How to Edit Hosts Files on Mac?

Mac is one of the most advanced and sophisticated operating systems for computers available out there. It offers various features and options to the user. These allow you to customize your computer as per your needs and requirements. As a result, making changes to things like network settings on your Mac device is quite easy. And if you are familiar with advanced network settings, then you must know about the hosts file.

You can use it for improving your Mac’s network connection by quite a lot as you will see later on in this article. Thankfully, macOS allows its users to easily edit and modify the hosts file on Mac. And today, we are here to show you How to Edit the Hosts File on Mac. You can also learn more about the hosts file and its importance by going through this article. So, if you also want to have full control of your Mac device’s network settings by editing the hosts file, then make sure to go through this article until the end.

What is the Hosts File on Mac and its Importance?

All of the websites that you access on the internet have a domain name which is quite easy to memorize. As a result, you can easily remember all of the websites that you access on a frequent basis. But this domain name is not the actual address of the website you are accessing. All websites and their servers out there have a unique IP address. This IP address is just like the address of your home. This IP address is quite important for making a connection between your Mac device and the website servers. But unlike a domain name, the IP address of a website server is long and hard to remember.

To overcome this issue, all devices including Mac devices use a DNS server or DNS system. Your mac requires it to convert a domain name to its corresponding IP address. Due to this, whenever you access a website in a web browser using its domain name, the DNS server of your Mac device converts it to its corresponding IP address. Once this is done, your Mac device gets successfully connected to the website server. And thus, you are able to access the website. This whole process of conversion from a domain name to its corresponding IP address performed by the DNS server is completely automatic.

While this is a great thing for the casual Mac user, you cannot say the same for advanced users who have good network knowledge. You cannot change the DNS server settings on your Mac to change or add IP addresses of domains that you access on your computer. Even though you cannot do this from the Settings of your Mac, this can be successfully done using the hosts file on your Mac. It simply allows the user to change or add the IP address for any domain name of your choice. This offers manual control to the user. It can be quite useful for advanced users who want to redirect to a specific IP address when opening a domain name on your Mac device. And it offers great control to the user on macOS once you successfully edit the hosts file on your device.

Benefits of Editing Hosts File on Mac:

Now you know that the hosts file on your Mac device can be edited quite easily. But some of you might be wondering about the benefits of doing so. There are various reasons due to which someone might edit the hosts file. And the biggest benefit of this is for increasing your web browsing speed. Every time you open a website on your computer, its domain gets converted to the corresponding IP address. But this process can sometimes take a little time which can affect your web browsing experience.

On the other hand, if you edit your Mac’s hosts file, you can add an IP address manually. After you have done that, there will be no delay in the conversion of domain names to their corresponding IP addresses. As a result, it can help you in increasing the web browsing speed of your Mac device. Another great use of modifying the hosts file is being able to block certain websites. This can be used to block malicious websites for security reasons. And if you have children using your Mac, then you can also block age-inappropriate websites quite easily by editing the hots file.

Steps to Edit the Hosts File on Mac:

After going through the importance and usage of being able to edit the hosts file on your Mac, you might want to edit it on your Mac as well. Thankfully, just like most other settings on your Mac, accessing and editing the hosts file is quite easy. And once you have done that, you can customize and improve the network connection of your macOS computer quite easily. You can simply follow the given steps to edit the hosts file on your Mac device:

  • First, open the Terminal app on your macOS device.
  • Here, type Sudo nano /etc/hosts and press enter.
  • After that, enter your account’s administrator password followed by an enter.
  • Now, you will be able to edit the hosts file just like any other text file stored on your Mac.
  • Once you are done editing this file, hold control + O on your keyboard to save the hosts file and hold control + X to exit.
  • Finally, type sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder and press return. This will clear any older DNS settings stored on your Mac so that the newly edited hosts file works perfectly.

We hope that you can now edit the hosts file of macOS on your Apple device. And if you are not familiar with advanced network settings, then you can learn more about the hosts file and its importance on a Mac device by going through this article. 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.

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