How to Change the DNS Server on Windows 10 (PC Guide)

Internet service providers usually set up your network settings and DNS server addresses whenever you sign up for one of their internet packages, either for business or at-home use. This ensures that you never face problems trying to access websites and services on the internet.

Proper DNS settings also ensure that you’re able to download files and work from your office or home.

Now, the problem here is that oftentimes, you’ll find that the DNS servers used by your internet service provider are not only unreliable and slow, they also don’t do a good job of protecting your privacy.

This is why users who value their privacy and security use third-party resolvers provided by reliable companies such as Google and Cloudflare.

Using DNS addresses from these companies can help enhance your internet browsing experience.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at the steps you need to take to change the DNS server on your Windows 10 computer.

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What Does DNS Mean?

DNS stands for Domain Name System. Its job is to allow users to input a user-friendly website address or domain name into the URL bar of their web browser to access a given website or online service.

If there was no DNS service, it would be very difficult to access even the most basic of internet services.

The other thing you should understand is that any device that has an internet connection must have an IP address.

Most of the time, it would be something like 506.457.14.512. Without this IP address, the device has no way to communicate with any other device on the network.

As you can probably imagine, remembering IP addresses might be a hard task even for people with a good memory.

This is where DNS servers come in—they offer a comprehensive mechanism of translating an IP address into domain names (like www.google.com) to make it easier for humans to remember them.

Behind every domain name, there is an IP address that the computer has an easier time understanding.

As such, when you enter www.google.com to access the Google search engine, what really happens in the background is that your web browser takes that domain name and then sends a DNS request to a DNS server. The DNS server then resolves the domain name into its corresponding IP address.

Once the DNS server has found the address, it sends that information back from where it came, and then your web browser can connect to Google (or any other website).

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The reason why you’ve never noticed this process so far is that it happens very quickly in the background of your everyday online activities.

But if your DNS resolver is slow, your browsing experience will also be slow. This is also why Windows 10 allows users to change DNS settings and use any DNS service they like.

In the following sections, we’ll describe two methods you can follow to change your DNS settings.

Step-By-Step Guide: How to Change DNS Server on Windows 10

  1. Go to the Control Panel. You can do that by clicking the small Windows icon in the bottom left corner of your screen and typing Control Panel.control panel
  2. Go to Network and Internet.
  3. Click Network and Sharing Center.network settings
  4. Open Change Adapter Settings at the pane on the left.
  5. Right-click on the active/relevant Ethernet icon and then click on Properties. Look at the color to know which adapter to click on. Any adapter that isn’t active would have “Disabled” written beside or below or it would have the label “Network Cable Unplugged.”ethernet
    properties
  6. In this step, you should check the option Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4).
  7. Hit Properties.properties
  8. Click on the option Use the following DNS server addresses.use following DNS
  9. Input your alternative and preferred DNS addresses.alternative dns

Now, you have a couple of options here with OpenDNS, Google Public DNS or Cloudflare:

You can also click the button labeled Advanced for more settings. Then click on the tab labeled DNS and then on the button that says Add.

From there, input the DNS server address you want to use as your alternative. Then click the button that says Add and then hit OK. After that, click Close.

Pro Tip:

From the Advanced tab, you also have the option of removing and editing more DNS resolvers and specifying the priority of each.

Once you’ve followed all the steps mentioned above, your internet-enabled device will use the new DNS settings.

Method #2: How to Change DNS Server on Windows 10 via Settings

This method of changing your DNS settings will use the Settings app in Windows 10. These steps might be easier for users who are new to the Windows experience.

If you’re comfortable with Windows 10, then the Control Panel method described above would probably feel most at home for you.

Use the following steps to change your DNS settings:

  1. Click on the Windows logo icon in the bottom left corner of your screen and type Settings. Left-click on Settings.settings
  2. Then go to Network and Internet.network and internet
  3. Then go to Ethernet.ethernet
  4. Click on the internet connection that’s currently providing internet service to your Windows 10 computer.
  5. Now take a look at the section under IP Settings. Click the button that says Edit.IP Settings
  6. You should see a drop-down menu. From there, access Edit IP Settings and then click the option that says Manual.
  7. Enable the switch labeled IPv4.

Now enter your Preferred DNS and then your Alternative DNS. As we outlined above, you should enter the option for the DNS service you want to use:

  • For OpenDNS, use 208.67.220.220 and 208.67.222.222
  • For Google Public DNS use 8.8.4.4 and 8.8.8.8
  • For Cloudflare, use 1.0.0.1 and 1.1.1.1

Hit Save, and then you’re done. Now you can close the settings window if you want.preferred dns

Your Windows 10 computer should now be able to connect to the internet using the new DNS configuration.

Note:

There is also the Command Prompt method of changing DNS servers, but we wouldn’t recommend this to anyone who doesn’t already know how to use Command Prompt.

FAQ

What Is a DNS Leak?
If you’re using a privacy app such as a VPN, all of your traffic will go through a secure and anonymous network. Sometimes, even when you’ve connected this service, your traffic will still go through the default DNS servers of your operating system. This is when a DNS leak happens.

Click here to run a DNS leak test on your connection to make sure your privacy is safe.

Why Use Google DNS?
You should change DNS to Google on Windows 10 because it is fast, secure and reliable.
How to Change My DNS to Google DNS on Windows 10
To change your Microsoft Windows DNS setting options, all you need to do is follow the steps we outlined in this guide above.
How Do I Change the DNS Server on My Computer?
Changing DNS settings and setting DNS servers is a fairly straightforward process. To set DNS servers on your Microsoft Windows machine, follow the guide above.
Ali Raza Ali is a freelance journalist, having 5 years of experience in web journalism and marketing. He contributes to various online publications. With a Master degree, now he combines his passions for writing about internet security and technology for SecurityGladiators. When he is not working, he loves traveling and playing games.
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