How Do I Refresh My DNS Settings (On a Windows Based PC)?

A reader writes: "My old webhost told me that once I'd transferred to the new host, I had to 'refresh' my DNS.

Hi there! Ctrl + f5 is the windows browser refresh, its not quite the same as what your old host means. However, its hard, sometimes, to tell when you've moved.

There's a simple way to check wherever you've moved. Firstly you can check your nameservers have changed completely (if you do not know how, check the paragraph at the bottom).

Once you've made sure your nameservers are swapped over, you can run the following on your own desktop and you'll be able to update your DNS at your end (though, note, this does not always work)

Go to start – run – cmd It will open up a DOS style box Type ipconfig / flushdns (there is a space between the / (slash) and ipconfigIt should give you the following message: Successfully flushed the DNS resolver cache

Type ipconfig / registerdns (there is a space between the / (slash) and the end of ipconfig) It will give you another message that tells you that it is re-registering your DNS and that you'll see any errors in a log.

This will (hopefully) allow you to get any updates to the DNS cache and flush the files that stores these – giving you a better chance of seeing whether you've moved to a new server.

NOTE – there's one extra step to this in Vista .

To do this in Vista, you must be 'running' your command line box as an administrator. -> All programs-> Accessories -> Command prompt and RIGHT CLICK on your command prompt icon, to select the option 'run as administrator'. If you can not see this option, you may need to log in as the administrator, if you can.

You can check your nameservers and their status at or – both offer IP address and DNS based server checking. Both have free and subscription based services. Alternately, you can ping your server from the same box as you refresh your DNS from.

To do this go to start – run – cmd It will open the same DOS box Type ping (domain name). Depending on your result you should be able to tell if you've moved, but it is for the more technically comfortable.

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