DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error can stop you from being able to visit websites and create issues with connecting to outside services. As the name DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN implies, this is a DNS-related error. The function of DNS is to resolve/translate domain names. So when your system cannot resolve or translate the address, you will get this error message.
Normally, your computer uses the DNS configured in your router or modem. Unless it has been changed, your computer will use the DNS set by your Internet Provider. We always recommend using public dns servers because they are more active and have a 99% uptime.
We’ve investigated the most common scenarios where this issue will occur and realized that there are actually several different underlying causes that will end up causing the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error on Windows 11 and Windows 10.
Here’s a list of potential culprits that you should look out for:
- Configuration issue related to the active DNS – One of the most common issues that will ultimately cause this error is a scenario in which the active DNS range is badly configured. If this scenario is applicable, the quickest way to fix it is to use a free tool called DNS Geek Tool to address all these issues automatically.
- Inconsistent DNS range – If the problem is caused by an inconsistent DNS range, it’s most likely occurring because you’re using the DNS range provided by your ISP instead of using a public equivalent. To resolve this issue, we encourage you to migrate to Google’s DNS or Cloudflare’s DNS to get the most uptime.
- Cache issue related to the active DNS – If you’re already using a public DNS and you’re still experiencing this problem, chances are you’re dealing with some kind of problem facilitated by the DNS cache that gets built over time. To resolve this problem, you’ll need to deploy a series of commands from an elevated CMD or Powershell prompt.
- Corrupted Chrome Host Cache – If you’re only experiencing his problem while using Google Chrome, the first thing you should do is clear Chrome’s host cache from the net-internal address. This will address every issue where the error is actually rotted in bad Chrome-specific DNS cache data.
- The network adapter is stuck in a limbo state – As it turns out, you can also expect this problem to occur in scenarios where the active Network adapter that is supposed to bridge the Internet connection is actually stuck in a limbo state. To address this issue, you’ll need to reset the network adapter via the Network & Internet settings.
- The DNS Client Service is Disabled – In case you’re experiencing a similar error in every other browser that you’ve tried so far, you should investigate the current status of the DNS Client service. If it turns out that it’s disabled, you should be able to fix the problem by changing the startup type to Automatic.
- Proxy or VPN interference – Last but not least, two possible culprits that are often overlooked when this error occurs are an active Proxy server or an active VPN service. If you’re using such a service, disable it temporarily and see if the problem is resolved.
Now that you are aware of every potential reason why you’ll experience the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error, let’s go over all the fixes that have been confirmed by Windows 10 and Windows 11 for being effective in fixing the issue at hand.
1. Fix a DNS Configuration issue Automatically
One of the potential causes of this error is an incorrectly configured active DNS range. If this is the case, the quickest way to fix it is to use a free tool called DNS Geek Tool to automatically resolve all issues.
We recommend trying the free DNS Geek tool which we often used to resolve most cache-related DNS issues.
Important: The script does not have a certificate, you may be prompted with unverified publisher issues. If you are told that the script is not digitally signed, then you can run the command below and then run the script:
Set-ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted -Scope Process
As soon as you execute the script, you can revert back to a Restricted execution policy by deploying the following command:
DNS Geek Tool should be downloaded onto a different computer if yours doesn’t have access to the internet, and then copied over onto a USB Drive.
Once it is downloaded and copied to the USB, take the USB out of the system and connect it with the computer having DNS issues. Copy the file from the USB and place it on your Desktop.
After the file has been moved, click Start -> Type cmd and choose Run As Administrator.
Once the Black Command Prompt window opens up, drag the DNS Geek Tool file to the Command Prompt and Hit Enter or type the path to where the file is saved, and then run it.
The tool will then run by itself and will prompt you for “Yes and No” prompts as it troubleshoots the issue.
If this method was not effective in your case, move down to the next method below.
2. Changing the DNS range
If you follow the instructions above you already know that there are no underlying issues affecting your DNS cache, the next thing you should try is to make the transition to a more stable public DNS (Domain Name System) like Google or Cloudflare.
Google DNS and CloudFlare DNS both have high uptime (almost 99.99%) and are much more reliable than any DNS range your Internet provider gives you by default.
If the reason why you’re experiencing the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN is caused by some type of inconsistency with the DNS range that your ISP gives you by default, making the switch to a public DNS equivalent will resolve the vast majority of issues where you see this error due to the DNS system being down, overloaded or unresponsive.
To fix this issue, follow the instructions below to make the transition to Google’s DNS or Cloudflare’s DNS:
- Press and hold the Windows Key then press the I key. This shortcut should open Windows Settings app.
- Inside the Windows Settings menu, use the side menu on the left to click on Network & Internet.
- From the Network & Internet settings, scroll down to the Advanced network settings menu and click on Change adapter options.
- Next, right-click on the network adapter that is currently active and click on Properties from the context menu that just appeared.
- Once you’re inside the Properties screen of your Network adapter, click on the Networking tab, select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP / IPv4) under This connection uses the following items, and click on the Properties button below.
- From the next window, select the General tab and toggle the “Use the following DNS server addresses” option.
- In order to set the Google DNS, set 18.104.22.168 as the preferred DNS server and 22.214.171.124. as the alternate DNS server.
- In order to set the Cloudflare DNS, set 126.96.36.199. as the preferred DNS server and 188.8.131.52. as the alternate DNS server.
- Click OK to save the changes, then close the Properties screen of your network adapter.
- Next, press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box and type ‘cmd’ inside the text box.
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open up an elevated CMD prompt with admin access.
- Inside the elevated CMD prompt, type the following command and press Enter to refresh the DNS servers and clear any previously network-related cached data:
- Open your browser once again and see if you’re still experiencing the same kind of DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error.
If the same type of issue is still persisting, move down to the next method below.
3. Reset your Network configuration
If you’re already using a public DNS from Google or from Cloudflare and you’re still experiencing this problem, it’s likely that you’re dealing with a problem facilitated by the DNS cache that builds up over time. To resolve this issue, you’ll need to run a series of commands from an elevated CMD or Powershell prompt.
This method has proved useful for a lot of Windows 10 and Windows 11 users that already made the switch to a public DNS and the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error persisted.
To do this, you’ll have to reset your current network configuration with a series of commands run from an elevated Command Prompt.
Note: These commands will effectively reset corrupt or incorrect network settings affecting the DNS cache that might conflict with your browser. This will narrow down the problem or at least bring you closer to a resolution.
For step by step instructions on how to do this, see the instructions below:
- Press Windows key + R to open up a run dialog box. Next, type ‘cmd’ inside the text box, then press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open up an elevated CMD prompt.
- When you’re prompted by the User Account Control window, click Yes to grant admin access.
- Once you’re inside the elevated CMD prompt, type the following commands in order and press Enter after each command to effectively refresh your entire network configuration:
netsh winsock reset netsh int ip reset ipconfig /release ipconfig /renew netsh interface ipv4 reset netsh interface ipv6 reset reset ipconfig /flushdns
- Once every command has been processed successfully, close the elevated Command prompt and restart your PC.
- After your Windows OS boots back up, open up your browser once again and see if you’re still seeing the same DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN.
If the same kind of problem is still ongoing, move down to the next method below.
4. Clear the specific Chrome Host Cache
Recorded DNS entries on your Google Chrome client can help reduce website loading times by eliminating the need to look up each site every time you visit. However, this feature can sometimes do more harm than good if it contains corrupted or bad DNS Cache data.
If the only time you’re experiencing his problem is when using Google Chrome, the next thing you should do is clear Chrome’s host cache.
Note: This will fix any issues where the error is actually caused by bad DNS cache data specific to Chrome.
If you’re using Google Chrome and none of the methods above have worked for you, try the steps below to clear your Google Chrome Host cache:
- Open Google Chrome and make sure it’s updated to the latest version.
- In the URL section at the top, paste the following URL and hit Enter to open up the Google Chrome Net Internals hidden menu:
- Once you arrive in the correct page, you should see the Google Chrome Host resolver cache page. Click on DNS from the side menu on the left, then click on Clear Host cache.
- At the confirmation prompt, proceed as instructed, then restart Google Chrome and see if the issue is now fixed.
In case you’re still experiencing the same DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error, move down to the next method below.
5. Resetting the Network Adapter and driver
As it turns out, this problem can also occur in scenarios where the active Network adapter that is supposed to bridge the Internet connection is actually stuck in a limbo state. To address this issue, you’ll need to reset the network adapter via the Network & Internet settings.
This action is typically reported to be effective in scenarios where the user recently migrated to Windows 11 from an older Windows version and the previously saved networks have been migrated.
If this scenario is applicable, resetting your network will fix the issue swiftly:
Note: This method will end up resetting all the currently ached settings related to your network adapter and driver.
- From your Windows taskbar, click on the network icon.
- This will bring up the expanded network menu. When you see it, simply click on the network that you’re currently connected to, then click on Network & internet settings.
Note: On Windows 11, you’ll need to click on the small info icon.
- From the next window that just opened, scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on Network Reset.
- Next, click on Reset from the context menu and hit Restart Now at the next prompt.
- Once the reset procedure is complete and internet access is re-established, access your browser once again and see if the browser error is fixed.
If the same DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error is still ongoing, move down to the next method below.
5. Re-Configure the DNS Client Service to Automatic
If you’re encountering the same error in every other browser you’ve tried thus far, you should look into the current status of the DNS Client service. According to some users, your browser might output the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error when this service is disabled.
If this scenario is applicable, you may be able to fix the problem simply by changing the startup type to Automatic.
Note: The DNS Client service is tasked with keeping DNS cache, as well as caching and registering DNS. This service can be stopped by a bad tweaking program or third-party software. If the service is disabled, you might see the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error in Google Chrome.
If you want to make sure that the DNS Client Service is not actually causing this problem, follow the instructions below to ensure that its status is set to automatic:
- Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box.
- Next, type ‘powershell’ inside the text dialog box and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open up an elevated Powershell menu.
- At the User Account Control prompt, click Yes to grant admin access to the Powershell window.
- Once you’re inside the elevated Powershell window, type the following commands in order and press Enter after each one:
sc config Dnscache start= auto sc start Dnscache
- After both commands have been processed successfully, reboot your PC and see if the issue has been addressed.
If you’re still experiencing the same DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error, move down to the next potential fix below.
6. Removing the Proxy & VPN Settings
If the methods above haven’t worked for you and you’re still seeing the same error when you’re opening your default browser, consider terminating any proxy or VPN connections you’re currently using on your PC.
Most likely, an app, service, or process is conflicting with Proxy servers or VPN solution that you’re using— a lot of anonymity services are outright being blocked from engaging in data exchanges.
Several affected users have reported resolving the issue by disabling their proxy server or VPN client.
We created two guides that will help you disable your VPN or proxy server in case this method is applicable.
6.1. Disable a proxy server on Windows
If you’re using a proxy server, you’ll need to go to the Proxy menu inside the Window Setting menu and end the connection yourself.
Follow the instructions below to learn how to do this:
- To start, open a Run dialog box by pressing the Windows key + R.
- Then, type “ms-settings:network-proxy” and press Enter to access the Proxy tab in the Settings app.
- In the Proxy tab of Settings, scroll down to the Manual Proxy Setup section.
- Next, go to the right side of the screen and uncheck the box next to Use a proxy server.
- After you disable the Proxy server, restart your computer and try opening your browser again to see if the problem has been addressed.
In case you’re using a VPN solution, move down to the next method below.
6.2. Disable a VPN solution on Windows
The process for disabling a VPN client varies depending on the type of implementation in use. If you installed a desktop VPN client, you will need to access the specific settings menu and disable the VPN connection from there.
If you have set up a VPN connection through the Windows 10 built-in feature, here is a quick guide on disabling it:
- Start by pressing Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box.
- Next, type ‘ms-settings:network-vpn’ and press Enter to open up the VPN tab of the Settings app on your Windows computer.
- Inside the VPN connection tab, move over to the right-hand side section and click on your VPN, then click Remove from the context menu.
- After the VPN network has been disabled, simply open your browser once again and see if the problem is now fixed.