Are the DNS servers provided by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) too slow? Are you concerned about online security? Or maybe you want to protect your children from inappropriate websites? Whatever the reason, changing your computer's DNS servers to something new, like the public DNS servers maintained by Cloudflare, Google, or OpenDNS can be helpful. Here are three ways to set DNS servers in Windows 10:
NOTE: If you do not know what DNS is, read: What is DNS? How do I see my DNS settings in Windows?. Furthermore, if you want to understand why public DNS servers can be better than the ones provided by your ISP (Internet Service Provider), read: 6 reasons why you should use third party public DNS servers.
Method 1. Change the DNS servers from the Settings app
If you're using a recent version of Windows 10, you can easily set new DNS servers for your network connection, from the Settings app. Start by opening the Settings: click or tap on its button from the Start Menu or simultaneously press the Windows + I keys on your keyboard. Then, go to Network & Internet.
If you want to change the DNS servers used by your Ethernet connection, on the left side of the window, click or tap on Ethernet. If you want to change the DNS servers used by your wireless connection, click or tap on Wi-Fi.
On the right side of the window, regardless of whether you're using a wired or wireless connection, click or tap on the name of your network connection.
On the network connection details page, scroll until you find the IP settings section and then click or tap the Edit button. It is the only one there, so you can't miss it.
The Settings app opens a dialog box called "Edit IP settings." In it, select Manual and turn the IPv4 switch on.
Next, scroll down until you get to the Preferred DNS and Alternate DNS fields. This is the place where you can specify the two DNS servers that you want to use for your network connection. In the Preferred DNS field, type the IP address of the DNS server that you want to use, and, if you want, type a backup option in the Alternate DNS field. In the next screenshot, you can see that we chose to use Cloudflare's public DNS servers.
When you're done, press the Save button and restart your Windows 10 computer or device so that the operating system can apply your changes.
After Windows 10 restarts, it should use the DNS servers you set, instead of the default ones provided by your router or ISP (Internet Service Provider).
Method 2. Change the DNS servers from the Network Connections in Control Panel
Windows 10 also lets you change the DNS servers used by a network connection from the Network Connections section in Control Panel. To get to the Network Connections, open the Control Panel, navigate to Network and Internet, access the Network and Sharing Center, and click or tap on Change adapter settings on the left side of the window.
Alternatively, you can open the Settings app, navigate to Network & Internet, select Status on the left side of the window, and then click or tap on Change adapter options on its right.
Either way, you should get to the window called Network Connections, which looks like the next screenshot. You find listed all the network adapters installed on your Windows 10 PC. Locate the network adapter that you use for connecting to the internet. Then, right-click or tap and hold on it. In the contextual menu, click or tap on Properties.
Windows 10 opens the Properties window of that network adapter. Make sure that you are on the Networking tab, and select "Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP / IPv4)" from the list of items used by the network connection. Then, click or tap on the Properties button found below the list.
Towards the bottom of the "Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP / IPv4) Properties" window, there's a setting which, by default, says that your network connection "Obtain[s] DNS server address automatically." If you want to change the DNS servers used by your network adapter, mark the "Use the following DNS server addresses" option and enter the IP addresses of the DNS servers you want your Windows 10 PC to use.
Press OK and close all the windows you've opened throughout this process. Then restart your Windows 10 computer or device so that it can apply the changes and start using the new DNS servers that you've set.
Method 3. Change the DNS servers from the Command Prompt or PowerShell
Some people prefer command-line environments to graphical interfaces. If you're one of them, know that you can change the DNS servers used by your internet connection from the Command Prompt or PowerShell also. For that, first open the one you prefer, as an administrator.
The first commands you should run are netsh (press Enter) and then interface show interface (press Enter). This shows you all the network connections that are enabled on your Windows 10 PC.
Note the network connection for which you want to change the DNS servers: it's probably the one that is Connected.
Next, type the following command: interface ip set dnsservers "Network Connection" static [DNS server IP address], where "Network Connection" is the name of your network adapter and [DNS server IP address] is the IP address of the DNS server that you want to use. For example, for our Wi-Fi network connection, we wanted to set a DNS server from Cloudflare, which has the IP address 126.96.36.199. To do that, we had to type interface ip set dnsservers "Wi-Fi" static 188.8.131.52.
Press Enter on your keyboard, and the new DNS server is immediately set.
Did you change your DNS servers?
As you've seen, changing the DNS servers used by your Windows 10 PC is not that complicated. Whether you do it because the DNS servers provided by your ISP are too slow, or you want to enhance your security, now you know how to make the switch. If you have questions or if you have something to add to our tutorial, don't hesitate to leave a comment below.