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What Could Cause “DNS Server Not Responding” Error Message?

The error messages “DNS Server Not Responding” or “DNS server is unavailable” may be caused by the following:

  1. Your are not connected to your wireless router or your network cable is disconnected.
  2. Your DNS Server IP address may be wrong.
  3. You may not have picked an IP address
  4. Your network card driver may be out of date

How do I fix “DNS Server Not Responding”?

Below, I have listed the high-level solutions that will resolve the error message “DNS Server Not Responding” or “DNS server is unavailable”

  1. First Solution: Run the “Identify and Fix Network problem” wizard
  2. Second Solution: Reconnect to your wireless router or connect your network cable
  3. Third Solution: Check your IP and DNS address settings
  4. Fourth Solution: Disable and Enable your network card
  5. Fifth Solution: Restart your router
  6. Sixth Solution: Update your network card driver
  7. Seventh Solution: Temporarily Turn off firewalls
  8. Eighth Solution: Turn off Antivirus
  9. Ninth Solution: Check that Flight mode is off
  10. Tenth Solution: Restart your computer

For details of how to apply the listed solutions read on.

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First Solution for “DNS Server Not Responding”: Run the “Identify and Fix Network problem” wizard

This may help you resolve most network related problems including “DNS Server Not Responding” or “DNS server is unavailable” Error Messages.

Here is how you use this method in Windows 10

  • Search Identify and Fix Network problems using the search bar and select it when it shows up in the search result.
"DNS Server Not Responding" or "DNS server is unavailable"
  • The troubleshooter will run and return result as shown below. If it identifies any problem, follow the wizard to resolve it.

Second Solution for “DNS Server Not Responding”: Reconnect to your wireless router or connect your network cable

The next possible cause of “DNS Server Not Responding” or “DNS server is unavailable” error messages could be that you are not connected to your wireless router. Also, if you use a physical cable, it may be disconnected.

Follow the steps below to check your network connection status:

  • If you use wireless router, check the connection status on the bottom right corner of your task bar. Close to your time. If you are not connected, the wireless status will be greyed out. See image below:
"DNS Server Not Responding" or "DNS server is unavailable"
  • On the other hand, if you are connected the wireless card will “lit up”. See image below.
"DNS Server Not Responding" or "DNS server is unavailable"
  • Alternatively, if you use a cable to connect your computer to the internet, and the status looks like the image below, then you definitely have a problem with your connection. If this is your situation, I recommend you try other solutions listed in this guide.
  • Conversely, if the status of your network card is as shown below, then you are connected to the internet. If your network card is as shown but you still can’t connect to the internet, you may need to consult your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

Third Solution: Check your IP and DNS address settings

The next possible cause of the error message “DNS Server Not Responding” or “DNS server is unavailable” could be the wrong settings in your TCP/IPv4 IP and DNS settings.

Here is how you can resolve this problem:

  • Search for Control Panel and click to open it.

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  • Click View network status and tasks.
  • Click Change adapter settings.
  • Double-click the right adapter. For this example, I will use my wireless card – highlighted in the image below.
"DNS Server Not Responding" or "DNS server is unavailable"
  • Click Properties.
  • Highlight Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) then click Properties.
"DNS Server Not Responding" or "DNS server is unavailable"
  • On the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) Properties, confirm that yours is set up as shown below.
"DNS Server Not Responding" or "DNS server is unavailable"
Important Note
By setting “Obtain an IP address automatically” and “Obtain DNS server addres automatically” your router issues the correct addresses.

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Fourth Solution: To Resolve “DNS Server Not Responding” error, Disable and Enable your network card

Resetting your network card settings may resolve “DNS Server Not Responding” error message.

Here are the steps to help you perform this task:

  • Follow the steps outlined in the third solution until you get to your wifi properties settings.
  • Then click Disable to disable the network (wifi) card.
  • To enable the wifi network card, navigate to Control panel => Network and Internet => Network and sharing center => Change adapter settings. To enable the wifi card, right-click it then select Enable.

Fifth Solution: To fix “DNS Server Not Responding” error, Restart your router

Another quick solution to “DNS Server Not Responding” error message is to restart your internet router. This solution is very straight-forward. Simply turn off your wifi router and turn it back on. When it comes back on try connecting to the internet. If the error message still appears, try my next recommended solution.

Important Tip
For most routers (or modems), the power switch should be behind or underneath.

Sixth Solution: Update your network card driver

My next solution for “DNS server is unavailable” error message is to update your network card driver. The steps below will guide you to complete this task:

  • The first step is to search for device manager then click on it.
  • When device manage opens, locate and expand the Network adapters node. Then locate your network adapter card, right-click it and select update driver.
Important Note
In the image below, I highlighted two network cards. One has “wireless”, the other has “Ethernet”. If you connect to the internet with wireless update the wireless card. Otherwise update the Ethernet card.
  • Click the first option…”search automatically for updated driver software…”. If that option does not update your network drive, then find and download the driver for your network card. Finally, use option 2 to update the driver manually.
"DNS Server Not Responding" or "DNS server is unavailable"

If the problem is not resolved try the next solution.

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Seventh Solution: To resolve “DNS Server Not Responding” error, Temporarily Turn off firewalls

Sometimes firewalls may prevent you from connecting to the internet and potentially lead to the “DNS server is unavailable” error. The walk-around will be to turn off firewalls, test whether you can connect then turn firewall back on.

Here is how you turn firewalls off on Windows 10:

  • In the search box on the taskbar, type Command prompt. Right-click it and select Run as Administrator. On the User Account Control prompt, click Yes.
  • When command prompt opens, type the command below, then press Enter.
 netsh advfirewall set allprofiles state off 

After running this command try connecting to the internet. If you can then firewall was preventing you. If you made any recent changes, reverse those changes. Whatever what happens it is recommended to turn your firewall back on. To do this, type the command below into the command prompt window. Then press Enter.

netsh advfirewall set allprofiles state on

Below is the screnshot of the last command.

Eight Solution for “DNS Server Not Responding”: Turn off Antivirus

Your antivirus could also cause the “DNS Server Not Responding” error message and stop you connecting to the internet.

The steps to turn off your antivirus will depend on the software you have installed. Use the document for your antivirus software to determine how to turn it off and on.

Ninth Solution: To resolve “DNS Server Not Responding” error, Check that flight mode is off

If flight mode is turned on, it will prevent you getting to the internet. The next thing to check is that it is turned OFF. To do this on Windows 10, follow the steps below:

  • On the right side of your taskbar, click your network icon then confirm that flight mode is grey. If it is blue, click it once. If it turns grey, it is off and you should now be able to get to the internet.

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Tenth Solution: Finally, to resolve “DNS Server Not Responding” error, Restart your computer

This is my final recommendation. If none of the earlier recommended solutions resolved the error message for you restart your computer.

If restarting your computer does not resolve “DNS Server Not Responding” error message for you, kindly post a message using the “Leave a Reply” form below.

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