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How to Clear Your DNS Cache (Mac, Windows, Chrome)

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Have you ever been asked to clear your DNS cache?

This troubleshooting tip helps you get to the latest version of a website, particularly after DNS changes.

DNS information tells your browser where to find a website. Your computer keeps this information in its cache to quickly point browsers in the right direction.

In this article, we will show you how to clear your DNS cache on Mac, Windows, and Chrome. This will allow you to easily refresh DNS records stored on your device and help you troubleshoot website issues.

Easily clear DNS cache in macOS, Windows, and Chrome

Here is a quick overview of what we will cover in this guide:

What Is a DNS Cache?

A DNS cache is like an address book saved on your computer. It contains the DNS (Domain Name Server) information of each website you visit.

DNS is a technology that tells your computer the IP address associated with a domain name. To learn more, see our guide on how domain names work.

Saving the DNS information in a local DNS cache helps your browser quickly find a website.

Once you enter a website address in your browser, it will look for DNS information in the local cache first. If it finds the directions, then it uses the DNS cache to visit the website.

On the other hand, if the information is not in the local DNS cache, then the browser will get it from other DNS servers across the internet.

This ensures that every time you visit any website, your browser takes the shortest route to get the DNS information it needs to locate the website on the internet.

How domain names and DNS work

However, this may sometimes cause trouble.

For example, when you are moving a WordPress site to a new domain name or moving WordPress to a new host, the DNS information may not get updated quickly on your computer, and you might end up visiting the old website or seeing a not found error.

It will eventually get updated, but why wait when you can clear the DNS cache right away?

Let’s take a look at how to clear the DNS cache across various platforms.

How to Clear the DNS Cache in Windows

Here’s how to clear the DNS cache on a Windows computer.

First, you need to click on the ‘Start’ button and select the CMD (Command Prompt) tool.

Opening command prompt in Windows

This will launch a command prompt window. Inside it, you need to enter the following text:

ipconfig /flushdns
Clearing DNS cache in Windows

Simply press the ‘Enter’ key to execute the command, and Windows will flush the DNS cache.

That’s all. You can now resume visiting your website to fetch the updated DNS information.

How to Clear the DNS Cache on macOS

If you are on a Mac computer, then you can follow the steps below to clear your DNS cache.

First, you need to launch the Terminal app. You can find it in the Launchpad under the ‘Other’ folder. You can also launch it by opening Finder and going to the Applications » Utilities folder.

Launching terminal

This will launch the terminal window, where you need to enter the following command:

sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder
Clearing DNS cache using terminal on macOS

You will be asked to enter your macOS account password. It is the same password you use to log in to your computer.

After that, your computer will flush the DNS cache. You can now visit the website to get the latest DNS information.

How to Clear the DNS Cache in Chrome

Google Chrome also keeps a DNS cache of its own, and it is separate from the DNS cache stored by your operating system.

If you use Google Chrome as your main browser, then you will need to clear Chrome’s DNS cache as well.

First, you need to enter the following address in your browser’s address bar and press the ‘Enter’ key on your keyboard:

Clearing the Chrome DNS Cache

This will load Chrome’s net internal settings page.

From here, you need to click on the ‘Clear host cache’ button, and Chrome will clear up its DNS cache.

How to Check for DNS Updates

When you are moving your WordPress website to a host or transferring your domain registration to a new domain registrar, you will have to change your DNS settings and point them to the new location.

Once you apply these changes to your domain settings, it will take a while for those changes to propagate across the internet. This could take anywhere between a few hours to a couple of days.

During this time, your domain will sometimes point to the old location, and sometimes it will point to the new location. This depends on your geographic location and which DNS servers your browser asks for directions.

You can check how these DNS changes are propagated around the world using online tools like DNS Checker.

Simply enter your domain name, and it will fetch DNS from different geographic locations spread around the world.

Check for DNS updates

If all locations indicate the same IP address with a green checkmark, then this means the DNS changes you made are now updated all over the internet.

What’s the Difference Between the DNS Cache and Browser Cache?

Now, keep in mind that the DNS cache is different from the browser cache.

Your browser saves a lot of website data in a temporary cache to quickly load pages on repeat visits. This contains the actual contents of the websites you visit, while the DNS cache contains the IP addresses where they are located.

If you are having trouble viewing a page that you updated but can’t see your changes, then you will want to clear the browser cache.

We have a step-by-step guide on how to clear the browser cache on all major browsers.

Expert Guides on Caches in WordPress

Now that you know how to clear your DNS cache, you may like to see some articles on other types of cache in WordPress.

We hope this article helped you learn how to easily clear your DNS cache on different devices. You may also want to see our guide on how to speed up WordPress performance or our expert picks for the best WordPress plugins to grow your site.

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Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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10 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

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  2. Jiří Vaněk says

    We recently dealt with one of our customers that after changing the DNS records for the domain, he still saw the original website and we saw the new one. We couldn’t figure out what the problem was because we didn’t think it could be this cache (we cleared all other caches before). Only when we cleared the DNS cache using these commands under Windows, the pages were displayed correctly in the browser’s anonymous mode. Subsequently, they also worked in classic mode. So clearing the DNS cache saved us quite a bit of headache and looking for the problem elsewhere.


    So browser cache and DNS cache are two different things. I was really foolling myself and didn’t think about it. All I does is to clear my browser cache and thought it’s all. Thank you for the article.

  4. Moinuddin Waheed says

    I have been in trouble for this mistake many times that is getting confused DNS cache with browser cache and vice versa.
    I updated the website and was not seeing the update on my browser.
    Then I cleared the browser cache and it worked well.
    having said that if we clear the DNS cache with command line , what time it takes to save new domain as cache to load the website faster?
    is it recommended to flush the DNS cache regularly?

    • Jiří Vaněk says

      Storing a new domain in the cache is a matter of first loading after clearing the cache. The domain is loaded and the DNS cache saves it. There is nothing more to it. As for some regular cache clearing, it’s not really necessary. Personally, I have never needed to delete the DNS cache, except in cases where, for example, the DNS records on the domain were changed. I also did not know this at first and looked for the error elsewhere. However, in my opinion, you do not need regular deletion, unless you are solving a problem where the DNS cache could play a role.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      It will try to bring in the new content directly and unless there is another caching that causes a problem, you should see the correct site.

      You should not need to normally flush your DNS cache.


      • Moinuddin Waheed says

        Thanks wpbeginner for clearing confusion regarding clearing the DNS cache.
        I was confusing it with the browser cache and thought that the new updates will be shown only when we clear the browser cache.
        it means we can flush the DNS as and when we think we should.

  5. David says

    The articles I have read here in wpbeginner are exceptionally simple (without feeling simplified), clear, informative and most helpful. Thank you!

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