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How to flush DNS cache on your Windows PC and why you would

How to flush the DNS cache (not browser cache) on a Windows PC

Disclaimer - although this is a common / widely-used technique for flushing DNS cache, we provide this for informational purposes only and do not provide support or liability for unexpected results on your PC or ISP.

Purpose - when you move your web site to a new host or new IP address, there is a DNS Propagation period while your ISP waits to grab the new DNS for the change so that you can see the web site from it's new host / new IP. Flushing your DNS cache after your web site has been moved will in most cases allow you to begin accessing the site from it's new location without waiting for lengthy propagation times.

Important things to note - flushing the DNS Cache of Windows PC is different than deleting your browser cache. Simply dumping your browser cache does not have the same effect. IN FACT, if you've just finished moving your web site and changing your nameservers, deleting your browser cache will typically not achieve results. That is the reason for flushing the actual DNS Cache of your system.

With that said, here is the typical method for flushing your local computer DNS Cache so that you can usually more quickly begin seeing the site from it's new location:

1. First it's a good idea to close all programs and delete your browser cache, and then reboot.

2. After rebooting, with all browsers closed, open the "Command Prompt" on your Windows system. Typically this can be done by either using the "Run" feature and typing in cmd (shot for command) and then at the command prompt you type in:

ipconfig /flushdns 

(an alternate method is to find the command prompt icon in your Programs menu in Windows - usually by click Start > Accessories > Command Prompt)

3. After running the ipconfig /flushdns command visit the web site that has moved. In most cases you will now be loading it from the new location.

FOOTNOTE - A way to tell if you're loading the site from it's new location is if you have previously made note of the IP address that the site was hosted at before, and then doing a "ping" or a "tracert" (trace route) to the domain and see if the IP address that it's hosted from is different. If you don't know how to do a ping or a tracert please submit a ticket and we'll help you.

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