8 Quick Ways to Fix DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN

by | Last Updated Dec 22, 2020 | WordPress | 0 comments

WordPress users are somewhat familiar with experiencing errors specific to the CMS, such as the white screen of death or database connection errors.

However, many errors have to do with your internet connection and DNS settings.

The error message that Chrome users get when trying to navigate a web page is called DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN.

Suddenly you can’t browse your website or maybe even anywhere at all, which can be a real headache.

If you see this error while trying to access your WordPress website, don’t worry, it is pretty easy to fix.

Here are some recommendations for reconnecting. This also works with Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, etc.

What Does DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN Error Mean?

DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN usually occurs due to a misconfiguration or DNS problem.

DNS stands for Domain Name System. DNS connects domain names with actual web servers to route traffic on the internet.

The protocol translates human-friendly domain names, like rovity.io, into computer-friendly IP addresses, like 3.7.1.160.

When a user types a URL into their browser, DNS connects that URL to the actual server’s IP address.

This process is called DNS name resolution. In this DNS Resolution, various name servers are queried by a DNS Recursor to determine the IP address.

If DNS cannot resolve the domain name or address, the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error may appear. Here, NXDOMAIN stands for Non-Existent Domain.

The error can appear differently depending on the browser you are using.

DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN Error in Google Chrome

This error message will appear as DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN and indicate that the DNS address could not be located in Google Chrome.

DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN Error in Google Chrome

How to Fix DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN?

Here’s what you need to check to fix the error. We sorted according to the most common reasons that we see.

1 – Renew and Release the IP Address

Since this is typically a client-side DNS issue, the very first thing you can do is release and renew your IP address.

This includes flushing the DNS cache on your local computer, just like the cache on your browser.

Press the Windows key and R to open the Command Prompt window in Windows OS. Then type cmd and press Enter.

Type in ipconfig /release, then press Enter.

Ipconfig Release in Windows

This will release the IP address associated with your Windows computer.

Now, type ipconfig /flushdns, then press Enter.

Ipconfig Flushdns in Windows

This flushes the local DNS cache. If it worked, you should see Successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache.

Type ipconfig /renew and then press Enter. This command renews your IP address.

Ipconfig Renew in Windows

You can also reset your Winsock catalog and IP settings with the commands below.

netsh int ip set dns
netsh winsock reset

Alternatively, to flush and renew your DNS, you can disable and enable your network adapter.

2 – Restart the DNS Client Service

If Windows is your operating system, then you can try restarting the DNS client services. This service resolves DNS domain names and caches them.

Press the Windows key and R to open the Command Prompt window in Windows OS. Then type services.msc and press Enter.

Services Msc in Windows

Scroll down to DNS Client.

Then right-click on it and select Restart.

Restart DNS client service in Windows

If the restart is not an available option, you can use the command prompt.

Press the Windows key and R to open the Command Prompt window in Windows OS. Then type cmd and press Enter.

net stop dnscache
net start dnscache

3 – Change the DNS Server

The next thing you can do is change your DNS server.

Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) automatically assigns DNS servers. But you can try temporarily switching from this DNS to a public DNS server, such as Cloudflare or Google.

  • Google’s public DNS is sometimes more reliable than others.
  • Cloudflare recently launched a new free DNS service that is very secure and blazing fast, so we’ll use it in this example. The steps for using Google’s DNS service are the same. You replace the DNS servers with Google’s.

Are you currently using a free public DNS server and having this issue? Then, try removing your current DNS server. Switching back to your ISP’s DNS server may resolve the problem.

Cloudflare and Google aren’t perfect all the time. In some cases, switching back has fixed the problem.

Press the Windows key and R to open the Command Prompt window in Windows OS. Then type control panel and press Enter.

Run Control Panel in Windows

Click on the Network and Internet link.

Network and Internet in Windows Control Panel

Then click the Network and Sharing Centre.

Here, click on the internet connection you are currently using.

This will be either a local network connection or a wireless network connection based on how you’re connecting.

Then click on the Properties.

Wifi Status in Windows Control Panel

Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (or Version 6 if you prefer) and click on Properties.

Note any existing settings you want to keep in case you need to revert.

Check on Use the following DNS server addresses.

Now, insert the following, or replace the existing ones with these.

For IPv4: 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1

For IPv6: 2606:4700:4700::1111 and 2606:4700:4700::1001

Internet Protocol Settings in Windows Control Panel

Click the OK button, and then click Close. Restart your browser now.

4 – Resetting Chrome’s Flags

Sometimes Google Chrome’s settings or experimental features get messed up or accidentally changed.

You can restore them to default by entering chrome://flags into your browser.

Then click on the Reset all button.

Chrome Flags Reset All

After that, restart your browser.

5 – Temporarily Disable VPN and Antivirus

VPN and antivirus software can sometimes interfere with or override network settings, including DNS servers.

Try temporarily disabling any running VPN and antivirus tool to see if it resolves the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error in Chrome.

6- Review the Hosts File on Your Local Computer

There is a local hosts file on every computer. This is a manual DNS entry file that maps to specific IP addresses.

This is typically changed only when you move your domains from one host to another.

Nevertheless, the file can have been altered in a wide variety of ways.

So, double-check that the website you want to access is not in your local hosts file.

Host files typically require additional access.

So the first step is to open your text editor via administrator rights.

Search for your text editor in the Start menu.

Run Notepad as Administrator

Now, right-click on the text editor, and select Run as administrator. You can use any text editor; in this example, I am using Notepad.

In your Notepad, click File > Open and navigate to the following location.

C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\

Open Hosts File

There, choose the hosts file and click on the Open button.

Double-check and make sure the website you’re trying to visit did not add there. If it does, delete the entry.

7 – Check Your Domain’s DNS

Is the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error occurring on only one domain? You may need to check the DNS settings for that domain.

If your website recently moved to a new hosting provider, the DNS might be incorrectly cached on your computer.

In that case, you should have been able to resolve the issue using Step 2.

8 – Reboot Your Computer

We know it isn’t fun, but we have to mention it.

Try restarting your computer and router if none of the above options work.

Many of you are probably working on multiple tabs at the same time. That’s why this was the last option we considered.

Rebooting the computer removes a lot of temporary caches.

Summary

DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN errors may seem frustrating, but they are usually straightforward to resolve.

By flushing your DNS cache, renewing your IP, and switching DNS servers, you should hopefully be back up and browsing the internet shortly.

Feel free to let us know anything we missed in the comments section.

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By Jafar Muhammed

Jafar Muhammed has 10+ years of experience in WordPress, web hosting, domain names, DNS, CDN, server administration, etc. He is an open web advocate. He is the CEO of Rovity, the fastest growing premium shared hosting startup in India.

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