Windows 10

The following instructions cover how to change the DNS server on “Windows 10” (“RTM” to “21H2”) as well as “Windows Server 2016”, “2019” and “2022” among others. If you are using a different version of Windows, or need to determine your version of Windows, please click “Switch guide”.


If you know “Windows” well, you can follow this guide. Here we explain the change via the Control Panel, which has been present in “Windows” since “Windows 2000” and still works today. Via this method, you bypass the navigation through the individual items in the Control Panel or the new “Settings” app of “Windows 10”.

Step 1: Open adapter options

First check for which connection you need to make the setting. To do this, click the button on the network icon at the bottom of the taskbar. (This looks like either a small screen or bars if you are connected via cellular or WLAN). In the menu you can see how the connection you are online is named. Remember the name, it is important for the further process.

Now press “WINDOWS" and “R” on your keyboard and type “ncpa.cpl” in the following window and press ENTER. Alternatively, you can also enter the term in the search. This can be accessed in Windows 10 via the search icon or the search field. The setting ” Control Panel item” will appear. Open this search result.

A window of the “Windows” control panel appears, which shows you the available adapters.

Adaptereinstellungen über Ausführen-Dialog öffnen
Adaptereinstellungen über Suche öffnen

Step 2: Change DNS settings

Now you need to change the appropriate DNS server

  1. Here you should find the name of your adapter from the status page of step 1. Select the appropriate adapter and right-click on it.
  2. Click Properties on the context menu. A properties window appears.
Adapteroptionen in Windows
Adaptereigenschaften in Windows

Change IPv4 server

  1. In the properties window, in the “Elements” list, you will find the item “Internet Protocol, Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)”. Select this item and click on “Properties”.
  2. In the properties window for TCP/IPv4, now select “Use the following DNS server addresses” at the bottom.
  3. Enter the IP address of the DNSv4 server in the “Preferred DNS server” input field.
  4. In order that internet access is possible even if the preferred DNSv4 server fails, enter the IP address of a second DNSv4 server in the “Alternative DNS server” input field.
IPV4-DNS-Server ändern

Change IPv6 server

  1. In the properties window, in the “Elements” list, you will find the item “Internet Protocol, Version 6 (TCP/IPv6)”. Select this item and click on “Properties”.
  2. In the properties window for TCP/IPv6, now select “Use the following DNS server addresses” at the bottom.
  3. Enter the IP address of the DNSv6 server in the “Preferred DNS server” input field.
  4. In order that internet access is possible even if the preferred DNSv4 server fails, enter the IP address of a second DNSv6 server in the “Alternative DNS server” input field.
Adaptereigenschaften in Windows – IPV6

If you want to check if there is still an Internet connection, click here.


DNS over HTTPS

“Windows” supports from “Windows 10” version 2004 the option to retrieve DNS requests via HTTPS. This encrypts DNS requests between the server and your device, which is why all other devices within the connection cannot read or modify the request. However, manual work by the user is required to enable this feature in a practical way:

  1. Make sure that you are logged in with an account that has administrator rights on “Windows” or that you have the credentials of an administrator account.
  2. Open the Run dialog of “Windows” with WINDOWS+R.
  3. Type ‘regedit‘ in the text box and press ENTER.
  4. The registry editor will open. Navigate to the following path in the tree on the left:

    From ” Windows 10″ version 2004, you can also copy the path from here, paste it into the editor and press ENTER. This way you can reach the path immediately.
  5. Click on the right side and create a new DWORD value with the name: ‘EnableAutoDoh’.
  6. Double click on the new value and set it to ‘2’.
  7. Restart.
  8. After the reboot, you can enter a DNS server that supports an encrypted connection according to these instructions. We always specify this in our server listing.

Test settings

To check if the correct DNS server has been set, press WINDOWS-R and type cmd. Confirm with Enter. Then in the black window type nslookup dnschoice.eu and press ENTER. As output you should get either the name or the IP address of your DNS server in the first line.

Click here to check if you still have access to the Internet

Alternatively, you can test this on this website: What's My DNS Server? (whatsmydnsserver.com)


Other considerations

Explanation of the decision against the new method

"Windows" now has a new method of changing the DNS server. This method is not covered in this guide, but it can also be used. We have decided against explaining this method or recommending its use. The background is that for this method the function DHCP must be deactivated. With DHCP, your router and device negotiate an address with which you can be reached on your local network, like an internal phone number extension. If you set the DNS server using the new method, you must set this address manually. If you set the mode to Manual and just fill in the fields for the DNS server, the form will not let you proceed because it is missing data.

The annoying thing about this issue is that there is no reason whatsoever for this limitation. On the contrary. If we make the change of DNS addresses via the old interface, these settings are applied in the new interface. An internet connection still exists without any problems, the only disadvantage is that local devices like network printers or your router can no longer be addressed via their domain, but only via their IP address. However, this is a normal behavior with this change, regardless of the operating system or device.

Further, there may be routers that disagree with this device configuration, causing you to lose any connection to the network and the Internet. The instructions we describe here about the old method has the advantage that DHCP can remain active, so you don't need to take any further action. Most users use DHCP in automatic mode (this is usually the default setting on just about every device) and have no need to switch to manual.

So, for most users, the new method is not recommended, as it has been made more complicated than the old method. Unlike other websites that ignore this issue in their instructions (consciously or unconsciously), we cannot. Our intention is that everyone should understand our instructions and not get stuck in between. We have therefore decided to keep the new method completely out of these instructions.

Changing via software

ATTENTION! The DNS servers are set in Microsoft Windows per adapter (i.e. per network card) If you have a device that is used to access the Internet via alternating network cards (LAN, WLAN, tethering), you must repeat these steps per adapter. Alternatively, we recommend the free software Quick Set DNS from the software provider NirSoft, which makes the change a little easier.


About these instructions

Windows information

Windows Logo 2021

Manufacturer: Microsoft Corporation
Headquarters: Redmond-USA
Type of software: operating system for various devices
Product website: https://microsoft.com/windows 


(Known) Supported DNS standards:

  • DNS over IPv4
  • DNS over IPv6

DSN over TLS/HTTPS NEW

Guide information

Guide is valid for:

Windows 10
Windows Server 2016
Windows Server 2019
Windows Server 2022
Windows 10 IoT
Windows 10 S / Windows 10 in S-Mode

Written by: Patrick Schneider (ownonline.eu)
Posted on: 31.01.2022
Last revision: 31.01.2022