How to Clear your Computer’s DNS Cache

by | Jul 2, 2016 | Technical Help

DNS Domain Name System - Photo by Charles Oropallo

This article will discuss how to clear you’re computer’s DNS Cache. Your DNS cache (Domain Name System cache) is a place in your computer’s memory that stores the locations (domain names and their IP addresses) of web servers that contain pages you have viewed.

Initially, this caching system stores web pages and other data. Consequently, it can take up space, thus slowing down a computer. Moreover, it impacts running remote applications like WordPress. Essentially, WordPress needs local storage to facilitate website modifications from dashboards.

If You Need More Details

For more details on what DNS is and why it’s important to clear your computer’s DNS cache please see my article: DNS 101: What It Is and Why It’s Essential for the Internet

Why You’d Clear Your Computer’s DNS Cache

If the location of the web server changes before the entry in your DNS cache updates, you will be unable to access the new location. This becomes apparent when older content may still appear to be online. Usually, refreshing the page will help. On many laptops and desktop systems pressing the F5 key while on a web page will refresh the content.

DNS changes can take up to 72 hours to propagate the entire Internet. Not my rule (LOL)! The good news is that most happen much, much quicker (matter of minutes or hours). However, everyone who tried the old address and it didn’t work has that “try” stuck (cached) in their Internet browser. They would all need to clear their browser’s caches. Unfortunately, most people don’t know how to do this.

Refreshing Your Browser

Sometimes F5 doesn’t work. In that case, the directions here for manually clearing your DNS cache may solve problems of viewing old or stale web content.


How to clear your computer’s DNS cache in the following:

October 5, 2021: Windows 11 (Sun Valley)
July 15, 2015: Windows 10 (Threshold)
October 26, 2012: Windows 8
July 25, 2012: MacOS 10.8 (Mountain Lion)
July 20, 2011: MacOS 10.7 (Lion)
October 22, 2009: Windows 7 (Blackcomb)
August 28, 2009: MacOS 10.6 (Snow Leopard)
October 26, 2007: MacOS 10.5 (Leopard)
January 30, 2007: Windows Vista
April 29, 2005: MacOS 10.4 (Tiger)
October 24, 2003: MacOS 10.3 (Panther)
April 24, 2003: Windows Server 2003 (Whistler Server)
August 24, 2002: MacOS 10.2 (Jaguar)
October 25, 2001: Windows XP (eXPerience) (Whistler)
September 25, 2001: MacOS 10.1 (Puma)
March 24, 2001: Mac OS X
September 14, 2000: Windows ME (Millennium Edition) (Georgia)
February 17, 2000: Windows 2000 Server (Windows NT 5.0 Server)
February 17, 2000: Windows 2000 Pro (Professional) (Windows NT 5.0 Workstation)
October 23, 1999: Mac OS 9
June 25, 1998: Windows 98 (Memphis)
July 31, 1996: Windows NT 4.0 (Cairo)
August 24, 1995: Windows 95 (Chicago)
November 22, 1993: Windows 3.2
November 8, 1993: Windows 3.11
April 6, 1992: Windows 3.1
May 22, 1990: Windows 3.0
May 27, 1988: Windows 2.1
December 9, 1987: Windows 2.0
November 20, 1985: Windows 1.0


Clearing Computer Cache in Windows 11

1. Firstly, click the Start button.

2. Next, proceed to search for “cmd” (without the quotes) in the Windows search bar.

3. Right-click on Command Prompt.

4. Subsequently, to the Right click on Run as Administrator.

5. Then, type (or copy and paste) the following command and press Enter:

ipconfig /flushdns

6. If the command was successful, you will see the following message:

Windows IP configuration

Successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache.


Clearing Computer Cache in Windows 10

1. Firstly, click the Start button.

2. Next, proceed to scroll down the programs list for Windows System.

3. Right-click on Command Prompt.

4. Subsequently, mouse over more and click on Run as Administrator.

5. Then, type (or copy and paste) the following command and press Enter:

ipconfig /flushdns

6. Subsequently, if the command was successful, you will see the following message:

Windows IP configuration

Successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache.


Clearing Computer Cache in Windows 8

1. Firstly, press Win+X to open the WinX Menu.

2. Next, proceed to right-click on Command Prompt and select Run as Administrator.

3. Then, type (or copy and paste) the following command and press Enter:

ipconfig /flushdns

4. Subsequently, if the command was successful, you will see the following message:

Windows IP configuration successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache.


Clearing Computer Cache in Windows 7

1. Firstly, click the Start button.

2. Next, proceed to enter “cmd” in the Start menu search field.

3. Right-click on Command Prompt and select Run as Administrator.

4. Then, type (or copy and paste) the following command and press Enter:

ipconfig /flushdns

5. Subsequently, if the command was successful, you will see the following message:

Windows IP configuration successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache.


Clearing Computer Cache in Windows Vista

1. Firstly, click the Start button.

2. Next, proceed to click Run on the Start menu

Note: If you do not see the Run command in Vista, enter run in the Search bar.

3. Then, type (or copy and paste) the following command in the Run text box:

ipconfig /flushdns

4. Subsequently, if the command was successful, you will see the following message:

Windows IP configuration successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache.


Clearing Computer Cache in Windows 2003 Server

1. Firstly, click the Start button.

2. Next, proceed to click Run< on the Start menu

3. Then, type (or copy and paste) the following command in the Run text box:

ipconfig /flushdns

4. Subsequently, if the command was successful, you will see the following message:

Windows IP configuration successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache.


Clearing Computer Cache in Windows XP

1. Firstly, click the Start button.

2. Next, proceed to click Run on the Start menu

3. Then, type (or copy and paste) the following command in the Run text box:

ipconfig /flushdns

4. Subsequently, if the command was successful, you will see the following message:

Windows IP configuration successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache.


Clearing Computer Cache in Windows 2000 Server

1. Firstly, click the Start button.

2. Next, proceed to click Run on the Start menu,

3. Then, type (or copy and paste) the following command in the Run text box:

ipconfig /flushdns

4. Subsequently, if the command was successful, you will see the following message:

Windows IP configuration successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache.


Clearing Computer Cache in Windows 2000

1. Firstly, click the Start button.

2. Next, proceed to click Run on the Start menu

3. Then, type (or copy and paste) the following command in the Run text box:

ipconfig /flushdns

4. Subsequently, if the command was successful, you will see the following message:

Windows IP configuration successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache.


Clearing Computer Cache in MacOS 10.8

1. Firstly, click Applications.

2. Next, proceed to click Utilities.

3. Subsequently, double-click the Terminal application.

4. Then, type (or copy and paste) the following command:

sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder

Please note: To run this command, you’ll need to know the computer’s Admin account password.


Clearing Computer Cache in MacOS 10.7

1. Firstly, click Applications.

2. Next, proceed to click Utilities.

3. Subsequently, double-click the Terminal application.

4. Then, type (or copy and paste) the following command:

sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder

Please note: To execute this command, you’ll need the computer’s Admin account password.


Clearing Computer Cache in MacOS 10.6

1. Firstly, click Applications.

2. After that, click Utilities.

3. Subsequently, double-click the Terminal application.

4. Then, type (or copy and paste) the following command:

sudo dscacheutil -flushcache


Clearing Computer Cache in MacOS 10.5

1. Firstly, click Applications.

2. After that, click Utilities.

3. Subsequently, double-click the Terminal application.

4. Then, type (or copy and paste) the following command:

sudo dscacheutil -flushcache
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