how to flush your dns cache

How to Flush Your DNS Cache

What is DNS Cache?

A DNS cache (Domain Name System cache) is a temporary database that’s maintained by your computer’s operating system. A DNS cache consists of records regarding your recent visits and attempted visits to websites.

In short, a DNS cache is just a short-term memory of recent website lookups that you’ve made on a device. A DNS cache can quickly refer back to the attempts you’ve made and load a website.

Nearly all of us leave some traces of our online activities on the web. Website handlers use tools such as cookies or JavaScript applications to monitor the behavior of their visitors.

The data gathered by the website through recording a user’s interaction with the website is used to personalize the content for users and optimize the website for an even improved user experience.

If you’re among those who are concerned about their online privacy, you probably have ad-blocker extensions, JavaScript blocker turned on, and actively delete your search history and cookies to stay off the data collection radar.

Having said that, you’re probably unaware of the fact that your system’s operating system also saves information about your browsing behavior. For example, the automatically generated DNS cache contains temporary entries about all visited websites. Shocking, isn’t it?

Take a DNS Leak Test

Why do you need to flush your DNS Cache?

As a DNS cache records all the IP address you’ve accessed, it may load the website faster. However, there are good reasons to flush your DNS such as securing your browsing history from others or resolving errors.

What information does the DNS cache contain?

The information units or entries in the DNS cache are referred to as resource records (RR). They are displayed in ASCII code (in compressed form). The various – partially optional – components include the following:

  • Resource data (rdata): data that describes the record, for example, address or hostname
  • Record type: type of the created entry, e.g. “A”: IPv4 address (decimal value: 1) or “AAAA”: IPv6 address (decimal value: 28)
  • Record name (optional): domain name of the object for which the DNS entry was created
  • Time to live (optional): validity period of the resource record in seconds
  • Class (optional): protocol group that the RR belongs to (mainly “IN” for internet)
  • Resource data length (optional): value for the length of the resource data

The DNS cache contains IP addresses for the respective domains or hosts as well as additional information specifying it – such as the validity period of the record or the appropriate protocol group.

How to Clear Your DNS Cache?

Clearing out DNS cache is easy. Here are the steps:

  1. Hit Start, type Run, type cmd and press Enter
  2. Once ‘Windows Command’ opens, type ipconfig /flushdns

That’s it. Once the DNS cache is cleared, you will receive a message confirming that the DNS cache is cleared.

By flushing the DNS cache, you’ve removed all the information stored in the cache counter. This has now compelled your device to find new DNS information.

Ather Owais is a tech and cybersecurity enthusiast. He is a strong advocate for online privacy and security, following technological trends and their impact on today's digital era.

Have Your Say!!

Join 3 million+ users to embrace internet freedom

Signup for PureVPN to get complete online security and privacy with a hidden IP address and encrypted internet traffic.

Shares