How to Easily Switch DNS Server on Mac – Step by Step Guide

Are you tired of slow internet speed and endless buffering? One simple solution is to switch your DNS server on Mac. DNS server is an essential component that translates domain names into IP addresses, allowing you to access websites and applications quickly and securely. By switching to a better DNS server, you can improve your internet speed, security, and privacy.

In this step-by-step guide, we will show you how to easily switch DNS server on Mac, without any technical expertise. We will explain why you should switch DNS server, provide troubleshooting tips, and recommend the top DNS servers for Mac users. So, let’s get started and improve your internet experience today.

But before we dive into the details, make sure you read until the end of the article. We have some valuable tips and recommendations that can take your internet speed to the next level. So, grab your coffee, sit back, and let’s explore how to easily switch DNS server on Mac.

Quick Guide to Switch DNS Server on Mac

If you’re having trouble connecting to the internet, you may want to try switching your DNS server on your Mac. The DNS server is responsible for translating web addresses into numerical IP addresses so that your computer can find and connect to websites.

To switch your DNS server on your Mac, you’ll need to follow a few simple steps. First, open your System Preferences by clicking on the Apple icon in the top left corner of your screen, and then selecting “System Preferences” from the drop-down menu.

Next, click on “Network” in the System Preferences menu. You should see a list of available network connections on your Mac, including Wi-Fi and Ethernet connections. Select the connection you want to modify and click on the “Advanced” button in the bottom right corner.

In the Advanced menu, click on the “DNS” tab to access your DNS settings. You should see a list of any existing DNS servers that are currently in use. To add a new DNS server, click on the “+” button in the bottom left corner, and then enter the IP address of your desired DNS server.

Once you’ve added your new DNS server, click on the “OK” button to save your changes. You may need to click on the “Apply” button in the Network menu to finalize your changes and connect to the internet using your new DNS server.

That’s it! You’ve successfully switched your DNS server on your Mac. By following these simple steps, you can improve your internet connection speed and reduce issues with website loading.

Open Network Preferences

  1. Step 1: Click on the Apple icon on the top left corner of your Mac’s screen.

  2. Step 2: Click on “System Preferences” from the dropdown menu.

  3. Step 3: Click on “Network” under the “Internet & Wireless” section.

  4. Step 4: Click on the “Advanced” button on the bottom right corner of the Network preferences window.

  5. Step 5: Click on the “DNS” tab to access the DNS configuration settings.

Alternatively, you can use Spotlight to search for “Network Preferences” and open it directly from the search results. Once you have opened Network preferences, follow the steps above to access the DNS configuration settings.

Why Should You Switch DNS Server on Mac?

Better speed and performance: Switching to a faster DNS server can significantly improve your internet speed and overall performance on your Mac.

Bypass internet censorship: If your current DNS server is blocking certain websites or services, switching to a different server can bypass these restrictions and give you access.

Improved privacy and security: Some DNS servers are more secure and privacy-focused than others, switching to a secure DNS server can help protect your personal information and browsing history.

Access geographically restricted content: By switching to a DNS server located in a different region, you can access content that is restricted in your current location.

Customization: Switching DNS servers allows you to customize your internet experience, enabling you to add filters and parental controls for a safer browsing experience.

To Increase Internet Speed

DNS server plays an important role in resolving website URLs to IP addresses. If the DNS server is slow, it can significantly impact internet speed.

By switching to a faster DNS server, such as Google DNS or OpenDNS, you can experience faster website loading times and overall internet speed.

Some DNS servers can also prioritize frequently visited websites and provide faster access to them.

To Access Geo-Blocked Content

Unlock Websites and Services: Some websites and online services are restricted to specific regions, which means you may not be able to access them if you’re in a different country. By switching to a different DNS server, you can unlock access to these geo-restricted websites and services.

Stream Geo-Restricted Content: Many streaming services, such as Netflix and Hulu, offer different content depending on your location. If you’re not able to access a show or movie that you want to watch, changing your DNS server can help you bypass the geo-restrictions and access the content you want.

Bypass Censorship: In some countries, the government censors certain websites and online content. By using a different DNS server, you can bypass this censorship and access the information you need.

Protect Your Privacy: Some DNS servers may log your browsing history and sell your data to advertisers. By switching to a more secure DNS server, you can protect your online privacy and keep your data safe.

Reduce Buffering: If you’re experiencing buffering issues while streaming, changing your DNS server can help. By using a DNS server that’s closer to your location, you can reduce latency and speed up your internet connection.

Step by Step Guide to Switch DNS Server on Mac

Step 1: Open the Apple menu by clicking on the Apple icon in the top-left corner of your screen, then select “System Preferences”.

Step 2: Click on the “Network” icon, which is usually located in the third row of the System Preferences window.

Step 3: Select the network interface that you’re using to connect to the internet, such as Wi-Fi or Ethernet. Then click on the “Advanced” button in the lower-right corner of the window.

Open Network Preferences

To switch DNS servers on your Mac, you need to first open the Network Preferences. This can be done in a few different ways, including:

  • Clicking on the Apple menu in the top left corner of the screen, selecting “System Preferences”, and then clicking on “Network”.
  • Using the Spotlight search function by clicking on the magnifying glass icon in the top right corner of the screen and typing in “Network Preferences”.
  • Using the Launchpad by clicking on the rocket ship icon in the bottom left corner of the screen and searching for “Network Preferences”.

Once you have the Network Preferences open, you’re ready to switch DNS servers.

Select the Network Connection You Want to Change DNS For

Once you have opened the Network Preferences window, you will see a list of all available network connections on the left-hand side. Select the connection you want to change the DNS settings for.

If you are unsure which connection to select, you can identify the connection you are currently using by checking the Wi-Fi or Ethernet status icon at the top of your Mac screen.

Keep in mind that you will need to repeat these steps for each network connection you want to change the DNS settings for, such as home, work, or public Wi-Fi networks.

How to Troubleshoot DNS Server Issues on Mac?

If you are experiencing issues with your DNS server on your Mac, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot the problem. First, try these simple steps:

Step 1: Check your network connection to ensure it is stable and functioning properly. If there is a problem with your network connection, it may be affecting your DNS server.

Step 2: Try restarting your Mac and your modem/router. This can sometimes resolve any connectivity issues.

Step 3: Clear your DNS cache by opening the Terminal app and typing “sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder” and pressing Enter. This will reset your DNS cache and force it to rebuild.

If the above steps do not resolve your DNS server issues, you may need to try more advanced troubleshooting techniques. Some additional steps you can take include:

Step 4: Check your DNS settings to ensure they are configured correctly. You can do this by going to System Preferences > Network > Advanced > DNS.

Step 5: Try changing your DNS server to a different one. This can help determine if the issue is with your current DNS server or with your network connection. You can change your DNS server by following the steps outlined earlier in this guide.

Step 6: Contact your internet service provider for further assistance. They may be able to diagnose and resolve any issues with your DNS server.

Flush DNS Cache

DNS cache is a temporary database that stores information about recent domain name lookups performed by your computer. Sometimes this cache can become corrupt, leading to issues with accessing websites. In such cases, flushing the DNS cache can often help.

To flush the DNS cache on your Mac, you can use the Terminal application. Open Terminal and enter the command “sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder” and press Enter. This command will clear the DNS cache on your Mac.

Another way to flush the DNS cache is to use the “Network Utility” tool built into your Mac. Open “Network Utility,” select the “DNS” tab, and click the “Flush Cache” button. This will clear the DNS cache on your Mac.

If you continue to experience DNS server issues after flushing the cache, you may need to try other troubleshooting steps such as resetting your network settings or contacting your Internet Service Provider (ISP) for further assistance.

Restart DNS Service on Mac

Option 1: You can restart the DNS service on your Mac by using the terminal. Open the Terminal app and type “sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder” and hit enter. This will restart the DNS service.

Option 2: Another way to restart the DNS service is by disabling and re-enabling the Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection. To do this, go to System Preferences > Network, select the connection you want to restart, and click on the “-” button to disable it. After a few seconds, click on the “+” button to re-enable it.

Option 3: You can also try restarting your Mac. Sometimes, restarting your computer can fix DNS issues by clearing the cache and resetting network configurations.

Option 4: If you’re using a third-party DNS server, try switching back to your default DNS server or a different DNS server to see if that resolves the issue.

Check Firewall Settings

If you are still having issues after trying the above steps, you should check your firewall settings. Firewalls can block DNS requests, preventing your Mac from reaching the DNS server.

To check your firewall settings, go to System Preferences and click on Security & Privacy. Then, click on the Firewall tab and ensure that the firewall is turned off or that DNS requests are allowed through the firewall.

If the firewall is turned on and DNS requests are not allowed, you can add an exception for the DNS service in the firewall settings. To do this, click on the Firewall Options button and add a rule to allow DNS traffic.

If you are still experiencing issues after checking the firewall settings, you may want to contact your network administrator or internet service provider for further assistance.

Top 3 DNS Server for Mac Users

If you are looking for the best DNS servers to use on your Mac, you have come to the right place. Here are the top three options:

Google Public DNS: This free DNS service from Google is known for its fast and reliable performance. It is easy to set up on your Mac, and it also offers security features like protection against phishing sites.

OpenDNS: Another popular DNS service, OpenDNS is known for its advanced security features, including protection against malware and phishing. It also offers customizable content filtering and parental controls.

Cloudflare DNS: Cloudflare DNS is a fast and privacy-focused DNS service that offers both performance and security. It has a built-in malware and phishing protection, and it also offers DNS over HTTPS for added security.

When choosing a DNS server, it is important to consider factors like speed, reliability, security, and ease of use. These three options offer a good balance of all these factors, and they are all free to use. Try them out and see which one works best for you!

Google Public DNS

Reliability: Google Public DNS is one of the most reliable DNS servers, maintained by Google’s infrastructure.

Speed: It provides lightning-fast speeds, making it a perfect choice for users who want to improve their browsing speed.

Privacy: Google Public DNS is a privacy-focused service that doesn’t track your online activity or log your IP address.

Setup: It’s easy to set up Google Public DNS on your Mac, and you can do it in just a few steps.

Availability: It’s available worldwide, and you can use it on any device that supports DNS configurations.


In conclusion, DNS server issues can cause problems with internet connectivity and accessing websites. When troubleshooting DNS server issues on a Mac, it is important to check network settings, flush DNS cache, restart the DNS service, and check firewall settings.

It is also helpful to use a reliable DNS server, such as Google Public DNS, Cloudflare DNS, or OpenDNS. By using a fast and secure DNS server, Mac users can improve their internet browsing experience.

If you are experiencing DNS server issues on your Mac, don’t panic. With the steps outlined in this guide, you should be able to troubleshoot and resolve the issue in no time.

Remember to always be cautious when making changes to your Mac’s network settings, and consult with a professional if you are unsure about any steps in the troubleshooting process.

  • Switching DNS servers on Mac is a simple process that can help improve internet speed and access.

  • Google Public DNS is a popular DNS server choice for Mac users due to its reliability and fast response times.

  • When experiencing DNS server issues on your Mac, flushing the DNS cache or restarting the DNS service can often solve the problem.

  • It’s also important to check your firewall settings to ensure they are not blocking the DNS server.

By following the steps outlined in this guide, Mac users can easily switch to a different DNS server, which can result in faster internet speeds and improved access to websites and online services. Remember to test different DNS servers to find the one that works best for you and your needs. With a little bit of troubleshooting and experimentation, you can optimize your Mac’s DNS settings and enjoy a smoother internet experience.

  • Flushing DNS cache can help resolve DNS server issues on your Mac. This process clears out any stored DNS information that may be outdated or corrupted.

  • Restarting the DNS service on your Mac is another troubleshooting step. This can help resolve any issues with the DNS service itself or with the configuration settings.

  • It’s important to check firewall settings as well, as firewalls can sometimes interfere with DNS requests and cause issues.

By following these steps, you can effectively troubleshoot DNS server issues on your Mac and improve your internet speed and access.

Google Public DNS is a popular and reliable DNS server for Mac users.

  1. If you are a Mac user, you might be wondering what DNS server to use. One popular and reliable option is Google Public DNS. It is fast, secure, and free to use. By using this service, you can improve your internet experience by reducing latency and increasing security. Plus, it’s easy to set up.

  2. One of the main benefits of Google Public DNS is its reliability. It uses anycast routing to direct your queries to the closest available server. This means that your DNS queries are answered by the fastest and most reliable server available. Additionally, Google has a large infrastructure that is designed to handle high volumes of traffic, so you can be confident that their DNS servers will be able to handle your requests.

  3. Another benefit of Google Public DNS is its speed. It uses load-balancing technology to distribute queries across its servers, which helps to reduce latency and improve response times. Plus, Google Public DNS supports IPv6, which can help to further improve speed and performance.

If you want to use Google Public DNS on your Mac, you can easily set it up by following these steps:

1Open System PreferencesApple menu > System Preferences
2Click on NetworkNetwork
3Select the network connection you want to use Google Public DNS withN/A
4Click on AdvancedAdvanced
5Go to the DNS tabDNS
6Add the Google Public DNS servers8.8.8.8 and
7Click OKOK

Overall, Google Public DNS is a great choice for Mac users who want a fast and reliable DNS server. With its anycast routing, load-balancing technology, and support for IPv6, it can help to improve your internet experience. Plus, it’s easy to set up and free to use.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is DNS, and why would you want to change your DNS server on a Mac?

DNS (Domain Name System) is responsible for translating website names into IP addresses. The DNS server that your computer is set to use can have a significant impact on the speed and reliability of your internet connection. Changing your DNS server can help improve your browsing experience and even increase your security and privacy.

What are the steps to switch your DNS server on a Mac?

There are a few ways to switch your DNS server on a Mac, but the most straightforward method is through the Network preferences panel. Simply go to System Preferences > Network > Advanced > DNS, and then add or remove DNS servers from the list.

What are some popular DNS servers that you can use on a Mac?

There are many different DNS servers available, but some of the most popular options include Google Public DNS, OpenDNS, and Cloudflare DNS. Each of these DNS servers has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s worth doing some research to find the one that’s right for you.

How do you know if switching your DNS server on a Mac has improved your internet connection?

After switching your DNS server on a Mac, you can use online speed tests to measure your internet connection’s speed and latency. You can also try visiting some websites to see if they load faster or more reliably than before.

Can switching your DNS server on a Mac cause any problems?

In most cases, switching your DNS server on a Mac should not cause any problems. However, if you are using a custom DNS server provided by your internet service provider, switching to a different DNS server may cause issues with accessing certain websites or services. It’s also important to make sure that you only use DNS servers from trusted sources to avoid any potential security or privacy risks.

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