Suppose you’ve been using your computer regularly. In that case, chances are you would’ve experienced one of the many DNS prone errors during the setup. One of the most commonly seen DNS prone errors in standard web browsers is DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN. This error leaves users not redirected to the target website even though their internet connection is working alright. The URL specified is correct.
In this writeup, we’ll elaborate on what the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error message implies and why it may appear in the first place. Next, we’ll discuss several methods with which you can quickly resolve this error for your WordPress website in Chrome, including easy step-by-step instructions for Windows 10 and Mac. Here we go!
What Does The DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN Error Mean?
Breaking down the error message ‘DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN’ is an excellent first step in understanding what it means.
stands for ‘Domain Name System,’ and it acts as the internet’s phone book by being responsible for the process of translation of a domain name into an IP address. It’s perplexing to remember the somewhat complicated string of numbers that make up an IP address. Hence, inputting a user-friendly domain name, such as salvattore.com, is what site owners, visitors, and clients are expected to do each time they want to visit a website.
The domain name you enter in your browser sends a request to the webserver to search for the corresponding matching IP address and return with the website. This process of connecting the browser and the webserver to access a website is called ‘DNS name resolution.’ A failure in this process results in a DNS-related error message to occur.
In case of the DNS failing, instead of getting redirected to the targeted website, you may end up with the error page DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN. Alongside the error page, you will also get a browser-specific message like “This site can’t be reached” (in Google Chrome), or “Hmm, we’re having trouble finding that site” (in Firefox). This message indicates the DNS lookup failed, wherein.
‘NXDOMAIN’ is the acronym for ‘non-existent domain.’
What Are The Likely Causes Of The DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN Error?
The DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error means that the DNS wasn’t successful in matching an IP address corresponding to the entered domain. This is more likely a result of something that’s preventing the DNS from identifying and translating the domain name.
Likely causes of the error include, among others:
- An issue with your browser or device settings.
- You are entering the wrong URL into your browser.
- Conflict with a third-party tool installed on your computer (antivirus software, a Virtual Private Network (VPN), etc.).
- An issue with the validity or configuration of DNS settings.
How To Fix The Error: DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN?
There are many ways to resolve DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error. Some of the most effective solutions include:
- Checking to see if the correct URL was entered
- Flush the Google Chrome browser Cache
- Flush the local DNS Cache
- Resetting the Chrome Flags
- Changing the DNS servers
- Checking the local ‘hosts’ file
- Restarting the DNS client service
- Temporarily disable the antivirus software and VPN
- Releasing and renewing your IP Address
Now let’s take a look at each of the above solutions to troubleshoot the error. As a general note, the steps/instructions for some of the above methods will vary according to the operating system (Windows, macOS). Steps to follow for each technique specific to the OS will be shown separately in this article.
1. Checking To See If The Correct URL Was Entered
Did you enter the domain name correctly? It wouldn’t hurt to verify things by checking for a possible URL typo that may have caused the error as a starting point. If this is not the cause, you may move on to the next method.
2. Flush The Google Chrome Browser Cache
Another standard method of fixing the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error that you should know is – “flush out the Chrome browser cache.”
The steps to do this are:
Step 1 – Open a new tab.
Step 2– Select the three vertical dots on the top right-hand corner.
Step 3 – Select “More tools”> “Clear browsing data”.
Step 4 – In the Advanced tab of the window that appears, select the following boxes:
- ‘Cookies and other site data.’
- ‘Cached images and files.’
Step 5 – Click on the ‘Clear data’ button.
Step 6 – Restart your browser.
Step 7 – Revisit the site
3. Flush The Local DNS Cache
If the previous methods didn’t resolve the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error, it’s a wise next step to flush the local DNS cache. Doing so wipes out the IP addresses of previously visited websites, which may have changed or become outdated over time.
You can flush your local DNS cache from Windows or Mac devices, and the steps for doing so are slightly different for each.
# Steps to Flush the DNS Cache in Windows:
Step 1 – Click the Windows icon (the ‘Start’ button), look for the ‘Command Prompt,’ and then right-click on it to select the ‘Run as administrator’ option.
Step 2 – When the command prompt window opens, type the following command:
Step 3 – Once done, press ‘Enter’ and a message will appear, indicating the DNS cache was successfully flushed.
Step 4 – Restart the browser and revisit the website.
# Steps to Flush the DNS Cache in macOS:
To flush the local DNS cache on a macOS, you can use the ‘Terminal’ application. You can find this app in the ‘Applications’> ‘Utilities’ folder:
Step 1 – Double-click on the Terminal app to open it.
Step 2 – Type the following command, then press ‘Return’:
Step 3 – Do not wait for a success message as with Windows, there won’t be one with the macOS. Once done, restart the browser and revisit the website to check if the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error is resolved.
4. Resetting Chrome Flags
If you’ve installed Google Chrome’s experimental features, these features may not work well on all types of devices. They might cause problems with your browser settings, including messing with DNS settings leading to the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error message.
To resolve this, you should reset the Chrome flags to default settings by following the steps below:
Step 1 – Type in the following in your browser address bar and press ‘Enter’:
Step 2 – On the Experiments screen, click the ‘Reset all’ button on the upper right.
Step 3 – Close and restart your browser and revisit the website.
5. Changing The DNS Servers
If none of the above methods have worked so far, then you can try changing your DNS servers to resolve the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error message. You can change the default DNS which was automatically assigned by your ISP (Internet Service Provider) to either of these two highly recommended public domains: Google Public DNS or Cloudflare.
# Steps to Change the DNS Server in Windows:
Step 1 – Go to the ‘Network and Sharing Center’ on the ‘Control Panel’ menu.
Step 2 – Click on the ‘Change adapter settings’ option. The current network connections will show up.
Step 3 – Right-click on your current used connection and select ‘Properties.’
Step 4 – Locate the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) option in the list and click the ‘Properties’ button again.
Step 5 – When the box opens, under the ‘General’ tab, you will be able to change both preferred DNS and alternate DNS servers. Select the ‘Use the following DNS server addresses’ option and type in Google Public DNS IP addresses 126.96.36.199 (‘Preferred DNS server’) and 188.8.131.52 (‘Alternate DNS server’).
Step 6 – Click ‘OK’ to save your changes and then restart your browser to see the difference.
# Steps to Change the DNS Server in macOS:
Step 1 – Click on the Apple logo icon in the top left corner of your screen and open ‘System Preferences.’
Step 2 – Select the ‘Network’ option, pick your current internet connection, and click on the ‘advanced’ option to open up the page containing DNS server addresses.
Step 3 – Then, go to the DNS tab, click the (+) button next to “IPv4 or IPv6 addresses”, and enter the new DNS server’s details – this could be the Google Public DNS.
Step 4 – Click ‘OK’ to save your settings and restart your browser to see if the issue was resolved.
6. Checking The Local Hosts File
If none of the above methods have resolved the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error, there’s another method you should attempt. Ensure the domain of the website you’re trying to visit isn’t listed in the local ‘hosts’ file of your computer.
The local ‘hosts’ file is used for previewing a DNS before switching to a new host. In other words, your computer will first refer to the ‘hosts’ file so you can visit the desired website. In the event there is no information there, your computer will then search the DNS system to load the website. In case the ‘hosts’ file was unintentionally altered, it may be the reason for the error message.
# Steps to Check the ‘Hosts’ File on Windows:
Step 1 – Click on the Windows logo, search for any text editor you’re comfortable using. We’ve selected ‘Notepad,’ but others like Atom, Sublime, and Notepad ++ can be used. Next, select ‘Run as administrator.’
Step 2 – Open the file location address by typing in or navigating to the following: C:\ Windows\System32\drivers\etc\.
Step 3 – Access the ‘hosts’ file by double-clicking on it.
Step 4 – Choose the ‘hosts’ file, which will contain the details of the sites visited.
Step 5 – As a final step, remove the domain of any site you’re trying to visit listed within that file. Delete any such problematic domains and save your changes to the file.
# Steps to Check the ‘Hosts’ File on macOS:
Step 1 – Open the ‘Terminal’ application (located within the ‘Utilities’ option under the ‘View’ tab).
Step 2 – Then, enter the following command and press Return:
sudo nano /private/etc/hosts
Step 3 – Now, you’ll likely be asked to enter the administrator password.
Step 4 – Once the ‘hosts’ file opens, browse the list of sites mentioned in the file to see if the domain of the website you’re trying to access is listed there. If yes, delete it from the file.
Step 5 – Like with the case of Windows, save the file before exiting, then restart your browser and see if the website you want to visit is now accessible.
7. Restarting The DNS Client Service
Yet another method to fix the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error message you’re seeing involves restarting the DNS Client Service. As mentioned earlier,
DNS client services cache and resolve domain names. Hence, restarting it in Windows can fix the error.
Here are the steps involved in restarting DNS Client Service in Windows:
Step 1 – Press the Windows logo and R keys.
Step 2 – Type “services.msc”, then select ‘OK’.
Step 3 – Under the ‘Name’ column, navigate to and right-click on the ‘DNS client’ option and select ‘Restart.’
Step 4 – If the ‘Restart’ option mentioned in “Step 3” above is disabled or greyed out, then use this alternative method:
– Alternative method:
- Open the Windows Command Prompt app (Windows logo + R keys > “cmd”)
- Input the following command to stop the DNS service:
net stop dnscache
- Now, the following output will be shown:
The DNS Client service was stopped successfully.
- Input the following command to start the DNS service:
net start dnscache
- Now, the following output will be shown:
The DNS Client service was started successfully.
8. Temporarily Disable The Antivirus Software or VPN
There’s no doubt a VPN or antivirus software offers excellent security solutions to users and makes sense to have if you’re spending most of your time online. Yet, such features at times prevent accessibility to some websites. In such a case, it might be worth your while to see if turning off any active VPN or antivirus resolves the error.
The process of turning off your antivirus is not complicated. The simple procedure involves opening the ‘control panel’ and navigating to turn it off temporarily.
To disable a VPN on Windows, here are the steps:
Step 1 – Open the ‘Control Panel’ and go to ‘Network and Internet’> ‘Network Connections.’
Step 2 – Highlight the VPN that you want to be turned off and click Properties.
Step 3 – Select the ‘Uninstall’ option found under the ‘Networking’ tab.
Step 4 – Restart your computer and then check if the completed process has resolved the issue.
9. Releasing And Renewing Your IP Address
The concept of releasing and renewing IP addresses involves flushing the old cache and resetting it with a new or updated IP address. This method proves to be incredibly useful when dealing with outdated or corrupt cache file storage. Hence, if the previous methods didn’t resolve the error, here’s another more in-depth approach to clear the DNS cache in Windows and macOS.
Steps to Release and Renew of IP Address in Windows:
Step 1 – Navigate to the ‘Command Prompt’ application.
Step 2 – Enter the following commands, one by one and press ‘Enter’ after each:
Enter the following commands to reset settings of previously-stored IP’s and also reinstate the Winsock Catalog (Winsock handles the internet application requests on your PC) on your Windows machine:
netsh int ip set DNS
netsh Winsock reset
Step 3 – Restart your computer and try revisiting the website to see if the issue is resolved.
Steps to Release and Renew IP Address in macOS:
Step 1 – Navigate to ‘System Preferences’ and click ‘Network.’
Step 2 – Choose your internet connection and select the ‘Advanced’ tab.
Step 3 – Navigate to the ‘TCP/IP’ tab and select ‘Renew DHCP Lease.’
Step 4 – Click OK and restart your computer to see if the issue is resolved.
An inaccessible WordPress site is not only frustrating. Still, it can also be quite confusing when accompanied by an error such as DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN. Yet, this is one of the most common and straightforward to resolve Google Chrome errors that you may encounter in Windows, Mac, and even Android devices during your usage cycle.
Through the article above, we’ve shown you how to troubleshoot the error using nine helpful techniques. These useful methods should leave you covered whether you’re using Windows or macOS. If you have other valuable tips to share with our readers, mention them in the comments section below!