How to Fix Server DNS address could not be found on Google Chrome

Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 users may sometimes be unable to access some websites on their web browsers. When accessing some websites, the user may be presented with the messages ‘server DNS address could not be found’.

What does ‘server DNS address could not be found’ exactly means?

Every website on the internet has a numerical IP which is associated with the human-understandable domain name, this IP address is used for the packet to packet communication and if the DNS (server) which acts as the translator fails to retrieve the IP Address of the site you are trying to visit, then this error is triggered.

Generally, this issue is seen when a domain you are trying to access is down, the dns server is down or your local cache is returning an older IP address which usually happens after a change of IP Address at the server-level.DNS address could not be found

In this guide, I will walk you through the steps to address this issue – however, if the issue is due to a server misconfiguration of the site you are visiting then these methods won’t help.

Method 1: Clear Host Cache

You can also clear your Host cache, which will solve the problem if it is being caused by an Extension. To clear out your cache, enter Incognito Mode in Chrome by pressing the three vertical dots in the top right of the page, and clicking ‘New Incognito Window’.

In the URL bar, enter chrome://net-internals/#dns and press Enter on your keyboard. On the screen, look for the Clear Host Cache button. Next, open up a command window by finding by pressing Start and choosing Run. In the text field, type ‘cmd’ and then enter ipconfig /flushdns.

Method 2: Update the DNS

This method has gained a lot of popularity which suggests that the user should update the DNS server to that of Google as they are more reliable.

Method 3: Look Up IP and add to Hosts File

This method may work or may not, since it still requires the use of DNS servers to query the IP but it can provide a bit more insights into the issue – if you are still able to access other websites, then try opening the following link

https://www.whatsmydns.net/#A/domain.com

Replace domain.com with the domain you cannot visit, and take note of the IP Address

DNS Propagation
DNS Propagation

Generally, all the IPs you see should be the same, but if it is not then the ones mostly used is the right one (copy it).

  1. Click Start or press the Windows Key (Right-Click) notepad and choose Run as Administrator
  2. Click File -> Open and browse to
    C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc
  3. Choose All Files and choose Hosts and open it.
  4. Add the IP Address to the bottom of the file in this format
  5. 127.0.0.1 domain.com
  6. Replace 127.0.0.1 with the IP you have copied earlier and the domain with the domain you queried through the link above.

Save the file and now trying accessing the site. This will look up the route locally, before querying your DNS because we have already pointed the domain to it’s IP Address. If the site still won’t open, then it’s probably an issue with the site. You can also try opening the site from your mobile to rule out the possibility of current device configuration/caches or reply in the comments below with the site name and we’ll check it for you. Also, if these don’t work, as a last resort, try to reset your IP.

Method 4: Reset Network Configurations

It is possible that your computer hasn’t been properly configured to use the right combination of the Network configurations due to which the error is being sprung up while trying to browse the internet with Google Chrome. Therefore, in this step, we will be resetting the network configurations completely. For that:

  1. Press “Windows” + “R” to launch the run prompt and type in “cmd”.
  2. Press the “Ctrl” + “shift” + “Enter” keys simultaneously to provide the administrative permissions and start the command prompt.
    Opening the Command Prompt
  3. Inside the command prompt, type the following commands one by one and press “Enter” after each to execute them.
    netsh int ip reset 
    netsh winsock reset 
    ipconfig/release 
    ipconfig/renew ipconfig/flushdns
  4. After executing all of these commands, check to see if the error message still persists.

Method 5: Restart the DNS Service

It is possible that the DNS service might’ve gotten glitched out when you tried to surf the internet on the Chrome browser and due to this, the error message was received on the screen. Therefore, in this step, we will be restarting the DNS service and then check to see if doing so fixes the issue. For that:

  1. Press the “Windows” + “R” button on your keyboard to open the Run prompt.
  2. Type in “services.msc” and press “Enter” to launch the service management window.
    Running Services.msc
  3. In the service manager, scroll through the list of services and right-click on the “DNS Client” Service.
    Restarting DNS Client Service
  4. Select the “Restart” option from the list and wait for the service to be restarted.
  5. After the service is restarted, check to see if the issue persists.

Solution 6: Reinstall Chrome

Sometimes the issue might not actually lie within your network configurations and it might instead be coming from the browser itself. Therefore, in this step, we will first uninstall Chrome from our computer and then download it again from the official website and install it. For that:

  1. Make sure to exit out of all the tabs and Chrome windows on your computer before you begin with the uninstallation process.
  2. Click on the Start menu and select the settings option.
  3. Now click apps.
  4. Under “Apps & features” find and click google chrome.
  5. Click on the uninstall button.
    Clicking on the “Uninstall” button
  6. Confirm it by clicking uninstall again
  7. For deleting your profile information like bookmarks or history, check the option “Also delete your browsing data”.
  8. Click uninstall on the final prompt and the uninstallation process of the browser should begin.
  9. Make sure that the browser has been uninstalled completely before you move on towards reinstalling it.

Now we will be reinstalling the software by following the guidelines below.

  1. Download the installation file from here.
  2. Depending upon your browser, you might be prompted to “Run or Save” option, click on the “Save” option and run the executable as soon as it is downloaded.
  3. Start Chrome and make sure to make it your default browser before you start surfing the internet because it works better if it is set as the default.
  4. Check to see if the issue still persists.

Solution 7: Configuring to Open New Page

In some situations, a harmful browser extension or some other page might’ve configured your browser to open a specific set of pages at its startup due to which this particular issue might come to light. Therefore, in this step, we will be configuring Chrome to just open a new tab page at startup. For that:

  1. Click on the “Three Dots” at the top right corner and then select “Settings”.
  2. In the Chrome settings, click on the “Appearance” option from the left pane.
  3. In the appearance settings, click on the “Open the New Tab Page” option under the “On Startup” heading.
  4. Closeout of Chrome and restart it.
    Clicking on the “Open the New Tab Page” option
  5. Check to see if the new setting has helped us in fixing the error message.

Solution 8: Delete the Files from ETC Folder

For some people, the error is caused due to some extra files being present in the most important folder of the Windows Operating System. If the “etc.” folder inside the System 32 folder contains some extra files, the error message might be triggered. Therefore, in this step, we will be deleting these files from our computer but before we proceed, make sure that you have made a full backup of all your files because this can sometimes be go sideways.

  1. Press the “Windows” + “E” buttons on the keyboard to launch the File Explorer.
    Windows Explorer
  2. In the File Explorer, navigate to the following location.
     C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc
  3. Press “Ctrl” + “A” to select all the files present inside the folder and press “Shift” + “Delete” to remove them from the computer.
  4. Check to see if removing these files has fixed the issue for us.

Solution 9: Upgrade Network Adapter and Install Missing Drivers

It is possible that you are becoming the victim of a missing or outdated network driver due to which this issue is being triggered on your computer. Therefore, in this step, we will be making it all easy for you by downloading an application that automatically scans your computer for missing driver software and then installs it for you automatically if you choose the premium (Paid) option or it identifies the missing software for you and you can install it yourself. For that:

  1. Firstly download the DriverEasy software and run the executable to install it.
  2. Run the driver easy and select scan now to run the scan for any defective, outdated, or missing drivers on your computer.
    Clicking on the “Scan Now” button
  3. Next, click the update button to a flagged network adapter driver. This will automatically download the correct version of the network driver. After that, you can install it manually (using the Free version).
  4. If you select Update All it will automatically download and install the appropriate and matched versions of all the drivers that are either missing or outdated on your PC. But you require a Pro version for this one. You will be notified of the upgradation once you select the Update All option.
  5. Now restart your PC and check out whether the error still exists or not.

Solution 10: Change DNS Server Settings

A wrong configuration of DNS server settings can also lead to the non-accessibility of the internet. So you need to have appropriate DNS server settings in order to remove this bug. Follow the steps below for the rectification of this issue:

  1. Press the “Windows” + “R” buttons simultaneously on your keyboard.
  2. A run dialog box would appear on your screen, type “Control Panel” in the empty box, and click “OK”.
    Accessing the Classic Control Panel interface
  3. Click on the “View By:” option and select “Small Icons” from the list. After that, click on the “Network and Sharing Center”.
    Network and Sharing Center – Control Panel
  4. Select “Change adapter settings”.
  5. Select your specific connection icon (either Local Area or Wireless Connection), right-click it, and click on the “Properties”.
  6. Now click on the “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” and then click on the Properties icon.
    Open Properties of IPV4
  7. In here, the “Obtain DNS Server Address” automatically should be checked if you haven’t fiddled with this setting before.
  8. Check the “Use the Following DNS Addresses” option and then type in “8.8.8.8” and “8.8.4.4.” in the primary and the secondary DNS Server Addresses respectively.
  9. Save your changes and close out of the Window.
  10. Check to see if making this change has fixed the error with Google Chrome.

Solution 11: Flushing DNS Cache

When you visit a website that requires you to sign in to your account, windows saves the addresses of all the IP addresses you visit automatically so that the next time you visit the same website the browser could fill in your account info by itself and opens the website at a quicker pace. But if the specific cache becomes obsolete or outdated, it can cause malfunctioning and can stop you from accessing the internet. Therefore, in this step, we will be clearing the DNS cache. For that:

  1. Press the “Windows” + “R” buttons on your keyboard simultaneously.
  2. Then type “cmd” and press “Ctrl” + “Shift” + “Enter” simultaneously and an administrator command window will pop up on your screen.
    Running the Command Prompt
  3. Type in the following commands one by one in the specific order and press “Enter” after each to execute them.
    ipconfig /flushdns
    ipconfig /renew
    ipconfig /registerdns
  4. Now that you have executed these commands, check to see if the issue still persists.

Solution 12: Try Using a VPN

You can encounter the “Server DNS address could not be found error” with some website due to location issues. Some websites prevent users from a certain demographic from accessing their websites due to which the error sometimes occurs and therefore you can use a VPN to access these websites. You must use a VPN with a prominent reputation for this purpose. If you are not sure you can use NordVPN. To employ it follow the below-mentioned steps:

  1. Download NordVPN on your PC (You can also get some discount coupons and promo codes).
  2. Run NordVPN and then open it.
  3. Now connect to any server worldwide by selecting the country you want to interconnect with.
  4. This would most probably help in resolving this issue.

Solution 13: Use Chrome Commands

Not Surprisingly, Chrome has its own storage of DNS cache that it uses to speed up the process of surfing the internet but it can sometimes come to bite the user back if it gets corrupted. Therefore, in this step, we will be using the Chrome internal commands to reset this cache as well and then check if the error message goes away. For that:

  1. Launch Chrome and open up a new tab.
  2. In the new tab, type in “Chrome://net-internals/#dns” and press “Enter”.
  3. Click on the “Clear Host Cache” button to clear this cache.
    Clicking on the Clear Hosts Cache button
  4. Check to see if the error message still persists after clearing this cache on Chrome.

Solution 14: Removing the Prediction Service

While typing in your search in the search bar, Chrome actually puts out a couple of recommendations that most people search for on the internet. This feature, however useful, can sometimes interfere with the browser’s functionality and cause the error while the user is trying to use Chrome. Therefore, in this step, we will be disabling this feature. For that:

  1. Click on the “Three Dots” on the top right and select “Settings”.
  2. In the settings, click on the “Sync and Google Services” option.
    Click Sync and Google services in Chrome Settings
  3. In this option, click on the toggle for the “Autocomplete searches and URLs” option to turn it off.
  4. After turning off the predictive search feature, check to see if the issue still persists.

Solution 14: Running Network Troubleshooter

In some cases, some core Windows features might’ve been glitched out due to which this particular issue is being triggered while searching on Google Chrome. Therefore, in this step, we will be running the network troubleshooter to rectify that. For that:

  1. Press “Windows” + “I” to launch the settings.
  2. Click on the “Update and Security” option and then click on the “Troubleshoot” button on the left side of the window.
    Clicking on the “Update and Security” option
  3. Click on “Internet Connections” and then click on the “Run the troubleshooter’ option.
    Running Internet Connections Troubleshooter
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to fully run the troubleshooter and check to see if the error message still persists after the troubleshooter finishes running.

Solution 15: Reinstalling Network Drivers

Sometimes, the network drivers being used by the computer might not be properly equipped to form a stable internet connection due to which this error message is being triggered on Google Chrome. In order to get around this issue, we will be uninstalling the driver and install it automatically from the Windows Update.

  1. Press the “Windows” + “R” key simultaneously on your keyboard to open a run window.
  2. Type “devmgmt.msc” in the empty box and hit enter.
    Type devmgmt.msc and Press Enter to Open Device Manager
  3. A device manager window will open up on your screen, expand the “Network Adapters” list and right-click on the internet adapter being used by your computer
  4. Click on the “Uninstall” button to remove the driver from your computer.
    Uninstalling Network Drivers
    Uninstalling Network Drivers
  5. Restart your computer and check to see if the driver is installed automatically.
  6. If it isn’t, run the Driver Easy tool to install it again as instructed in the steps above.

Solution 16: Disable Proxy Settings

It is possible that your computer might be configured to run a proxy connection and due to this, the error might be triggered. Therefore, in this step, we will be disabling the Proxy settings and then check to see if doing so fixes the error. For that:

  1. Press Windows + R key on your keyboard simultaneously.
  2. A run dialog box will appear on your screen, type “MSConfig” in the empty box, and press OK.
    msconfig
  3. Select the boot option from the system configuration window and then check the “Safe Boot” option.
  4. Click apply and press OK.
  5. Restart your PC now to boot into the safe mode.
  6. Again, press the same “Windows” + “R” keys simultaneously and type “inetcpl.cpl” in the Run dialog box and press “Enter” to execute it.
    Run dialog: inetcpl.cpl
    Run dialog: inetcpl.cpl
  7. An internet properties dialog box would appear on your screen, select the “Connections” tab from there.
  8. Uncheck the “Use a proxy server for your LAN” box and then click OK.
    Disable the use of Proxy Servers
  9. Open MSConfig again now and this time uncheck the safe boot option save your changes and restart your computer.
  10. Check to see if the error “Server DNS address could not be found in Google Chrome” still persists.

Solution 17: Reset Internet Explorer Settings

Internet Explorer is used by the computer to communicate with the Windows servers and it is basically used for all the tasks by the operating system that involves connecting to the internet and also by the system applications. However, it can sometimes glitch out and cause this issue which we will be solving by resetting it completely.

  1. Press Windows + R key on your keyboard simultaneously to open the run dialog box.
  2. Type in “inetcpl.cpl” here in the space and press “Enter” to open it.
    Run dialog: inetcpl.cpl
    Run dialog: inetcpl.cpl
  3. Click on the “Advanced” tab and hit the “Reset” button at the bottom of the window.
    Resetting the Internet Explorer settings
  4. Once the internet explorer browser is reset, we will also have to reset the Chrome Browser.
  5. Now open the chrome browser and click on the “Three Dots” at the top right side.
  6. Scroll down and click on the “Advanced” option.
  7. Click on the “Reset settings to their original Defaults” option at the bottom of the screen.
    Click Reset settings
    Google Chrome Reset settings
  8. After the reset is completed, restart Windows and check to see if the error message still persists.

Kamil Anwar


A former British Computer Society Member with over 9 years of experience Configuring, Deploying and Managing Switches, Firewalls and Domain Controllers also an old-school still active on FreeNode.

Expert Tip

How to Fix Server DNS address could not be found on Google Chrome

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