Clear Your DNS Cache

Sometimes you need to clear your computer’s DNS cache. A DNS cache is something your computer uses to quickly match up a request for a domain name, like, with the right location on the internet. If you’ve been following along with our technical articles, this means that your computer is matching up a domain name to an IP address.

Usually this works as intended, and makes your internet browsing more efficient. However, sometimes the location of a website on the internet changes, but your computer still has the old location information saved, or cached. When you try to access the web page, you’ll get a 404 Not Found error message.

To fix this, you can clear your DNS cache. (Note that your computer’s DNS cache is not the only possible cause of a 404 error – but it doesn’t hurt to clear it.)

1. Open your Command Prompt. On Windows 8, this is in the WinX menu. On Windows 7, you can access it from the Start menu by typing cmd, which should bring up the Command Prompt (cmd.exe) program.

2. Right click on the Command Prompt (cmd.exe) program, and select Run as administrator.

3. At the cursor, type the following command:

ipconfig /flushdns

4. Press Enter. You should see a message that says:

Windows IP Configuration

Successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache.
That’s it! Try to visit the web page again and see if it works. If not, you may need to keep troubleshooting, but at least you’ll know that the problem isn’t with your computer’s local DNS cache, and you can move on to the next item on your list. If it does work, you’re home safe.

By Sharon Campbell

Image Source: Elvert Barnes on Flickr