show config command results in Windows 10
  5. Enter interface ip set dns "Ethernet0" static and press Enter. Replace Ethernet0 with the name of your connection and with the DNS server you want to use.

    Use the command line, in Command Prompt or a BAT file, to force the connection to use DHCP. Replace the static section of the command with dhcp.

  6. When the command is completed, the netsh> prompt displays.

  7. Close Command Prompt.

DNS Server Settings Are Device-Specific

Setting up custom DNS servers for your computer only applies to that computer, not to the other devices on the network. For example, you can set up a Windows laptop with one set of DNS servers and use an entirely different set on a desktop, phone, or tablet.

DNS settings apply to the closest device they're configured on. For example, if you use one set of DNS servers on the router, your laptop and phone will use these DNS servers when they connect to Wi-Fi. However, if the router has its own set of servers and the laptop has its own separate set, the laptop will use a different DNS server than the phone and the other devices that use the router. The same is true if the phone uses a custom set.

DNS settings only trickle down a network if each device is set up to use the router's DNS settings and not their own. This means that if four devices are on a network, for example, all four could be using separate DNS servers.

Check out our list of free and public DNS servers for the complete list of publicly available DNS servers which may be more complete than the list provided by your ISP.

  • What is a DNS server?

    A DNS server is a computer server that contains a database of public IP addresses and their associated hostnames. It works to translate those names to IP addresses as requested. Once the IP address is returned, the website you want to visit is displayed in your web browser.

  • What is a DNS error and how do I fix it?

    These errors typically state the “DNS server is not responding,” and mean your device won’t be able to connect to the internet. Common causes include a misbehaving internet provider; malfunctioning TCP/IP or DHCP services; overly aggressive antivirus software; or a malfunctioning router or modem.

  • How do I change DNS settings on my Android phone?

    To change DNS settings on phones with Android 9 or higher, tap Settings (gear) > Network & Internet Advanced > Private DNS > Private DNS provide hostname. Enter the Cloudflare DNS address ( or a CleanBrownsing URL.

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