A Domain Name System translates human-readable domain names to machine-readable IP addresses, allowing users to easily access the websites through web browsers. All the computers present on the internet, from your smartphone and laptop to the servers that serve content for massive retail websites, communicate with one another using numbers, known as IP addresses. 

Sometimes, while accessing a website, you may encounter certain DNS error messages, like “DNS server not responding”. Meaning, that either your browser couldn’t connect to the internet or the DNS of the domain you are trying to reach is unavailable.  

There are many possible causes for this error, like hardware or network issues, malfunctioning router or modem, incorrect DNS server addresses, and misconfigured network adapters. Users can resolve most of these issues without putting in much effort. 

In this article, we’ll take you through four potential solutions to troubleshoot the “DNS server not responding” issue on Mac and Windows: 

List of Solution for “DNS server not responding” Issue 

1. Switch to another web browser 

This is one of the simplest solutions. 

For instance, if your primary browser is Google Chrome, try to access the web page from browsers like Microsoft Edge and Mozilla Firefox. 

If the issue resolves, update your default browser to the new version or reinstall it completely. However, if the issue arises again, your browser may not be the connection problem’s source and you need to try another solution. 

2. Connect with a different device 

Try to connect a different device to the same home network and access the website you are having trouble with. If you can access it, the problem is with your primary device. Otherwise, the problem may be in your router. Using other connections like mobile data can also help you ensure that the connection failing issue isn’t at the website’s end. 

3. Deactivate firewall and antivirus 

Firewall and antivirus programs aim to protect your devices from malicious software. However, sometimes, these tools may also block your internet connection. 

Attempt to deactivate your firewall and antivirus programs (temporarily) to check if they are the cause of the “DNS server not responding” error. 

To access the firewall and antivirus settings on Windows,  

  • Select the start menu 
  • Navigate to Settings -> Update and Security -> Windows Security -> Virus and threat protection 
  • (However, if you use a Mac computer, navigate to System Preferences -> Security & Privacy -> Firewall) 
  • After deactivating your firewall and antivirus programs, rerun the network diagnostics and open the website again (from the same browser). 

If this resolves your issue, configure or update the firewall and antivirus programs before reactivating them. 

4. Update the network adapter driver 

An outdated network adapter driver may also be the reason why the ‘DNS server failed’ issue appears on your Windows computer.  

You can update the adapter driver either automatically or manually.  

Updating a network adapter driver manually can be challenging for beginners unfamiliar with driver software. Therefore, it is highly recommended to automate it with a tool like Driver Easy, which can help in downloading and installing the correct drivers for your system.  

Essentially, create a system restore point in Windows before using the tool’s free version. Doing so allows your computer to turn to its previous state in case of an unexpected event. 

To update your network adapter driver with Driver Easy, you need to follow certain steps: 

  • Download, install and run the Driver Easy software 
  • Click on the ‘Scan Now’ button 
  • Click the Update button placed next to each of the outdated drivers 
  • Wait for the download and installation process to complete and then restart your computer 

Once you are done with the process, re-visit the website you want to access and check if your “DNS server not responding” issue is resolved.  


Trying to access a website only to see a “DNS server not responding” message can be both concerning and frustrating. While there are numerous reasons why this error may occur, most of them have simple solutions like the ones we have listed above. You can implement them one by one and see what works for you.  

We hope this article was helpful for you. 


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