There are various network-related settings that can be changed and customized in a Windows computer. By playing around with these settings, you can make changes to your network preferences quite easily. While there are various such options present in Windows, one particularly useful network setting found in Windows is the hosts file. You can edit the hosts file on Windows to easily modify your network preferences in Windows.
But if you are new to Windows, then you might not know about the hosts file. Therefore, today, we are here to show you How to Edit hosts file on Windows. And you can also learn more about the hosts file and its importance in a Windows PC. This can be useful to know when you are editing the hosts file for changing your network preferences. So, if you also wish to edit the hosts file on your Windows computer, make sure to go through this article until the end.
- If you are Mac user you can follow this guide: How to Edit Host Files on Mac
A Brief Information About Hosts File & its Importance on Windows:
Whenever you access a website on the internet, your computer communicates with the website server via its IP address. And this IP address is essentially like the address of the servers of the given website that you wish to access. Without this IP address, you cannot establish a connection between your PC and the website servers. But memorizing IP addresses of all the websites that you access in your daily life is not an easy task. As a result, modern networking uses DNS systems and DNS servers to convert domain names into IP addresses. In simpler words, whenever you open a website like Google.com, the DNS server of your network converts it into the IP address of Google.
And once that is done, your computer establishes a network with the server using its IP address. But this whole system of DNS servers for converting a domain name into its corresponding IP address is completely automatic. As a result, if the user wants to modify it there are no direct settings or options present in Windows.
And this is where hosts file come into play which allows you to do exactly this. By editing the hosts file on your Windows computer, you can manually enter the corresponding IP address of the domain that you wish to open your PC. This can be quite useful if you want a domain name to redirect to a specific IP address. It can be quite useful for advanced Windows users who want to have complete control of network settings on their computers.
Benefits of Editing Hosts File on Windows:
Some of you might be wondering about the benefits of editing the hosts file on your computer. Even though the DNS server of your PC works fine for most of the time, you improve it by editing the hosts file. The biggest benefit of editing the hosts file is to increase your computer’s web browsing speed. Since DNS has to convert each domain name to its IP address, it can take some time. But if you make changes to the hosts file, the DNS server does not have to convert domain names. Apart from this, you can also use hosts file for blocking certain websites from your computer. This can be useful for blocking malicious websites to protecting your computer from potential security threats. Similarly, there are various other benefits of editing the hosts files on your computer.
How to Edit hosts file on Windows?
Now that you know more about the importance of hosts file and the benefit of editing it, the chances are that you want to do the same on your computer as well. But even though Windows allows you to edit the hosts file on your PC, it is not straight forward. Instead, there are certain steps that you have to carry out in order to edit this file. And once you have done that, you can play around with the DNS server settings on your PC. Therefore, we are here with the full step by step by guide for editing hosts file on Windows. You can simply go through the following instruction in order to edit the hosts file:
- On your Windows computer, press the Windows Key and the R key at the same time. Doing this will open the Windows Run on your computer.
- Now, type notepad c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts in Windows Run and press enter on your keyboard.
- Once you have done this, a Notepad window will come on your screen with the hosts file open in it.
- Here, you can find the various domain names and their corresponding IP address that you can edit just like any other text file.
- Finally, once you have edited the hosts file as per your requirements, press Control + S on your keyboard to save this file. After that, reboot your computer to apply the new changes across your computer successfully.
We hope that you are now able to successfully edit the hosts file on your Windows computer. You can go through this article to learn more about hosts file and its importance on a Windows PC. This file can be quite useful if you wish to modify the network preferences on your computer. But most importantly, you can find easy to follow instructions in this article for editing the hosts file on your Windows computer. In case you liked this article, then make sure to share it on social media. If you have any doubts regarding any of the solutions, feel free to ask any queries in the comments section below.