For those of you working with WordPress on a regular basis, errors specific to the CMS such as the white screen of death or database connection errors are somewhat common occurrences. But another subset of errors you will probably stumble upon are those tied to your internet connection and DNS. A very common error that Google Chrome users get when trying to browse to a web page is “This site can’t be reached – Server IP address could not be found,” together with DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN. This can be downright frustrating as suddenly you can’t browse to your website or perhaps even anywhere at all. 😫

If you’re seeing this error while trying to get to your WordPress site, don’t worry, this is fairly easy to fix. Check out the recommendations below on how to get connected again. This can also work for other browsers, such as Firefox, Edge, etc.

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What Is DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN?

The reason for DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN is typically due to a misconfiguration or problem with your DNS. DNS is short for Domain Name System, which helps direct traffic on the internet by connecting domain names with actual web servers. Essentially, it takes a human-friendly request – a domain name like kinsta.com – and translates it into a computer-friendly server IP address – like 216.3.128.12.

When a user enters a URL in their web browser, DNS gets to work to connect that URL to the IP address of the actual server. This is called DNS name resolution and involves a DNS recursor querying various nameservers to figure out the actual IP address of a server. If DNS fails to resolve the domain name or address then you might receive the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error. The NXDOMAIN part stand stands for Non-Existent Domain. Read more about DNS and how it works.

There are a couple different variations of this error depending upon the browser you’re running.

Google Chrome

In Google Chrome this error will show as DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN (as seen below), highlighting that this site can’t be reached, followed by server IP address could not be found.

This site can’t be reached or This webpage is not available.

DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error message returned in Chrome
DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error in Chrome

Mozilla Firefox

In Mozilla Firefox it will simply show as Hmm. We’re having trouble finding that site (as seen below).

We can’t connect to the server at domain.com.

DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error message returned in Firefox
DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error in Firefox

Microsoft Edge

In Microsoft Edge, it will simply show as Hmmm… can’t reach this page (as seen below). Which isn’t very helpful.

Make sure you’ve got the right web address: domain.com.

DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error message returned in Edge
DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error in Edge

Safari

In Safari, it will simply show as Safari Can’t Find the Server (as seen below).

Safari can’t open the page “domain.com” because Safari can’t find the server “domain.com”.

DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error message returned in Safari
DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error in Safari

How to Fix DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN on Desktop

Here are some recommendations and things to check to fix the error (sorted in order by most common reasons we see):

  1. Release and Renew IP Address
  2. Restart DNS Client Service
  3. Change DNS Servers
  4. Reset Chrome Flags
  5. Disable VPN and Antivirus Temporarily
  6. Check Your Local Hosts File
  7. Check DNS of Your Domain
  8. Restart Your Computer

1. Release and Renew IP Address

Due to the fact that this is usually a client-side DNS issue, the very first thing you should do is try releasing and renewing the IP address on your computer. This also includes flushing your local DNS cache, which is similar to browser cache.

Windows

In Windows simply open up Command Prompt by pressing the Windows logo key and R. Then type “cmd” and hit Enter.

Command Prompt box
CMD

Type in ipconfig /release and hit Enter. This will release your current IP address.

command prompt containing ipconfig /release
ipconfig /release

Then type in ipconfig /flushdns and hit Enter. This will flush your local DNS cache. You should see a “Successfully flushed the DNS resolver Cache” if it worked.

command prompt containing ipconfig /flushdns
ipconfig /flushdns

Then type in ipconfig /renew and hit Enter. This will renew your IP address.

command prompt containing ipconfig /renew
ipconfig /renew

You might also try resetting your IP settings and Winsock catalog with the following commands: netsh int ip set dns and netsh winsock reset.

An alternative way to flush and renew your DNS is simply by disabling your network adapter and re-enabling it.

Mac

To release and renew your IP address on a Mac, go to System Preferences…

Mac system preferences menu
Mac system preferences

Click on the network icon and then click “Advanced.”

Mac network advanced menu
Mac network advanced

Click the TCP/IP tab heading if you aren’t already in there. Then click on the “Renew DHCP” lease button.

Just like we did above in Windows, Mac users can also clear their local DNS cache. Although this is done in a different place. Go to Utilities and then click on “Terminal.”

Mac terminal with utilities section selected
Mac terminal

Enter in the following command:

dscacheutil -flushcache
Mac terminal showing how to Flush DNS cache
Flush DNS cache on Mac

Note: There is no success message on Macs.

Read our in-depth guides

2. Restart DNS Client Service

If you’re running Windows you can try restarting the DNS client services which resolves and caches DNS domain names.

Simply open up Command Prompt by pressing the Windows logo key and R. Then type “services.msc” and hit Enter.

Command prompt containing services.msc
services.msc

Scroll down to “DNS Client,” right click on it, and select “Restart.”

Services options highlighted to show how to Restart DNS client service in Windows
Restart DNS client service in Windows

If the restart option is greyed out for you (as it was for us), an alternative way to do it is via the command prompt.

Open up Command Prompt by pressing the Windows logo key and R. Then type “cmd” and hit Enter.

Command prompt containing 'cmd'
CMD

Then enter the following commands:

net stop dnscache
net start dnscache

Depending on the version of Windows you’re running you might get an error saying:

The requested pause, continue, or stop is not valid for this service.

This is most likely because you need to run CMD as a network service to issue the command. If you’re running into this error, we suggest trying the other alternatives below first.

3. Change DNS Servers

The next thing you can try is changing your DNS servers. By default, DNS servers are automatically assigned by your ISP. But you could try temporarily changing these to a public DNS server, such as Google or Cloudflare.

  • Some prefer to use Google’s public DNS (8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4) long-term due to them sometimes being more reliable.
  • Cloudflare also just launched their new secure and blazing fast free DNS (1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1) which we will be using in this example. If you want to use Google’s the steps are the same, you simply replace the DNS server addresses with Googles.

Tip: If you’re already using a free DNS server and having issues, removing it and defaulting back to your ISP’s DNS servers also sometimes fix things. Google and Cloudflare aren’t perfect 100% of the time and there have been a few instances where we’ve noticed switching back has resolved the issue.

Windows

In Windows simply open up Command Prompt by pressing the Windows logo key and R. Then type “control panel” and hit Enter.

Command prompt showing how to Run Control Panel in Windows
Run Control Panel Windows

Click on “Network and Internet” and then “Network and Sharing Center.” On the left-hand side, click on “Change Adapter Settings.”

Network and Sharing Center in Change adapter settings section
Change adapter settings

Right click on your current connection, this will either be Local Area Connection or Wireless Network Connection based on how you’re connecting. Then click on “Properties.”

Wireless connection menu with properties selected
Wireless connection properties

Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (or IPv6 if desired) and click on “Properties.”

Wireless network connection properties with 'Internet Protocol Version 4' highlighted
IPV 4 properties

Make a note of any existing settings in case you need to revert back. Click “Use the following DNS server addresses.” Enter the following, or replace the existing with these:

For IPv4: 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1
For IPv6: 2606:4700:4700::1111 and 2606:4700:4700::1001

DNS server addresses with Preferred DNS Server set to 1.1.1.1 and alternative DNS server set to 1.0.0.1
DNS server addresses

Click OK, then Close. Restart your browser.

Mac

To change DNS servers on a Mac, go to System Preferences…

Mac system preferences
Mac system preferences

Click on the network icon and then click “Advanced.”

Mac network advanced button
Mac network advanced

Click on the “DNS” tab.

Mac Network DNS menu box
Mac DNS

Then add Cloudflare’s DNS server addresses.

For IPv4: 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1
For IPv6: 2606:4700:4700::1111 and 2606:4700:4700::1001

4. Reset Chrome Flags

Sometimes Chrome settings or experimental features can get accidentally changed or messed up. You reset these back to default by entering chrome://flags into your browser and clicking on “Reset all to default.”

Reset all to default button in Chrome flags
Reset Chrome flags

The restart your browser.

5. Disable VPN and Antivirus Temporarily

Sometimes VPNs and Antivirus software can conflict or override your network settings, including your DNS servers, etc. If you have any running, try temporarily disabling them (closing them) to see if it resolves the DNS probe finished nxdomain error in Chrome.

Read our in-depth guides

6. Check Your Local Hosts File

Every computer has what they call a local hosts file. This is a file that contains manual DNS entries which are mapped to specific IP addresses. Typically this is only edited when you want to preview your DNS before switching over domains to a new host. However, there is a multitude of different ways this file could have been changed or edited. Therefore, if none of the above options worked for you, it’s worth double checking your local hosts file to ensure the website you’re trying to access isn’t in there.

Windows

The hosts file typically requires additional access. So the first step is to open up your text editor as an administrator. Simply click on your start menu, search for your text editor, right-click on it and select “Run as administrator.” This can be done in any text editor such as Notepad, Notepad++, Atom, etc. We are using Sublime in our example below.

Run text editor as administrator
Run text editor as administrator

Within your text editor click File → Open and browse to the following location:

C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\

Click on the hosts file and “Open.”

open hosts file with hosts selected
Open hosts file

Double check and make sure the website you’re trying to visit isn’t listed in there. If it is, remove it.

Mac

To check your hosts file on a Mac, we recommend getting Gas Mask. It’s a free application which can be used as hosts file manager, hosts files editor, and switch between them. It makes everything quick and easy! Otherwise, you can follow the steps below to edit your hosts file on Mac manually.

Go to Utilities and then click on “Terminal.”

Mac terminal with Utilities menu highlighted
Mac terminal

Enter in the following command and press Enter (you will most likely be prompted for your administrator password as well).

sudo nano /private/etc/hosts
Mac terminal with Hosts file
Hosts file Mac

Double check and make sure the website you’re trying to visit isn’t listed in your hosts file. If it is, remove it.

7. Check DNS of Your Domain

If you’re only getting the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error on a single domain, even after checking your hosts file, you might need to check the DNS settings on the domain name itself. If you’re a Kinsta client we have an in-depth post on how to point your domain and or DNS to Kinsta. If you recently migrated your website to a new hosting provider, it could be the DNS was cached incorrectly on your computer. In which case, Step 2 above should have resolved that.

8. Restart Your Computer

We know it’s annoying, but it has to be mentioned. 😬 If none of the above options work, trying restarting your computer and even your router. We realize many of you probably have hundreds of tabs or applications open and that’s why we made this the last option. But rebooting devices actually clears out a lot of temporary cache.

How to Fix DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN on Mobile (Android & iOS)

These are the most common ways to fix this error on your mobile device:

  1. Restart Your Device
  2. Check for Chrome App Updates
  3. Clear Chrome’s Browser and App Data
  4. Check for System Updates
  5. Change Your Mobile Device’s Network Settings

1. Restart Your Device

You know that famous tech support question “Have you tried turning it off and back on again?”

Well, the phrase is popular for a reason: A reboot does often fix the problem! Before attempting any of the other solutions on this list, start first with a simple device restart.

Android

To restart your Android device, press and hold your device’s power button to bring up the Options menu, then tap on the Restart option:

A screenshot of Android's power menu with an arrow pointing to the
The Android “Restart” button.

Wait for your device to restart, then open the Chrome app and check for the error.

iPhone/iOS

To restart your iPhone or other iOS device, begin by pressing and holding the power button and either of the two volume buttons:

A screenshot with arrows pointing to the power button and one volume button on an iOS device.
The “Restart” buttons on an iOS device.

Keep these held down until the power-off slider appears on the screen:

A screenshot of the iOS power-off slider on an iPhone, showing a power icon and the words "slide to power off".
The iOS power-off slider. (Image source: GadgetHacks)

Drag the slider from one side to the other, then wait for the device to turn off.

Once it’s completely off, press and hold the device’s power button to turn it back on. Then check to see whether you’re still encountering the error.

2. Check for Chrome App Updates

The next step is to make sure that you’re using the very latest version of the Google Chrome app on your Android device

You can check for any Chrome updates and install them by following these steps:

  1. Open the App Store app (this is called Google Play Store on Android devices).
  2. Tap your profile icon at the top right (in the search bar).
  3. Tap the Manage apps and device menu option.
  4. Tap the Updates available button.
  5. Look for Google Chrome in the list. If you see it, tap the Update button next to it.

After the update has finished installing, relaunch the Chrome app and check to see if you’re still getting the error. If you are, move on to the next solution below.

3. Clear Chrome’s Browser and App Data

Caches are useful because they speed up your browsing experience. However, this cached data can also frequently be the source of errors like DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN.

Luckily, you don’t actually need this cached data, and clearing it out may fix the error.

You can clear your mobile device’s Chrome cache and app data with just a few taps:

  1. Open the Chrome app.
  2. Tap the hamburger menu icon ( or ) at the top or bottom.
  3. Tap History > Clear browsing data.
  4. Check Browsing history and Cached images and files. Leave the other options unchecked.
  5. If prompted with a “Also clear data from these sites?” message, confirm by tapping Clear.
  6. Wait for Chrome to finish clearing the data, then tap the OK, got it confirmation message.

Now, try visiting the page again to see if the error has vanished. If it hasn’t, don’t lose heart! Just move on to the next option below.

4. Check for System Updates

As with Chrome, you’ll want to be sure you’re running the latest version of the Android operating system (OS) that’s available for your device.

Android

Here’s how to see if your Android device has any pending system updates:

  1. Navigate to Settings > System.
  2. Tap System Update.
  3. This screen may tell you that your system is up to date. Regardless, tap the Check for update button at the bottom.
  4. Wait for the system to look for any available OS updates.
  5. If an update is found, agree to install it, then follow any further prompts to complete the installation.
  6. Restart your device if the update process doesn’t do so automatically.

iPhone/iOS

You can check for pending updates on your iPhone or other iOS device with these steps:

  1. Navigate to Settings > General > Software Update.
  2. Review the screen to see if there’s an update available. If there is, tap the Download and install button.
  3. Tap Install Now when prompted.
  4. Restart the device.

Once your device’s system has been updated and rebooted, check again for the error in the Chrome app. If it’s still there, try the next solution on this list.

5. Change Your Mobile Device’s Network Settings

We talked earlier about modifying desktop devices’ DNS settings to fix the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error. This same approach can also work with mobile devices.

Android

To change the DNS settings on your Android, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to Settings > Network & Internet > Internet.
  2. Make sure Wi-Fi is toggled “On.”
  3. Press and hold your Wi-Fi network connection, then tap Modify.
  4. Under Advanced options, locate the DNS 1 and DNS 2 fields and enter this information:
    • DNS 1: 8.8.8.8
    • DNS 2: 8.8.4.4
  5. Tap Save.
The Android Wi-Fi "Advanced" settings menu with a highlighting square around the DNS settings.
Android Wi-Fi DNS settings.

After saving your new settings, re-open the Chrome app and check to see if the error’s gone.

iPhone/iOS

You can change the DNS settings on your iPhone or other iOS device with these steps:

  1. Navigate to Settings > Wi-Fi.
  2. Tap on your network in the menu.
  3. Tap Configure DNS > Manual.
  4. Remove the current listings under DNS Servers and add the following listings instead:
    • 8.8.8.8
    • 8.8.4.4
    • 2001:4860:4860::8888
    • 2001:4860:4860::8844
The iOS Wi-Fi DNS server settings menu with a highlighting box around the "Add Server" button.
iOS Wi-Fi DNS server settings.

Now, restart the Chrome app and check again for the error message.

Summary

Even though it’s frustrating, the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error is usually pretty easy to get resolved. Between flushing your DNS cache, renewing your IP, and trying different DNS servers, you should hopefully be back up and surfing the web in no time.

Suggested reading: How to Fix the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_BAD_CONFIG Error Code.


FAQ

What Is DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN?

The DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error indicates that the Domain Name System (DNS) failed to resolve the domain name or address. NXDOMAIN stands for Non-Existent Domain.

What Causes DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN?

The DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN is typically caused by a misconfiguration or problem with your DNS.

How Do You Fix DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN?

Here are some recommendations and things to check to fix the error (sorted in order by most common reasons we see):

  1. Release and Renew IP Address
  2. Restart DNS Client Service
  3. Change DNS Servers
  4. Reset Chrome Flags
  5. Disable VPN and Antivirus Temporarily
  6. Check Your Local Hosts File
  7. Check DNS of Your Domain
  8. Restart Your Computer

How Do You Fix DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN on Mobile?

These are the most common ways to fix this error on your mobile device:

  1. Restart Your Device
  2. Check for Chrome App Updates
  3. Clear Chrome’s Browser and App Data
  4. Check for System Updates
  5. Change Your Mobile Device’s Network Settings

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