Modify Hosts File

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By modifying the hosts file on your PC you can override the DNS for any number of domains. This is useful if you need to view how a website will look on a particular IP before you update the DNS. When you change web hosting providers, for example or even when you don't want to use a preview link / url.

Just add two entries to the host file with the domain and IP address you want the website to resolve to. For example add this to the file:

204.188.245.89 www.domain.com
204.188.245.89 domain.com

The following section provide instructions on locating and editing the hosts file on the following operating systems.

Modify Host File: Windows

  1. Navigate to notepad, right click and run it as administrator
  2. Open and go to C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts
  3. Open the hosts file and make the changes and save
  4. *flush your DNS if you wish by typing ipconfig /flushdns into Run box
flush-dns-cache

Modify Host File: Linux

  1. Open a terminal window
  2. Open the hosts file in a text editor by typing the following line:
  3. sudo nano /etc/hosts
  4. Enter your domain user password
  5. Make the changes to the file and press Ctrl + X
  6. When asked if you want to save your changes, answer y.

Modify Host File: Mac OS

  1. Open Applications > Utilities > Terminal
  2. Open the hosts file by typing the following line in the window
  3. sudo nano /private/etc/hosts
  4. Type your domain user password
  5. Edit the hosts file
  6. Save the hosts file by pressing Ctrl + X and answering Y.
  7. When you are done, please flush your DNS by opening command prompt and typing: ipconfig /flushdns