Windows 10 change DNS addressesSource: Windows Central

When you subscribe for internet access for home or business, the Internet Service Provider (ISP) also provides the necessary network settings, including the Domain Name System (DNS) addresses, which makes possible to access your favorite sites, online services that you may need to work from home, and download files.

The only caveat is that the ISP's DNS servers are usually slower, unreliable at times, and not very private. However, you can always use different resolvers from third-party companies to improve your internet experience on Windows 10. Here's how.

Related: How to configure Cloudflare 1.1.1.1 DNS service on Windows 10 or router

What's DNS?

A Domain Name System is a service (usually at no cost to you) that allows you to type a friendly domain name in the web browser to load a web page, and without them, it'd be a nightmare to surf the internet.

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The issue is that every device connected to a network requires an IP address (104.18.189.55) to communicate with other devices. However, these addresses are not easy for humans to remember, and DNS servers are the ones that provide the mechanism to translate friendly domain names (WindowsCentral.com) into an IP address that computers can understand.

Although you can type https://windowscentral.com to get to our website, in the background, the browser first sends a request to the DNS servers to resolve the website name into an IP address. When the address is found, it returns, and then the browser connects to the site and downloads the contents of the page.

Typically, you don't notice this process, because everything happens in milliseconds. However, if the resolvers that you're using aren't reliable, they're slowing down your internet, or you want to use faster and more private servers, Windows 10 allows you to change these settings to any services you want to use.

In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through the steps to change the DNS settings on your computer using Control Panel, Command Prompt, and Settings app.

How to change Windows 10 DNS settings using Control Panel

To change the DNS settings on Windows 10 using Control Panel, use these steps:

  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. Click on Network and Internet.
  3. Click on Network and Sharing Center.
  4. Click the Change adapter settings option in the left pane.

    Network and Sharing CenterSource: Windows Central

  5. Right-click the network interface that connects Windows 10 to the internet, and select the Properties option.

    Network adapter properties optionSource: Windows Central

    Quick tip: You'll know which adapter is connected to the network because it won't have a "Disabled" or "Network cable unplugged" label.

  6. Select and check the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) option.
  7. Click the Properties button.

    Internet Protocol Version 4 optionSource: Windows Central

  8. Select the Use the following DNS server addresses option.

    Quick note: When you select the option to specify the DNS settings manually, the device will continue to receive the TCP/IP address from the DHCP server (router).

  9. Type your "preferred" and "alternate" DNS addresses.

    Static DNS configuration network settingsSource: Windows Central

    If you want to use Cloudflare, Google Public DNS, or Cisco OpenDNS, you can use these settings:

    • Cloudflare: 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1
    • Google Public DNS: 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4
    • OpenDNS: 208.67.222.222 and 208.67.220.220
  10. (Optional) Click the Advanced button.
  11. Click the DNS tab.
  12. Click the Add button.
  13. Specify the alternate DNS server address.
  14. Click the Add button.

    Quick tip: In addition to adding more addresses, from this tab, you can also edit and remove resolvers, and you even have an option on the side to change their priority.

  15. Click the OK button.
  16. Click the Close button.

Once you complete the steps, the device will immediately start using the DNS settings that you specified.

How to change Windows 10 DNS settings using Settings

To change the DNS addresses using the Settings app, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Network & Internet.
  3. Click on Ethernet (or Wi-Fi depending on your connection).
  4. Select the connection that connects Windows 10 to the network.

    Settings Ethernet connections Source: Windows Central

  5. Under the "IP settings" section, click the Edit button.

    Network settings edit IP addressSource: Windows Central

  6. Use the "Edit IP settings" drop-down menu and select the Manual option.
  7. Turn on the IPv4 toggle switch.
  8. Confirm your "Preferred DNS" and "Alternate DNS" addresses.

    Settings set DNS addresses Source: Windows Central

    If you want to use Cloudflare, Google Public DNS, or Cisco OpenDNS, you can use these settings:

    • Cloudflare: 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1
    • Google Public DNS: 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4
    • OpenDNS: 208.67.222.222 and 208.67.220.220
  9. Click the Save button.

After you complete the steps, you should now be able to connect to the internet using the new resolvers.

Although the Settings app should be the recommended experience to change the DNS settings on your computer, we're not listing this option first because it can be confusing for some people.

How to change Windows 10 DNS settings using Command Prompt

Alternatively, you can also use Command Prompt to change the DNS settings on Windows 10.

To use Command Prompt to change the device DNS settings, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.
  3. Type the following command to launch the tool to change the networking settings and press Enter:

    netsh

  4. Type the following command to identify the names of the network adapters and press Enter:

    interface show interface

  5. Type the following command to set the primary DNS IP address and press Enter:

    interface ip set dns name="ADAPTER-NAME" source="static" address="X.X.X.X"

    In the command, remember to change ADAPTER-NAME with the name of your network adapter you identified on step No. 4, and change X.X.X.X with the IP address of the DNS server that you want to use.

    If you want to use Cloudflare, Google Public DNS, or Cisco OpenDNS, you can use these settings:

    • Cloudflare: 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1
    • Google Public DNS: 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4
    • OpenDNS: 208.67.222.222 and 208.67.220.220

    For example, this command sets the primary DNS addres to 1.1.1.1:

    interface ip set dns name="Ethernet1" source="static" address="1.1.1.1"

    Command Prompt set primary DNS addressSource: Windows Central

  6. Type the following command to add an alternative DNS IP address and press Enter:

    interface ip add dns name="ADAPTER-NAME" addr="X.X.X.X" index=2

    In the command, remember to change ADAPTER-NAME with the name of your network adapter you queried on step No. 4, and change X.X.X.X with the secondary address that you want to use.

    For example, this command sets the secondary DNS addres to 1.0.0.1:

    interface ip add dns name="Ethernet1" addr="1.0.0.1" index=2

    Command Prompt set secondary DNS addressSource: Windows Central

    Quick tip: If you need to add even more DNS addresses, you can repeat the above steps, but increase the number of the index option by 1. For instance, interface ip add dns name="Ethernet1" addr="8.8.8.8" index=3

Once you complete the steps, Windows 10 will start using the new DNS server addresses to resolve domain names to numeric addresses that your device can understand.

More Windows 10 resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10, visit the following resources:

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