The Domain Name System (DNS) is a "phone book-like" system that allows you to connect to a website based on its name (example: www.google.ca), rather than its IP address (example:74.125.226.88).  The DNS connects this number to the name that you type into your address bar, to ensure that you are directed to the correct website. 
 
Resetting the Domain Name System (DNS) can be a useful troubleshooting step as it can fix issues that would prevent you from being able to view web pages through your internet browser. 

How to reset the DNS in Windows

To reset your DNS in Windows:

  1. Using the Start Menu at the lower left corner of your screen:
    • Windows 10: Right-click the Start menu, and click Command Prompt from the resulting menu
    • Windows 8: Press the Windows key ⊞ on your Keyboard to open your Windows 8 Menu
  2. Enter CMD into the text box and then select the Command Prompt program
  3. A new black window will appear. This is your command window
  4. Type ipconfig /flushdns and press ENTER (please note: there is a space between ipconfig and /flushdns)
  5. Restart your computer

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How to reset the DNS in Mac OS

To reset the DNS in Mac OS X

  1. Locate and select the Go option on the taskbar at the top of your screen
  2. Choose Utilities from this drop-down list and a new window will appear with a variety of system options
  3. Select Terminal from this list, which will open your system terminal
  4. From here you will be able to type in the following:
    1. Mac OSX 10.4 and earlier versions: lookupd -flushcache
    2. Mac OSX 10.5 and newer versions: dscacheutil -flushcache
  5. Hit the ENTER key on your keyboard and this will begin the DNS reset
    Restart your computer
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