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How to Check DNS Settings

Make sure your Domain Name System settings are up to par

What to Know

  • You can use a DNS testing website to check your DNS on Windows, Mac, or any mobile device that uses a web browser.
  • Enter ipconfig /all Windows command prompt or scutil –dns | grep ‘nameserver\[[0-9]*\]’ in macOS Terminal.
  • You can check DNS settings on PlayStation and Xbox consoles in Network Settings.

This article explains how to check your DNS settings, including checking and changing DNS settings on Windows and verifying DNS on PlayStation and Xbox consoles.

How Do I Check My DNS Settings?

Checking DNS settings is different depending on the type of device you’re using. Windows and macOS allow you to review and change your DNS settings through the Windows Control Panel and macOS Preferences, respectively, but you can also check and test DNS through the Command Prompt or Terminal. Other devices, like game consoles, sometimes have options to check or test your DNS settings that are usually in a network settings menu.

How Do You Check if DNS Is Working?

If you’re using a device like a computer, tablet, or phone, there are a few ways to check if DNS is working. If you don’t have any trouble visiting websites, your DNS is probably working just fine. If you suspect there might be an issue, you can use a DNS testing website to verify that your DNS settings are working.

If you can’t access a DNS testing website from your device, that may indicate a problem with your DNS server settings. In that case, try switching to a different free public DNS server and then check to see if the DNS testing website works.

Here’s how to check if your DNS is working with a DNS testing site:

  1. Navigate to the DNS leak test site.

  2. Click Standard test.

    Standard Test highlighted on the dnsleaktest website.
  3. Check the ISP column.

    The ISP column highlighted in DNS test results.
  4. If the ISP column lists the correct DNS, your DNS is working. For example, we set the computer used to run this test to use Google DNS servers, which you can see in the ISP column.

    If you don’t see the correct DNS, double-check the DNS settings on your device. You may also need to change the DNS settings on your router.

You can also check if your DNS is working in Windows using the Command Prompt and macOS using Terminal. Other devices that rely on internet access, like game consoles, include built-in functionality to check if your DNS is working.

How Do I Check My DNS Settings in Windows?

You can change your DNS settings in Windows in the Network and Sharing Center in the Control Panel, and you can also check your current settings there. If you want to check your DNS settings and check if your DNS is working, you can do that through the Command Prompt.

Here’s how to check DNS settings in Windows and see if your DNS is working:

  1. Open the Command Prompt.

  2. Type ipconfig /all and press Enter.

    ipconfig /all entered into the command prompt.
  3. Look for the DNS Servers entry to check your DNS settings and verify that they are correct.

    DNS Servers highlighted in the Windows command prompt.

    If you don’t see the correct DNS servers, double check your DNS settings in the Network and Sharing Center.

  4. Type nslookup lifewire.com and press Enter.

    nslookup lifewire.com entered into the windows command prompt.
  5. Verify that the correct IP addresses are displayed.

    IP addresses displayed using nslookup in the Windows command prompt.

    If you see a message like Host (website address) not found, that may indicate a problem with your DNS servers. Try changing to different DNS servers and check again.

How Do I Check My DNS Settings in macOS?

You can change your DNS settings on a Mac through Network settings in the Preferences menu, and you can also check your current DNS settings in the same place. You can also check and test your DNS on a Mac by entering commands into the Terminal.

Here’s how to check and test DNS in macOS through the Terminal:

  1. Open Terminal.

    Opening Terminal in macOS.
  2. Type scutil –dns | grep ‘nameserver\[[0-9]*\]’ and press Enter.

    Entering a command in the macOS Terminal.
  3. Your current DNS servers will be displayed in the terminal.

    DNS information displayed in Terminal on macOS.

    If you see the incorrect servers listed, check your network settings.

  4. Type dig lifewire.com and press Enter.

    The dig command entered in Terminal on macOS.
  5. Verify that the correct IP addresses are displayed.

    IP information displayed in Terminal on macOS.

    If the incorrect IP addresses are displayed, or you see an error, try switching to different DNS servers.

How to Verify DNS Settings on a PlayStation

Here’s how to verify your DNS settings on a PlayStation 4 (with PlayStation 3 settings in parentheses):

  1. Navigate to Settings.

  2. Select Network (Network Settings on PS3).

  3. Select Set Up Internet Connection (Internet Connection Settings, then OK, then Custom).

  4. Choose Use Wi-Fi (Wireless) if you are connected wirelessly, or Use a LAN Cable (Wired Connection) if you’re using an ethernet cable.

    If you are using Wi-Fi:

    • Under Use Wi-Fi, select Custom (WLAN section, Enter Manually, then press right on the d-pad to select IP Address Setting)
    • Select your Wi-Fi network.

    If you are using ethernet:

    • Select Custom (Auto-Detect) for the Operation mode.
  5. Choose Automatic for the IP Address Settings.

  6. Choose Do Not Specify (Do Not Set) for the DHCP Host Name.

  7. Choose Automatic for the DNS Settings.

  8. Choose Automatic for the MTU Settings.

  9. Choose Do Not Use for the Proxy Server (then Enable for UPnP, then save settings with the X button)

  10. Choose Test Connection.

How to Check DNS On an Xbox 360

Here’s how to set and check your DNS settings on an Xbox 360:

  1. Press the Guide button on your controller.

  2. Navigate to Settings > System Settings.

  3. Select Network Settings.

  4. Locate your network and select Configure Network.

  5. Select DNS Settings > Automatic.

  6. Shut down your Xbox 360, and then turn it back on.

  7. heck to see if online apps and games work.

How to Check DNS on Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S

Here’s how to check your DNS settings on an Xbox One or Xbox Series X/S:

  1. Press the Menu button and select Settings > All Settings.

  2. Select Network.

  3. Select Network settings.

  4. Select Advanced settings.

  5. Select DNS settings.

  6. Select Automatic.

  7. Press the B button.

  8. Check to see if online apps and games work.

 

FAQ
  • What are DNS settings?

    DNS settings are records within the Domain Name System, which is like the internet’s phone book. These settings help users access websites and emails via their unique domain names. DNS settings are also sometimes called DNS records.

  • What command do I use to verify local DNS settings?

    You’ll use the NSlookup command to verify local DNS settings and ensure the DNS server is working correctly. This command verifies DNS records on local servers.

  • How do I change DNS settings on a router?

    To change DNS settings on your router, you’ll need to access specific instructions from your router’s manufacturer. How you access these settings will differ depending on your router. For example, if you have a Linksys router, you’d log in to its web-based admin and select Setup > Basic Setup. Then, in the Static DNS 1 field, enter the primary DNS server you want to use.

  • How do I change DNS settings on Android?

    To change DNS settings on an Android device, go to Settings (gear icon) > Network & Internet > Advanced > Private DNS > Private DNS provider hostname. In the text field, enter a Cloudflare URL or a CleanBrowing URL. Tap Save when you’re finished.

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