How-To: NSLookup (Windows)

Windows has a command-line tool for performing a DNS query. It is called "nslookup."

To perform a DNS query on a Windows computer (this is universal on all recent Windows versions) open a command prompt. The easiest way to do that is to go to Start->Run and type in "cmd" then click "OK."

From the command prompt (which will look like this)

Type in `nslookup <destination>.`

For <destination> enter the IP address or name of the site you wish to reach. For example, to lookup to you would enter `nslookup` and press enter.

An example of the results are shown below.

A note about copying data from the command prompt window it is a bit different than most other Windows interfaces.

  1. Right click in the window to get the context menu
  2. Select the "Mark" option, then highlight the part of the window you want to copy.
  3. Press "Enter" to copy selection to your clipboard
  4. Paste the selected text elsewhere, such as in an email or document.

When finished you can close the command-line window by typing `exit` and hitting Enter.

A manual DNS query can be useful in verifying the name resolution system is working on your computer. Whether the issue is reaching all resources or specific resources, identifying just how the client computer is handling this first crucial step (translating a DNS name into an IP address) can help in diagnosing the problem.

You will notice in the image above that both server providing the translation and the results of that translation are presented. Both can be diagnostically useful data points.

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Article ID: 782
Fri 7/19/19 5:36 PM
Wed 7/14/21 9:08 AM