If you’re a Google Chrome user, chances are you have at some point encountered the dreaded “server DNS address could not be found” error when browsing the internet. Don’t worry, you’re not alone! This is a fairly common error message that occurs when the Domain Name Server (DNS) is unavailable.
So why is it unavailable:
When you visit a website, the first thing that happens behind the scenes is the browser contacts the DNS server. Sometimes this DNS lookup can fail, which results in an ugly error message.
Your message might look something like this:
In this article, we’re going to walk through the five most common ways to fix the problem so this message goes away and you can once again access the internet.
Steps you can use to help resolve the issue
Update your drivers
One reason you may be seeing the “DNS server is unavailable” or “server DNS address could not be found” error may be due to an incorrect, corrupt, or outdated driver. You can check on your driver either manually or automatically.
Manual driver update
Go to your manufacturer’s website and search for the most recent correct driver. If you have trouble finding it or not even sure what it looks, contact the manufacturer and they can get you what you need. You might need to check with both your PC’s manufacturer and the manufacturer of the component itself.
Automatic driver update
Download and install Driver Easy. It will scan your computer and tell you what drivers are missing or outdated, and then update them all for you. Just click on the “Update All” button to download and automatically install the drivers.
This is definitely the better option for the less tech-savvy, and pretty much does all the heavy lifting for you. Plus, it’s free!
Clear Chrome’s Host Cache
Sometimes Chrome’s host cache can become either too full or even corrupt, which will block access to websites.This is another very common cause of the error message you’re seeing, and luckily, it’s easy to fix.
The first thing you’ll need to do is to open up Chrome and type this into your address bar:
Once you click Enter on your keyboard, you should see something like this:
You’ll want to click on the button that says Clear host cache next to where it says Host resolver cache. Once this is done, refresh the page and check to see if the problem persists. If it does, continue reading for more troubleshooting tips!
Delete the Files in Your ‘etc’ Folder
This is another easy fix. Navigate to your ‘etc’ folder, which can be found at C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc. Once you have found this folder, delete all of the files you find there. Be sure to close chrome after and then open Chrome again and try accessing a website to see if this fix solved the issue.
More detailed solutions!
Change Your DNS Server Settings
The issue of “server DNS address could not be found” error could be due to your actual DNS servers and how they are configured. To check that they are in fact configured correctly, press the Windows logo key on your keyboard and R at the same time to prompt a Run command.
Next, you’ll want to type Control Panel in the text box and click OK. This will open up your Control Panel.
View by Small icons, as indicated in the above screenshot, and click on where it says Network and Sharing Center. Then, you’ll click on Change adapter settings over on the left side of the screen. From there, right click on either the Local Area or Wireless Network Connection icon and go to properties.
You’ll now see a list of items the connection is using. Click on Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4). Once that is selected, click on the Properties button. You’ll see a General tab. If Obtain DNS server address automatically is not selected, then select it and click OK. If it is already selected, select Use the following DNS server address instead and click OK.
The Preferred DNS server should read: 126.96.36.199 and the Alternate DNS server should read 188.8.131.52.
Now check to see if this resolves the issue.
Renew and Clear Your DNS
When using Windows, it by default will automatically store the IP addresses of websites you visit. This allows them to load faster when you visit them. Sometimes this cache will be corrupt or outdated, but you can simply renew and clear it.
The first step is to open your Run box again by hitting Windows and R simultaneously on your keyboard. Then type cmd in the text box and hit ctrl + Shift + Enter to open up the admin Command Prompt.
While this might look a little unfamiliar, especially for the less tech-savvy, all you have to do is type ipconfig /flushdns and hit Enter on your keyboard. This will flush out your cache in the case that it’s outdated or corrupt.
Next, type ipconfig /renew and hit Enter again. Last, you’ll want to type ipconfig /registerdns and press Enter one more time.
And that’s it! Reboot your system and check to see if the issue has been resolved. Hopefully, one of these troubleshooting tips hit home and was able to get rid of the DNS server error message.