How to Change DNS Settings on a Mac

Introduction

Domain Name System (DNS) servers map domain names to Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. When used in conjunction with search domains, they allow you to go quickly to websites and servers you visit frequently without typing the complete address.

Your home router is likely set by default to use your ISP's DNS servers, which may or may not be very reliable. There are a number of third-party DNS servers available as well.

What you need before you start:

  • Your computer should be connected to the Internet. (wired or wireless)

1 Configure DNS

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences.
    Apple menu with System Preferences selected. Screenshot.

  2. Click Network.
    System Preferences window with Network selected. Screenshot.

  3. In the list at the left, select the network connection service you want to use (such as WiFi or Ethernet), then click Advanced.
    Network properties with Wi-Fi connection highlighted and Advanced button selected. Screenshot.

  4. Click DNS, then click the Add button at the bottom of the DNS Servers list.
    Advanced network properties with DNS tab selected and + button highlighted. Screenshot.

  5. Enter the IPv4 or IPv6 address for the DNS server. Below is a short list of commonly used public DNS servers. Secondary DNS servers can be added to add a layer of redundancy.
    Provider Primary DNS Server Secondary DNS Server
    Google 8.8.8.8 8.8.4.4
    Dyn 216.146.35.35 216.146.36.36
    OpenDNS Home 208.67.222.222 208.67.220.220
    Verisign 64.6.64.6 64.6.65.6
    Level3 209.244.0.3 209.244.0.4
     
  6. Click the Add button at the bottom of the Search Domain list, then enter the search domain - for example, apple.com.
    DNS settings screen with + button selected. Screenshot.

  7. When you're finished, click OK.
  8. Domains are searched in the order you list them; the search stops when a valid name is found.

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Domain Name System (DNS) servers map domain names to Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. When used in conjunction with search domains, they allow you to go quickly to websites and servers you visit frequently without typing the complete address.

Your home router is likely set by default to use your ISP's DNS servers, which may or may not be very reliable. There are a number of third-party DNS servers available as well.

What you need before you start:

  • Your computer should be connected to the Internet. (wired or wireless)
  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences.
    Apple menu with System Preferences selected. Screenshot.

  2. Click Network.
    System Preferences window with Network selected. Screenshot.

  3. In the list at the left, select the network connection service you want to use (such as WiFi or Ethernet), then click Advanced.
    Network properties with Wi-Fi connection highlighted and Advanced button selected. Screenshot.

  4. Click DNS, then click the Add button at the bottom of the DNS Servers list.
    Advanced network properties with DNS tab selected and + button highlighted. Screenshot.

  5. Enter the IPv4 or IPv6 address for the DNS server. Below is a short list of commonly used public DNS servers. Secondary DNS servers can be added to add a layer of redundancy.
    Provider Primary DNS Server Secondary DNS Server
    Google 8.8.8.8 8.8.4.4
    Dyn 216.146.35.35 216.146.36.36
    OpenDNS Home 208.67.222.222 208.67.220.220
    Verisign 64.6.64.6 64.6.65.6
    Level3 209.244.0.3 209.244.0.4
     
  6. Click the Add button at the bottom of the Search Domain list, then enter the search domain - for example, apple.com.
    DNS settings screen with + button selected. Screenshot.

  7. When you're finished, click OK.
  8. Domains are searched in the order you list them; the search stops when a valid name is found.
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