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:
The following section provide instructions on locating and editing the hosts file on the following operating systems.
Windows NT, 2000, XP, 7, Vista, 8, and 10
- Navigate to notepad, right click and run it as administrator
- Open and go to
- Open the hosts file and make the changes and save
- *flush your DNS if you wish by typing
ipconfig /flushdnsinto Run box
- Open a terminal window
- Open the hosts file in a text editor by typing the following line:
sudo nano /etc/hosts
- Enter your domain user password
- Make the changes to the file and press Control-x
- When asked if you want to save your changes, answer y.
- Open Applications > Utilities > Terminal
- Open the hosts file by typing the following line in the window
sudo nano /private/etc/hosts
- Type your domain user password
- Edit the hosts file
- Save the hosts file by pressing control+x and answerying y.
- When you are done, please flush your DNS by opening command prompt and typing: ipconfig /flushdns