How to Fix a DNS Error on Windows XP

By Candace Benson

The DNS or Domain Name System service translates domain names into IP addresses in your Web browser or other Internet application. DNS allows you to browse websites in an easy-to-access manner, while providing the computer the information it needs to process your request.You may receive DNS errors after updating sofware, including Windows. Other DNS errors arise from corrupted files saved offline or outdated stored DNS information. Many DNS errors may be resolved by simply restarting your computer. Prior to undertaking further troubleshooting methods, reboot and try to connect to a website.

Things You'll Need

  • Administrator access

Check Your Firewall

Step 1

Click "Start," then "Control Panel." Click "Classic View" in the left column, if applicable.

Step 2

Open "Windows Firewall."

Step 3

Click on the "Exceptions" tab. Find your Web browser. Check the box next to it. Repeat this for all web browsers you use.

Step 4

Click on "Add Program" if you do not see your Web browser. Scroll to your Web browser, highlight it and click "OK."

Step 5

Click on "Add Port." Enter "HTTP" (no quotes) for the "Name" and "80" (no quotes) for the "Port." Click "OK."

Step 6

Click "Apply," then "OK."

Clear the Windows DNS Cache

Step 1

Close all programs.

Step 2

Click "Start," then "Run." Type "Command," and press "Enter."

Step 3

Type "ipconfig /flushdns" (without quotes) in the command box. Press "Enter."

Step 4

Enter "ipconfig /registerdns" (without quotes) in the command box. Press "Enter."

Step 5

Close the command box, and try to load a website again.

Clear Your Cookies and Cache

Step 1

Click "Tools," then "Clear Recent History," if using Firefox. Click on "Cache" and "Cookies." Remove other check marks. Select "Everything" in the "Time range to clear" drop-down menu. Click "Clear Now."

Step 2

Select the "Tools" icon in Chrome. Select "Options." Click on the "Personal Stuff" tab. Select "Clear browsing data" in the "Browsing Data" section. Click on "Empty the cache" and "Delete cookies." De-select all other items. Choose "Everything" in the "Clear data from this period" drop-down menu. Click "Clear Browsing Data."

Step 3

Click "Tools," then "Delete Browsing History" in Internet Explorer. Select "Temporary Internet Files" and "Cookies." De-select all other items. Click "Delete."

Tips & Warnings

  • Check for computer for malware if the steps above do not fix your DNS error.