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How to clear/flush DNS cache on Windows?

The question – I need to clear my DNS cache on my Windows 7 machine. What command can I use to do this?

In Windows (XP/Vista/7/8), there is a single command that can flush the DNS cache called ipconfig.

First, a note on DNS caching:

DNS or domain name system provides a way to convert domain names like google.com to IP addresses like 8.8.4.4. These IP addresses are the physical addresses of a server to which the HTTP (or any other protocol) requests are routed. A recursive DNS server like the one provided by your ISP is the first server that Windows OS contacts to convert a domain name to an IP address. The recursive DNS server then asks the authoritative DNS server which knows the answer and replies to the recursive DNS server of your internet service provider. The ISP’s name server then replies to the operating system with the IP address which then give the IP address to the browser or the email client.

Note that the operating system caches the DNS responses of the ISP’s name server. The duration for which Windows caches a DNS answer depends on the following registry entry:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\DNSCache\Parameters

Sometimes, the DNS records cached by Windows are stale and you need to flush (clear) the DNS cache.

This can be achieved using the following command:

ipconfig /flushdns

This outputs:

Windows IP Configuration

Successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache.

That’s all you have to do!

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