Flush DNS overview

Most operating systems are designed to cache DNS records. This is generally a good practice as it allows faster requests to a web site, but if DNS has recently changed, it may be necessary to flush the cache on your computer in order to retrieve the new DNS records. What this does is remove the local cache from your system and allow you to grab the most recent cache that your ISP is using.

Flushing the DNS records on your computer is very useful when trying to speed up DNS resolution for a newly added or modified domain on your account.

Further recommendations

  • Make sure that you have closed any browser windows that are open, as they'll continue to read from the previous cache that was loaded into memory. Then, restart the browser and attempt to view your site. Allow a reasonable amount of time (generally a couple of hours), and then you should be able to see your site online. If not, it's very likely that your ISP has not updated its DNS cache; it's not possible to get around this without making some hosts file modifications.
  • Alternatively, you can use a third-party DNS server such as OpenDNS which allows you to manually ask it from their website to update the cache of any domain. In order for this to work, you must manually change your computer's configuration to use a third-party DNS server; bear in mind that it may not be possible or recommended to use a third-party DNS server in some business environments.
  • DreamHost support is unable to assist in DNS propagation issues as it is generally the customer's responsibility.
  • DNS changes may take up to 72 hours to complete – If you notice your site not working after that time, contact support on the (Panel > ‘Support’ > ‘Contact Support’) page.

See also