DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN: What Is It And How To Fix The Problem

When the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error occurs, you’ll see a message displayed on your computer screen to inform you that your browser is unable to locate the server IP address. That can be incredibly annoying, as it will stop you from visiting and using the website entirely.

However, you can use one of the several straightforward methods to solve this issue. Join us as we explore the common causes for the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error, ways to identify them, and techniques to fix it.


The DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error occurs when a domain name system is unable to resolve the URL of a site into an IP address. That means the browser is prevented from accessing the site, and the NXDOMAIN part of the error signifies that the target domain doesn’t exist.

This is a common type of domain name system (DNS) error, and the message presented varies from browser to browser. For example, Google Chrome will inform you that “This site can’t be reached”, while Microsoft Edge takes a more personable approach with “Hmm … can’t reach this page”. Common causes include an error with the internet connection, incorrect DNS configuration, firewalls, and unresponsive servers.


There are multiple reasons why the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error may occur. These are:

  • The web browser can’t find the website you requested as the domain has either expired or is unregistered.
  • An antivirus program or Virtual Private Network (VPN) is affecting the network’s settings.
  • The target domain isn’t pointing to a specific IP address.
  • The internet provider is responsible for the error.
  • The domain can’t be resolved as the DNS settings on the user’s system are misconfigured.

Here are two ways to determine the cause of the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error:

Domain Name has Expired

An issue with the target site’s domain name may be responsible for the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error. Let’s say you entered the URL into your browser’s address bar incorrectly: the browser wouldn’t be able to find the right IP address in the DNS.

However, if the error still appears even with the right URL, that means the domain is either no longer registered or has expired. A simple way to see if a domain is active or inactive is to use the ICANN lookup tool: just put the URL into it to reveal the domain’s status.

Want to stop the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error from affecting your website? Try these:

  • To make sure the domain directs users to the correct website, use the nameservers that your hosting provider gives you.
  • When you register your domain, confirm your domain ownership details within 15 days to prevent ICANN from suspending it. If your domain is suspended, you’ll need to check your inbox for the verification email and take the directed steps to unsuspend it.
  • Ensure your domain registration is renewed ahead of the expiration date. A domain’s life cycle demonstrates that, once your domain has expired, there is a grace period from 0 to 45 days after that has happened. There will be no extra fees if your domain is renewed within that time. Additionally, when you’re in the 30-day redemption time, an extra fee is charged for domain reactivation.
  • Look up the DNS records for the domain. Primarily, the A record directs the domain name to the IP address.

However, if your domain has entered the pending deletion period, you will have to buy your domain name again once it becomes available.

Cache Issues

You can use this technique to see if a DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error affects just your browser or every user who tries to visit your domain. You can use a proxy server (such as HMA) to test this. Just enter the URL in the relevant field and pick a server location.

If you can reach your site from different parts of the world, it’s likely that the error is caused by problems within your browser or system overall as opposed to the website. Below, we’ll take a look at how you can tackle this issue in different ways.


The DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error may be caused by various problems, whether that’s with the internet connection, website issues, or something else. Depending on the reasons behind the error, there are various methods to fix it.

DNS Cache Clearance

Emptying the DNS cache is a popular technique for fixing this error. In a DNS cache, the IP addresses for sites that a client has already visited on their machine are stored. But some of those addresses might no longer be in date, so the device can’t locate the correct site.

Still, clearing the DNS cache may help you solve the error. There are different ways to do this on Chrome, Windows, and macOS.


With Chrome, the DNS cache is separate from the operating system. As a result, clearing the cache could fix the problem.

Type chrome://net-internals/#dns into the address bar in Chrome. Next, select ‘Clear host cache’. Simply check to see whether the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN is fixed or not.


To empty your Windows DNS cache, look up ‘Command Prompt’ on the Windows Start menu. Right-click on it and pick the ‘Run as administrator’ option. When a new window is displayed, enter the below command:

ipconfig /flushdns

 After you’ve typed the command, press ‘Enter’. Next, launch the browser and check if the error continues to occur.


In macOS, open Terminal and use this command:

sudo dscacheutil -flushcache; sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder

 Then, use the ‘Return’ key and enter your password. Press the ‘Return’ key once more. Now, open your browser to see if the error still happens.

Switch to a New DNS Server

Another option is to use a different DNS server. It’s their job to convert a domain name into the correct internet address in DNS lookup.

Your computer will, by default, utilize the DNS server addresses that your internet service provider gave you. But, sadly, these might not be particularly secure or fast. As a result, lots of website owners choose to use public DNS servers from various companies (including Google), as these typically have fewer technical problems.

You may be able to fix issues with internet connections if you change from one DNS server to another. We’ll use Google’s DNS server addresses as we delve into this option, covering Windows, macOS, and Chrome.


Open the Control Panel, select Network and Internet, then click on Network and Sharing Center. You should find ‘Change adapter settings’ on the left-hand side of the Network and Sharing Center screen. Click on it.

Right-click on the present connection, then select ‘Properties’. Pick ‘Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCPIPv4)’ or ‘Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP IPv6), then click on the ‘Properties’ button to proceed.

Now, choose the below DNS server addresses at the bottom of the window, then enter the following numbers:

Preferred DNS Server

  • (IPv4)
  • 2001:4860:4860::8888 (IPv6)

Alternate DNS Server

  • (IPv4)
  • 2001:4860:4860::8844 (IPv6)

 Once you have finished, press ‘OK’ to save the changes then restart your browser to check if the error has been fixed.


To get started, open System Preferences then go to Network. Select the present local area connection, then press the ‘Advanced’ button.

Next, head to the DNS tab. Push the ‘+’ button and enter the new IPv4 or IPv6 DNS servers. Put in every address, one at a time. When you’re done, click on ‘OK’.

Finally, launch your browser to find out if the error is still occurring.


To reach the DNS settings for Chrome, type the following into the address bar:


Scroll down to find the Advanced area, then choose ‘With Custom’. You can modify it to one of the in-built DNS server addresses from Google, Open DNS, or other providers.

Request Another IP Address

This method is a little more complex than the previous two. You can use it to troubleshoot problems with network connections by getting rid of your computer’s current IP address (ending the lease on it) and requesting an alternative.


To start the IP address release and renewal process on Windows, right-click on the Command Prompt then choose ‘Run as administrator’. Enter these two commands, pushing the ‘Enter’ key between them:

ipconfig /release

ipconfig /renew

 Next, use the following two commands to reset your IP settings:

netsh int ip set dns

netsh winsock reset

The Winsock Catalog will then be reinstated. This process can help stop possible errors caused by harmful scripts in files you download.

Once you finish this, shut the command prompt then restart your computer. Launch the browser to see if the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error continues to occur.


If you use macOS, you won’t have to open a command-line interface (CLI) for this method. Just try this instead:

Find System Preferences, then select Network. Choose your present internet connection and push the ‘Advanced’ button. Go to the TCP/IP tab and pick the ‘Renew DHCP Lease’ option. Click on ‘OK’. Finally, restart your computer to see whether or not the error is still an issue.

Look into the Local Hosts File

Matching a domain name to its IP address requires the local hosts file, and computers refer to this whenever you visit a website. That enables them to retrieve the right page for you.

However, a hosts file can mark particular domain names or IP addresses as being out of reach. If you check the file and modify it as needed, you could solve the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error issue.

Let’s explore how to do this on Windows and macOS.


Put ‘Notepad’ into the Windows search box, then pick ‘Run as administrator’. Go to ‘File’, then ‘Open’, and switch the file filter from ‘Text Documents (*.txt) to ‘All Files’ instead.

Enter the following path into the File name bar:


 Next, open the ‘hosts’ file. This will display a variety of websites that have been blacklisted, with the ‘#’ symbol to mark them. Does the target site’s domain name and IP address appear under the ::1 localhost line? Take them out. Save the changes, then go to the websites that were blocked to find out if the error is still active.


To change the hosts file on macOS, start by entering the following command into Terminal:

sudo nano /private/etc/hosts

Put your password in, and you’ll be sent to the hosts file. Remove any websites listed underneath the final ::1 line. Delete the information for the site you can’t access. To overwrite the hosts file, use ‘Command + O’.

Press ‘Return’ to accept the changes, and push ‘Command + X’ to shut the hosts file. Try to access the websites that were blacklisted to confirm that you have fixed the error.

DNS Client Service Refresh

A cleansing restart of the DNS client service could be what you need to fix the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error. The DNS client service program is essential for resolving and saving IP addresses within the DNS cache. It should run automatically after you start your computer, but if that doesn’t happen, it will prevent your browser from reaching any site.

On Windows 10, you can restart the DNS client service in three ways: Command Prompt, Windows Services Manager, and Windows System Configuration.

Command Prompt

Access Command Prompt and enter this command to make the DNS service stop:

net stop dnscache

 The following output should appear:

The DNS Client service is stopping.

 The DNS Client service was stopped successfully.

Type net start dnscache to restart the DNS service, and wait for the following output:

The DNS Client service is starting.

The DNS Client service was started successfully.

 When that appears, restart your computer. However, this technique may be ineffective in some versions of Windows. If so, you’ll get this message:

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

 In that case, you will need to try one of the other methods in this guide instead.

Windows Services Manager

Launch the Services application, then find ‘DNS Client’. Press the ‘Restart Service’ button and restart your computer.

Windows System Configuration

Push the ‘Windows + R’ keys, then type msconfig into the search bar. Click on the ‘Services’ tab and scroll to the ‘DNS Client’ option. Disable it by unchecking the box, then press ‘OK’.

Next, restart your computer and go through the first two steps again, but recheck the ‘DNS Client’ box to activate it. Restart your computer again to check if the error is still occurring.

Turn Off Antivirus Programs or VPNs

While antivirus software and VPNs can protect your computer while you go online, they can inadvertently get in the way of certain websites regardless of how secure they may be. If you use an antivirus program or VPN, it could be the reason for your DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error.

However, the process of disabling an antivirus program will differ depending on which one you use. Check out the provider’s website or reach out to customer support if you’re not sure how to disable the program.

To switch off your VPN, though, take these steps:


In Settings, select ‘Network & Internet’ followed by ‘VPN’. Pick the VPN service you currently use and click ‘Disconnect’.

To end the process, restart your computer. Go to the target site to find out if you’ve fixed the problem.


Go to System Preferences and click on ‘Network’. Choose the VPN connection you want to disable, then click ‘Disconnect’. To finish, press ‘Apply’ to save the changes.

Deactivate Your Content Delivery Network

If you’re concerned that the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error is down to your website, you can deactivate the content delivery network (CDN) to reveal whether that’s the case.

The CDN is helpful for delivering content to users faster, as it caches versions of the site across various worldwide servers. The CDN retrieves the cached content from the nearest server when a visitor accesses the website, but disabling your CDN temporarily will turn off the website’s cached versions. As a result, browsers will need to retrieve the website from the origin server instead.

However, if your website can’t be accessed without a CDN, it’s possible that the content in the cache is out of date. There could also be issues with the DNS settings.

Reset All Chrome Flags

You may be familiar with Google Chrome Flags if you’re an avid user of the browser already. Chrome Flags are features available on a trial basis, as they have not been integrated into the standard browsing experience for all users. Some of these features, though, could be responsible for the error due to misconfigurations.

If you want to turn off Chrome Flags, type chrome://flags into the browser’s address bar. You can scroll down to explore which features have been enabled. You can switch any Chrome Flags that are Enabled to Disabled to turn them off, or click ‘Reset all’ to go back to the default settings.

When you’ve finished these steps, close Chrome then reopen it to check whether or not the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error has been resolved.

Restart Your Connection

The last method to try if none of the other eight don’t work: rebooting your router and modem. Here’s how:

  • Unplug your router and modem for approximately 30 seconds.
  • Plug the modem in again and leave it for 60 seconds or more.
  • Plug the router in again. Leave it for two minutes, then switch it back on.
  • Launch your browser and see if the error is fixed.

If nothing works, it may be best to speak to your internet service provider. They may have problems that are causing the error, or could otherwise take care of the issue for you.

Error Message Examples on Different Browsers

When the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error occurs on non-Chrome browsers, you’ll see the following messages:


There is no unique error code on Safari (unlike Chrome). It just states that “Safari Can’t Find the Server”.


Mozilla goes for a simple approach with its DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error message. It states that it can’t connect to the server, with: “Hmm. We’re having trouble finding that site.”


Microsoft Edge displays the full error code with a blank thought cloud and the following message: “Hmmm … can’t reach this page”.


If you see the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error, it’s because a browser can’t find the IP address that corresponds to the domain name. That could be due to issues with the client’s browser, the network connection, or the server.

The DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error can be a real nuisance, but it can be fixed in a simple way. We hope the nine methods we explored in this guide help you.

But if none of them bring the right results, speak to your internet provider and see if they can offer a fix. Website owners should contact the hosting provider or domain registrar for a solution.

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