Fix DNS Server Not Responding Windows 11: Quick Troubleshooting Guide

When we encounter the “DNS server not responding” error on Windows 11, it can be a significant disruption, blocking our access to websites and online services. The DNS, or Domain Name System, is a crucial component of our web browsing experience; it translates human-readable domain names into IP addresses that computers use to communicate. If there’s a problem with the DNS, our internet connectivity is compromised.

Fix DNS Server Not Responding Windows 11: Quick Troubleshooting Guide

We understand how important it is to resolve these issues quickly to restore full internet access. Resuming normal operation can often be as simple as restarting your router or disabling conflicting software. In Windows 11, specific steps can be taken to diagnose and solve DNS server issues, ensuring a smooth and reliable connection to the digital world.

Our experience guides us toward practical solutions such as running Windows Network Diagnostics, checking for underlying network problems, or temporarily disabling third-party antivirus programs that may interfere with network connectivity. By methodically following troubleshooting procedures, we can address and fix DNS server problems, making them a solvable bump in our internet journey.

Preliminary Checks and Basic Troubleshooting

A person troubleshoots a computer, checking cables and running diagnostic tests on a monitor displaying a "DNS server not responding" error message

Before we dive into advanced methods, let’s cover basic steps to address the “DNS Server Not Responding” error on Windows 11. These initial actions can often resolve common networking hiccups.

Verify Internet Connectivity

Confirm Your Internet Connection: Check if other devices on the network can access the internet. If they can’t, the issue might be with your network provider. For isolated Windows 11 issues, proceed with the following troubleshooting steps.

Restart Devices

Reboot Your Router and Computer: Unplug your router, wait for about 30 seconds, and plug it back in. Restart your Windows 11 PC as well. This action can clear possible glitches affecting your network connection.

Check for Windows Updates

Update Windows 11: Regularly checking for Windows updates can prevent many problems. Navigate to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update, and download any available updates to keep your system and network drivers current.

By ensuring our Internet connection is active, rebooting essential hardware, and keeping our system updated, we lay a strong foundation to tackle more complex DNS issues. These steps are simple, yet crucial in maintaining a stable network connection.

Advanced Network Adapter Settings

When dealing with a DNS server not responding in Windows 11, looking into advanced network adapter settings can be crucial. We’ll walk through updating drivers, resetting IP configurations, and changing DNS servers, which are all pivotal for maintaining a stable internet connection.

Update Network Adapter Drivers

Drivers are the linchpin for hardware and software communication. It’s imperative that we keep our network adapter drivers up-to-the-minute to ensure optimal performance and resolve potential connectivity issues. Here’s our step-by-step guide:

  1. Access Device Manager by right-clicking the Start button and selecting it from the menu.
  2. Expand the Network adapters section.
  3. Right-click your network adapter and choose Update driver.
  4. Opt to Search automatically for updated driver software, and follow on-screen instructions.

Reset IP Configuration and Flush DNS

Improper IP configurations or a corrupted DNS cache can impede your connection. We use Command Prompt to refresh these settings efficiently:

To reset IP configuration:
  1. Open **Command Prompt** as administrator.
  2. Type ipconfig /release and press Enter.
  3. After the process completes, type ipconfig /renew and press Enter.
  4. To finalize, type netsh winsock reset and press Enter, then restart your computer.

To flush the DNS:

  1. In the same **Command Prompt** window, type ipconfig /flushdns and press Enter.

Change DNS Servers

The default DNS servers might not always be the fastest or the most reliable, so switching to a public DNS can help:

  1. Open Settings from the Start menu.
  2. Navigate to Network & Internet and then select Change adapter options.
  3. Right-click your network and choose Properties.
  4. Scroll to Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4), select it, and click Properties.
  5. Click on Use the following DNS server addresses and enter the new DNS server IP addresses.

By ensuring our drivers are current, resetting IP configurations, and possibly changing our DNS servers, we can often rectify connectivity issues like a non-responsive DNS server. Keep these settings in check to help maintain a steady and reliable internet connection.

System and Security Adjustments

In overcoming the “DNS server not responding” issue on Windows 11, it’s crucial we adjust system and security settings that often impact network functionality.

Disable IPv6

IPv6 can sometimes cause network interference. Disabling it may resolve DNS problems. Here’s how we do it:

  1. Go to Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center > Change adapter settings.
  2. Right-click on our active network connection and select Properties.
  3. Uncheck the box next to Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6).
  4. Click OK to apply the changes.

Configure Antivirus and Firewall Settings

Incorrectly configured security software might block network traffic, leading to DNS issues.

To ensure antivirus and firewall settings are not the cause, we should:

Antivirus Firewall
Temporarily disable real-time protection to test if DNS resolves. Check for any rules that might block DNS queries and adjust them.
If issues resolve, consider adding exceptions or adjusting settings. If using a third-party firewall, try disabling it temporarily to see if DNS issues persist.
If necessary, we can switch to Windows Security, which is less likely to cause conflicts.

Remember to activate these settings again after testing since they are critical for our system’s safety. If we’re operating in Safe Mode with Networking, the default Windows firewall will be active, and most third-party antivirus programs will be disabled, which can also be a method to diagnose the issue.

Additional Troubleshooting Methods

In tackling the persistent “DNS server not responding” errors on Windows 11, we can explore additional steps beyond the basic fixes. Here, we will outline methods to perform a clean boot, use the inbuilt Windows Network Troubleshooter, and consider alternative DNS providers.

Perform a Clean Boot

To ensure no third-party services are causing DNS issues, initiating a clean boot is a strategic move. This process starts Windows with minimal drivers and startup programs, which can help identify if background services are interfering with your DNS.

Steps to perform a Clean Boot:
  1. Type System Configuration in the Start menu search bar and select the app.
  2. Go to the Services tab, tick ‘Hide all Microsoft services’, and then click Disable all.
  3. Switch to the Startup tab, open Task Manager, and disable all unnecessary startup items.
  4. Restart your computer and check if the DNS issue persists.

Use Windows Network Troubleshooter

Windows comes with a range of troubleshooters designed to quickly resolve common issues. For DNS errors like “dns_probe_finished_nxdomain” or “dns_probe_finished_bad_config”, the Network Troubleshooter can be invaluable.

Accessing Network Troubleshooter:
  1. Open Settings (Win + I) and navigate to Network & Internet.
  2. Find and select the Troubleshoot option.
  3. Click on Additional troubleshooters and run the Internet Connections troubleshooter.

Consider Alternate DNS Providers

Sometimes the issue might be with the DNS servers themselves. In such cases, it can be beneficial to switch to a different DNS provider like OpenDNS Home, AlternateDNS, AdGuard DNS, or Quad9.

Provider Primary DNS Secondary DNS Features
OpenDNS Home 208.67.222.222 208.67.220.220 Parental controls, phishing protection
AlternateDNS 198.101.242.72 23.253.163.53 Ad blocking
AdGuard DNS 94.140.14.14 94.140.15.15 Privacy focus, ad blocking
Quad9 9.9.9.9 149.112.112.112 Security focus, block malicious domains

To use a different DNS provider, access your network adapter’s properties and manually enter the primary and secondary DNS server addresses of the provider you choose. After applying the changes, restart your network connection to check for improvements.

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