Windows OS

Everything You Need To Know About Windows 10 DNS Cache (Including DNS Flushing)

In Windows 10, if you’re running into issues with accessing certain websites, you might be advised to flushing your DNS cache. The process might sound a bit unfamiliar, as the chances of not accessing a website are rare in this day and age.

Still, the problem could be a derivation of something as simple as your DNS cache.

What Is DNS Cache in Windows 10

You might have an idea of what caching in general means, be it in the context of RAM, memory, websites, etc. Along the same lines, the DNS cache is precisely reserved for speeding up the loading of recently visited websites on your computer, by resolving the domain name faster.

How the DNS Cache Works in Windows 10

The DNS cache is a temporary database that keeps records of recently visited sites.

Typically, when someone types in the name of a website, it has to be converted to an IP address first (numbers) before the said website can be loaded. This conversion is not something one can see happening as it occurs behind the scenes; however, the deciphering of a name into an IP address is handled by DNS (domain name system).

In every single instance, no matter what, a website name has to be converted into an IP address for it to work on your device, as that’s what the computer will understand.

Now, since the conversion itself is a task that needs to be performed every time — it can add & contribute to the time it takes for the website to work. To alleviate that pain point, the DNS cache comes into play.

As briefly touched, the DNS cache will maintain the list of freshly visited domains. But to elaborate on that, specifically, it keeps a copy of DNS lookups. So the next time you navigate to a site that matches the DNS cache database stored locally on your device, all things being equal, the said site will load faster. The reason for that is because you saved some amount of time by not performing a full DNS lookup, or in other words, spent less time trying to figure out what the IP address of a website is.

Think of it as having your favorite restaurant’s phone number saved to your phone, versus looking it up on the internet and then calling to order food.

Why You Might Want To Flush Your DNS Cache

There are a few good reasons (indicated below) for why you might want to flush your DNS cache

  1. Reason 1: Generally speaking, you have been having a lot of connectivity issues with the fact that there is nothing wrong with your internet itself.
  2. Reason 2: For security reasons. Simply put, the less information you store, the less the chances are of getting hacked or someone finding out what you have been up to.
  3. Reason 3: If you have prior knowledge that a website has changed its servers or IP addresses.
  4. Reason 4: To protect your privacy, keep clean records, and avoid DNS Cache poisoning. (Related to reason 2).

How To Flush DNS Cache in Windows 10

There are several methods to flush the DNS cache (which achieve the same resulting outcome). I will cover the one that uses the command prompt — by describing the steps below:

Step 1: Open your command prompt.

Step 2: Type the following line of code–>ipconfig /flushdns and then hit enter

command to flush dns cache in windows 10
Command to flush DNS cache in Windows 10

Step 3: If the command ran successfully, you’ll get a message saying–>Successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache.

a successful DNS cache flush in Windows 10
A successful DNS cache flush in Windows 10

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Final Summary

DNS cache plays a vital role in the entire ecosystem of internet connectivity. It is intended as a beneficial aspect of the Windows OS experience with emphasis on speed; however, in some cases, you might need a clean break from the existing records of the DNS cache. Be it for connectivity issues, privacy & security, or as a best practice.

To do so, flush it out via a direct CMD command of–>ipconfig /flushdns.