Knowledgebase: How To
How to clear your DNS cache on Windows and a MAC
Posted by Joe Rebis on 16 January 2013 11:50 AM

Your local computer stores (caches) the IP address to websites to speed browsing among other things. If you've recently made a Domain Name System (DNS) change to your website, and still see the old information, it may be because you local computer is storing the old IP address. You can either wait out the 5 minutes to 24 hours for it to clear on it's own, try restarting your computer, or try to clear the local cache using the following techniques.

New visitors to your website will most likely see the correct information because they have not yet cached your domain's DNS records. You can test this by visiting www.proxify.com which will allow you to open your website through their server (proxy). This is a generally a good indicator that new visitors will see the new information even if you don't.

Windows

    Open the Start menu.
    Type CMD from the RUN or Search field
    At the command prompt, type: ipconfig /flushdns
    Press Enter or Return, and your cache will be flushed.

Mac OS X

    Go to Applications.
    Go to Utilities.
    Open the Terminal application.
    Type: dscacheutil -flushcache
    Press Enter or Return, and your cache will be flushed.

* Close all browsers before running the commands above. You may still need to clear your browser's cache afterwords or try pressing "CTRL + F5" (PC), "Cmd (Apple) + Shift + R" (MAC and FireFox) or try "Option + Command + E" (MAC Safari) . Otherwise, you may need to read your browser's manual to show you how to clear the cache.

If you are still seeing the old information your ISP may have also cached the data. They will refresh the records per your domain's DNS Time to Live (TTL) setting. Typically this is anywhere from 5 minutes to 24 hours. Unless your are a DNS admin you probably don't have access to adjust the TTL settings in DNS for your domain yourself and it's probably too late anyway (you probably made the change already).

Advanced Option:

Once last ditch thing you can do if you really must see it before the DNS cache has been cleared is to manually adjust your HOSTS file. This will force your computer to use the correct IP address.

PC Settings:

Right-Click notepad and Choose "Run as Administrator"
Use the File Open dialog in Notepad to go to "C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc"
You will need to change the file type setting in the Open dialog to "*.*".
Click on "HOSTS" and open the document.
Edit the document per the instructions like this:

IP Address    domain.com
IP Address    www.domain.com

* Replace IP Address with the new IP address from your DNS settings.

Save and open in a browser. (you might need to clear the browser cache still).

Note, once DNS has propagated you will want to remove these entries from your computer to avoid future problems.






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