The Domain Name System (DNS) plays a crucial role in browsing the internet on any device. It converts human-readable domain names (like www.example.com) into machine-readable IP addresses that allow your device to load websites. Over time, your Android device builds up a cache of these DNS records to speed up browsing. However, sometimes this DNS cache can get corrupted or contain outdated entries that prevent you from accessing certain websites. Clearing your DNS cache can help resolve such issues. Here’s how to do it on Android.
What is DNS Caching?
Whenever you access a new website, your Android device has to perform a DNS lookup to find the server IP address for that domain. This process adds a slight delay as your request has to travel to your configured DNS server and back.
To optimize this, Android caches DNS records for websites you have visited recently. The next time you access the same domain, your device doesn’t have to perform the lookup again. Instead, it uses the cached entry. This speeds up the browsing experience.
However, the cached DNS records can sometimes end up containing incorrect or outdated information. Clearing the DNS cache forces your device to perform a fresh lookup and retrieve the right IP address again.
When to Clear DNS Cache on Android
Some common situations when clearing your Android DNS cache can help include:
- You are unable to access a website that is up and running fine for other users. The cached DNS entry could be wrong.
- A website has changed its server IP address but you are still being directed to the old address.
- Web pages are loading slowly despite having a fast internet connection. Invalid cached records may be adding latency.
- You modified the DNS server settings but the changes don’t reflect in your browsing experience. The old records may still be cached.
- You notice random website or app connectivity issues that get resolved on their own after some time. A wiped cache will provide a clean slate.
In essence, if you notice any weird DNS-related behaviors, flushing the DNS cache should be one of the first troubleshooting steps.
How to Clear DNS Cache on Android
Android provides multiple ways to flush your DNS cache, ranging from built-in settings to third-party apps. Here are the easiest methods to try on consumer Android devices and tablets running Android 5.0 onwards.
Use Network Settings
The Network settings menu provides a simple way to wipe the DNS cache:
- Open Settings and go to Network & internet > Wi-Fi
- Tap on the currently connected Wi-Fi network.
- Scroll down and tap on Advanced.
- Tap on DNS.
- Click on the overflow menu (three vertical dots) in the top-right corner.
- Select Clear DNS cache.
This will flush the DNS cache for both Wi-Fi and cellular networks. You may need to disable Wi-Fi temporarily to clear the mobile data cache as well.
Use Third-party Apps
Several apps on the Play Store offer a one-tap solution to flush DNS cache:
- DNS Changer – Simply open the app and tap on the trash can icon to wipe cache.
- Quick DNS Reset – Tap on the Reset DNS button here to clear cache.
- DNS Flusher – Provides a widget to clear cache from the home screen.
The only downside is you need to install another app just for this purpose. But they provide a quicker method compared to navigating through Network settings.
Flush Cache in Recovery Mode
You can wipe the DNS cache from the Android recovery environment:
- Turn off your Android device completely.
- Press and hold the Power button to boot into recovery mode. You may have to press Volume Up or Down key as well, depending on the device.
- Use the volume keys to highlight the Wipe cache partition option.
- Press the Power button to select it.
This will clear all cached data including DNS records. The benefit of using recovery mode is that it flushes the cache at a system level compared to just doing it for the active network interface.
Does Clearing DNS Cache Affect Other Data?
Flushing the DNS cache only deletes the DNS records stored on your device. It does not:
- Remove any other cached app data, browsing history, cookies etc.
- Modify any of your device settings.
- Delete any files or apps from your device.
So you don’t have to worry about losing any important information when clearing the DNS cache. Only the DNS lookup records get wiped, nothing else.
Slow internet browsing and difficulties accessing websites can often be fixed by clearing your Android device’s DNS cache. The next time you face weird DNS issues, remember to try flushing the cache before trying anything else. Doing so forces a fresh lookup and retrieves new DNS records from your configured server.
Discover: How to Clear YouTube Cache on Any Device
To recap, you can use the Network settings menu, recovery mode, or DNS flushing apps from the Play Store. Just navigate to the DNS settings of the active Wi-Fi or mobile connection and tap on the option to clear cache. Alternatively, wipe all cached data from recovery mode or use dedicated cache cleaning utilities.
Clearing the DNS cache is an easy first step to speed up browsing and troubleshoot connectivity issues. Combined with tweaking other settings like static IP, secondary DNS, etc. you can optimize your Android device’s internet performance further.