Picture this: You’re browsing your Facebook feed and chatting with your friends, when all of a sudden, the website doesn’t load anymore. Before you blame your computer or even your Internet service provider, why not clear the Chrome DNS cache first? You can do this by typing chrome://net-internals/#dns in Chrome.
Google Chrome is arguably the best web browser in the market, but it’s not without its quirks. Aside from the dreaded “Aw, Snap!” error which is sometimes caused by an unstable Internet connection, you may also have problems accessing your favorite website. When that happens, you’re often left staring at a blank screen while frantically pressing the refresh button.
One solution to this problem is to clear your browser’s cache. However, there’s another way to resolve the issue without deleting your browsing history, cookies and other site data, and that is to flush the DNS cache in Chrome.
You might think that you need technical expertise or advanced computer skills in order to clear the Chrome DNS cache, but nothing could be further from the truth. It only takes a few seconds to type or copy-paste chrome://net-internals/#dns in your browser. If you’re wary of tinkering with the Chrome browser settings, we’ll teach you the proper and correct way to clear the DNS cache.
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What is the DNS Cache?
The domain name system (DNS) is a naming database that turns domain names (such as facebook.com) into machine-readable IP addresses (such as 126.96.36.199), allowing browsers like Google Chrome to access websites and other Internet resources.
Each website has its own IP address. Since it’s difficult to memorize IP addresses which are a bunch of random numbers, most websites use domain names to represent them. When a user types the website’s domain name (or clicks a link to that site), the browser sends a request to the DNS server and asks for its designated IP address. After receiving the correct IP address, the browser then loads the website and its accompanying resources such as images and videos.
A DNS cache, on the other hand, is a temporary storage area that contains the DNS records of websites that you’ve already visited. Every time you visit a website, its IP address and DNS records are temporarily stored in the DNS cache. So the next time you open the same website, it will load faster because the browser will no longer have to send a request to the DNS server and will fetch the IP address from the DNS cache instead.
Why Do You Need to Clear the DNS Cache in Chrome?
If the DNS cache is so important for a faster and more enjoyable Internet experience, why do you still need to clear it from your browser?
Although the DNS cache can speed up Internet browsing, it can also cause problems if the stored data becomes outdated or corrupted. Many websites change their IP addresses from time to time, which means that you will not be able to access them if their old IP addresses are still stored in the DNS cache.
Clearing the Chrome DNS cache erases all existing DNS information from temporary storage and forces your computer to get fresh data from the DNS server. You can now open websites that were previously inaccessible due to a change in their IP addresses.
How to Clear the DNS Cache in Google Chrome
Clearing the Chrome DNS cache is as easy as 1-2-3. Just do the following:
- Open a new tab in Google Chrome.
- Type this URL in the address bar: chrome://net-internals/#dns
You can also copy it by clicking this button: and then paste it.
- Click the “Clear host cache” button.
- That’s it! The Chrome DNS cache has been flushed. Check if you can now connect to your favorite website.
If clearing the host cache doesn’t resolve the issue, you can try flushing the socket pools by doing the following:
- Close any active windows or tabs in Google Chrome.
- Type this URL in the address bar: chrome://net-internals/#sockets
- Click the “Flush sockets pool” button.
There’s no need to restart Chrome after you clear the DNS cache. In most cases, you will be able to reconnect to previously inaccessible websites after completing the aforementioned steps.
How to Flush the DNS Cache in Windows
If clearing the Chrome DNS cache doesn’t work, you can try flushing the DNS cache of your computer. In Windows 7, 8, 10 or 11, you can do the following:
- Open the Command Prompt application as an administrator.
- In Windows 10, click the Start button or tap the Windows key. Select Windows System, right-click Command Prompt, and choose “Run as administrator.”
- In Windows 11, click the Start button or tap the Windows key. Type cmd in the search field. Right-click Command Prompt and select “Run as administrator.”
- Type ipconfig /flushdns and hit Enter.
- If successful, you will see this message: “Successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache.”
- Type exit to close the application.
How to Flush the DNS Cache in Mac
To flush the DNS cache in your Mac computer, do the following:
- Click the Launchpad icon in the Dock.
- Type terminal in the search field and click Terminal.
- Type the following in the terminal:
sudo dscacheutil -flushcache
sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder
- Close the app by selecting Terminal > Quit Terminal.
How to Check if the DNS Cache Has Been Cleared
After clearing the DNS cache, you might want to check if the operation was successful or not. You can verify that the DNS cache has been cleared by performing these steps:
- Open the Command Prompt:
- In Windows 10, click the Start button or tap the Windows key. Select Windows System and click Command Prompt.
- In Windows 11, click the Start button or tap the Windows key. Type cmd in the search field and select Command Prompt.
- Type the nslookup command. For example:
- Type exit to close the application.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I clear the Chrome DNS cache on my smartphone?
You can clear the Chrome DNS cache by typing chrome://net-internals/#dns on your mobile browser. Just follow the same steps mentioned in this tutorial.
I’ve cleared the Chrome DNS cache but I still can’t open the website. What should I do?
If chrome://net-internals/#dns is not working, you can try clearing the browser cache. Just press Ctrl + H and click “Clear browsing data.” Select the data that you want to delete (browsing history, cookies, cached images, etc.) and click Clear Data. Take note that this might cause you to get logged out of websites.
Clearing the DNS cache and browser cache doesn’t work. What should I do?
If flushing the DNS cache and browser cache still doesn’t solve the problem, you may try restarting your router. This will reset the router cache, which will hopefully improve Internet speed and resolve connectivity issues.
How can I check the IP address of a website?
To check the IP address of a particular website, you can go to chrome://net-internals/#dns in Chrome. Type the domain name (e.g. facebook.com) in the “Domain” field and click Lookup. The IP address(es) of the website will then be displayed.
Alternatively, you can use an IP address checker tool such as NSLookup.io.
You’ve just learned a simple trick to make your Internet browsing experience a smoother and more enjoyable one. Use this technique whenever you encounter problems while surfing, such as a slow-loading or inaccessible website.
Once again, just type chrome://net-internals/#dns in Chrome and click “Clear host cache” to flush the DNS cache. For quick and easy access, save the link to your bookmarks by pressing Ctrl + D.