Fix DNS Error: Server Cannot Be Found

If you’re having trouble accessing a website, it can be frustrating to see the message “Server cannot be found” or “DNS error”. However, the good news is that this error is usually fixable with a few simple steps. In this article, we’ll cover what DNS errors are, common causes of the issue, and most importantly, how to fix it.

Before we dive into the solutions, let’s understand what a DNS error is. DNS stands for Domain Name System, which is essentially the phone book of the internet. When you type a URL into your browser, your computer contacts a DNS server to find the IP address of the website you’re trying to reach. If the DNS server is unable to find the IP address, you’ll get the “server cannot be found” error.

One of the most common causes of a DNS error is a problem with your internet connection. Internet connectivity issues can arise from a variety of reasons, such as a weak Wi-Fi signal or a faulty modem. Another common cause is a corrupt cache or outdated cookies in your browser. In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps to diagnose and fix these problems.

By following the solutions in this article, you can quickly get back to browsing your favorite websites without any annoying errors. So, whether you’re a tech-savvy individual or a beginner, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Keep reading to learn how to fix the DNS error: server cannot be found.

Understand the DNS Error Message

If you’ve ever encountered the “DNS error: server cannot be found” message, you know how frustrating it can be. But what does it actually mean? DNS stands for Domain Name System, which is essentially the “phonebook” of the internet. When you type in a website address, your computer looks up the corresponding IP address via the DNS. If it can’t find the IP address, you get the “server cannot be found” error.

There are several reasons why you might see this error message. It could be a problem with your internet connection, your browser, or the website itself. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can also have issues with their DNS servers, which can cause widespread DNS errors for their customers.

Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to troubleshoot and fix DNS errors. First, it’s important to understand the specific error message you’re seeing. Are you getting a “DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN” error? Or perhaps a “DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_BAD_CONFIG” error? Each error message can indicate a different issue, and knowing which error you’re seeing can help you narrow down the problem and find a solution.

What is DNS?

The Domain Name System (DNS) is like a phone book for the internet. It translates human-friendly website names, like, into their associated IP addresses, like 192.0.2.This translation process happens behind the scenes, allowing you to access websites without having to remember their numerical IP addresses.

Every device on the internet has an IP address, which is a unique identifier assigned to it. When you type a website address into your browser, your device sends a request to a DNS server to translate that address into its corresponding IP address.

DNS is a critical component of the internet, and when it fails, you may encounter the DNS error message “Server cannot be found.” Understanding how DNS works and how to troubleshoot DNS errors can help you get back online quickly.

Common Causes of DNS Errors

Incorrect DNS Settings: Incorrect DNS settings in your computer or router can cause DNS errors. Ensure that your computer’s DNS settings match your ISP’s DNS settings, or try using a public DNS service like Google’s DNS or OpenDNS.

Network Connectivity Issues: DNS errors can also occur due to network connectivity issues, such as a weak or unstable internet connection or a misconfigured network router. Check your network connection and reset your router if necessary.

Malware or Viruses: Malware or viruses on your computer can change your DNS settings or interfere with your network connection, leading to DNS errors. Run a malware scan using your antivirus software to identify and remove any threats.

DNS Server Issues: Sometimes, DNS errors occur due to issues with the DNS server itself. This could be caused by server overload, maintenance, or outage. Check if other websites are working and contact your ISP if you suspect a DNS server issue.

How to Identify a DNS Error

If you’re experiencing problems accessing websites and seeing a message similar to “Server Not Found” or “DNS Address Could Not Be Found,” you may be facing a DNS error. Here are a few ways to identify if the issue you’re encountering is, in fact, a DNS error:

  1. Check other devices: If you have another device that can connect to the internet, like a smartphone or tablet, try accessing the same website. If it loads correctly on other devices, the problem is likely isolated to your computer.
  2. Try another browser: If the website fails to load on one browser, try a different browser like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge. If it loads correctly on a different browser, the issue is likely related to the original browser you were using.
  3. Use a diagnostic tool: There are several tools available to diagnose and troubleshoot DNS errors. The Network Diagnostic Tool in Windows or the Network Utility in macOS can help pinpoint the cause of the issue.
  4. Check error message: Take note of any error messages you see. If the message indicates a DNS error or a problem resolving the domain name, it’s likely a DNS issue.
  5. Try accessing IP address: If you’re unable to access a website by its domain name, try accessing it using its IP address. If the site loads, the issue may be with your DNS provider.

By identifying the problem’s root cause, you can take the necessary steps to resolve the DNS error and get back online.

Check Your Internet Connection

If you’re experiencing a DNS error message, the first thing you should do is check your internet connection. A weak or unstable internet connection can often lead to issues with DNS resolution.

To check your internet connection, try visiting a few different websites to see if the issue is isolated to one website or if you’re unable to connect to any website. You can also try restarting your router or modem to see if that resolves the issue.

If you’re using a Wi-Fi connection, try moving closer to your router to see if the issue is related to a weak signal. Additionally, if you’re using a VPN, try disabling it to see if that resolves the issue.

Restart Your Router or Modem

If checking your internet connection did not fix the issue, try restarting your router or modem. This can often resolve connectivity problems.

Step 1: Locate the power button on your router or modem and press it to turn it off.

Step 2: Wait for at least 30 seconds before turning the device back on.

Step 3: Wait for your router or modem to fully reboot and establish a connection.

If the DNS error message still appears after restarting your router or modem, try other troubleshooting methods.

Run a Network Troubleshooter

If you’re still experiencing DNS errors after checking your internet connection and restarting your router or modem, running a network troubleshooter can help identify and resolve the issue.

Most operating systems come with a built-in network troubleshooter. For Windows, go to the Control Panel and click on “Network and Sharing Center.” From there, click on “Troubleshoot problems” and follow the prompts. For Mac, go to “System Preferences” and select “Network.” Click on “Assist me” and then “Diagnostics.”

The network troubleshooter will run a series of tests to identify any issues with your network connection and attempt to resolve them. It may take a few minutes to complete, but it’s a simple and effective way to diagnose and fix DNS errors.

Check Your Firewall and Antivirus Settings

If you are still experiencing DNS errors after checking your internet connection, restarting your router or modem, and running a network troubleshooter, it’s possible that your firewall or antivirus settings are blocking the DNS request.

Firewall: Your firewall may be blocking the DNS request. Check your firewall settings to make sure that your browser is allowed to access the internet. If your browser is blocked, add it to the list of allowed programs.

Antivirus: Some antivirus programs have built-in firewalls that can also block the DNS request. Check your antivirus settings to make sure that your browser is allowed to access the internet. If your browser is blocked, add it to the list of allowed programs.

Third-party firewalls and security software: If you have third-party firewalls or security software installed on your computer, they may also be blocking the DNS request. Check the settings of these programs and make sure that your browser is allowed to access the internet.

Clear Your Browser’s Cache and Cookies

If you are experiencing issues with your browser, such as slow loading times, a good first step is to clear your cache and cookies. These are temporary files that your browser saves to help speed up your browsing experience, but they can also cause problems.

To clear your cache and cookies, go to your browser settings and look for the option to clear browsing data. You can choose to clear just the cache and cookies or other browsing data as well.

Keep in mind that clearing your cache and cookies will sign you out of any websites you are currently logged into and may cause some websites to load more slowly as they need to rebuild their cache.

If you are still experiencing issues after clearing your cache and cookies, you may want to try disabling any browser extensions you have installed, as these can also cause problems with your browser’s performance.

How to Clear Your Browser’s Cache

Step 1: Open your browser and locate the “Settings” or “Options” menu.

Step 2: Find the “Privacy and Security” section and click on it.

Step 3: Look for the option to clear your browsing data or cache.

Step 4: Select the appropriate time range for clearing your cache, such as “Last hour” or “All time”.

Step 5: Check the box next to “Cache” or “Browser data” and click “Clear” or “Delete”.

Clearing your browser’s cache can help resolve issues with slow loading times, outdated content, and other display issues. It is a simple process that can be done in just a few clicks, and can improve your browsing experience.

Flush Your DNS

If you are still experiencing DNS errors after trying the previous steps, you may need to flush your DNS cache. This process will clear out any stored IP addresses and force your computer to obtain new ones.

Step 1: Open the Command Prompt by pressing the Windows key + R, typing “cmd” and hitting enter.

Step 2: Type “ipconfig /flushdns” and hit enter. You should see a message saying “Successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache”.

Step 3: Close the Command Prompt and restart your computer to ensure the changes take effect.

Note: On a Mac, you can flush your DNS by opening the Terminal and typing “sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder”.

What is DNS Flushing?

DNS flushing refers to the process of clearing your computer’s DNS cache to remove any old or invalid DNS records. DNS records are used to translate human-readable domain names into IP addresses that computers can understand. When you visit a website, your computer stores the DNS records in its cache to speed up future visits. However, if the DNS records become outdated or corrupted, you may experience connection issues or be unable to access certain websites.

DNS flushing is a simple troubleshooting step that can often resolve these types of issues. By clearing the DNS cache, your computer will be forced to look up the website’s DNS records again, which can help to resolve any connection problems.

You may need to flush your DNS cache if you are experiencing any of the following issues:

  • Difficulty accessing certain websites or receiving error messages when trying to connect
  • Slow internet connection or difficulty streaming videos
  • Intermittent connection problems or unexpected drops in connection
  • Difficulty connecting to a network or sharing files with other devices on the network

How to Flush Your DNS on Windows

  • Step 1: Open the Command Prompt as an administrator by searching for “cmd” and selecting “Run as administrator.”
  • Step 2: Type “ipconfig /flushdns” in the Command Prompt and press Enter.
  • Step 3: Wait for a few seconds until the process completes and you see the message “Successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache.”

That’s it! Your DNS cache has been flushed on your Windows computer. This can help resolve various internet connectivity issues such as slow loading websites or DNS errors. Note that you may need to close and reopen your web browser for the changes to take effect.

It’s also worth noting that flushing your DNS cache is a temporary solution, and the issue may reoccur in the future. If you continue to experience connectivity problems, it may be worth contacting your internet service provider or seeking further technical assistance.

While flushing your DNS cache is generally safe, it’s important to exercise caution when using the Command Prompt and only enter commands that you understand and trust. If you’re unsure, seek advice from a trusted technical expert.

Change Your DNS Servers

If you’re experiencing slow internet connection or cannot connect to a website, changing your DNS servers may help. DNS servers are responsible for translating domain names to IP addresses so that your computer can communicate with web servers.

Your ISP typically provides default DNS servers, but these can be slow or unreliable. By changing your DNS servers to faster and more reliable ones, you can improve your internet speed and access websites more easily.

There are several free and public DNS servers available, such as Google Public DNS and OpenDNS. Changing your DNS servers is easy and can be done through your network settings on your device. You can also change DNS servers on your router to affect all devices on your network.

Why Change Your DNS Servers?

Improved speed and performance: Changing your DNS servers to faster and more reliable ones can improve the speed and performance of your internet connection. This is because DNS servers play a critical role in translating domain names to IP addresses, which is essential for accessing websites and other online services.

Enhanced security: Some DNS servers come with built-in security features such as phishing protection, malware blocking, and content filtering. By switching to these servers, you can better protect yourself from cyber threats and malicious activities.

Access to geographically restricted content: Some DNS servers allow you to bypass geographical restrictions and access content that is not available in your region. This is particularly useful if you want to stream movies, TV shows, or other content from different countries.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some common causes of a DNS error?

There are several common causes of a DNS error, including incorrect DNS settings, issues with your network connection or router, firewall or antivirus settings blocking access, and problems with your ISP’s DNS servers.

How can I fix a DNS error on my computer or device?

To fix a DNS error on your computer or device, you can try several solutions such as flushing your DNS cache, changing your DNS server settings, resetting your network settings, disabling your firewall or antivirus temporarily, and checking for updates on your device and software.

Do I need to be a tech expert to fix a DNS error?

No, you don’t need to be a tech expert to fix a DNS error. Many solutions are simple and can be done without advanced technical knowledge. However, if you are unsure or uncomfortable with making changes to your computer or device settings, it may be best to seek assistance from a professional.

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