Windows 11 lets you Edit Hosts File: here’s how

Windows 11 hosts file allows you to change resolving IP addresses. Here is how you can Edit hosts file on your Windows 11 PC.

Hosts file store information that maps hostnames and IP addresses to servers. However, Windows still synchronizes the hosts file, even though DNS is increasingly used to resolve IP addresses.

This hosts file might occasionally need to be edited. It is possible to trick your computer into resolving to a specific IP address with the help of the host file. If you want to revise the hosts file, you could have many reasons for doing so. You may be using software that doesn’t care about domain names. Alternatively, you’re moving your domain from a separate server and want to check the DNS settings before moving the domain. Windows 11 makes editing the hosts file fairly easy, regardless of the reason.

Be safe!

Always back up the host file you are trying to change so that if something goes wrong you can restore the previous version.

Go to the following directory using File Explorer: C: → Windows → System32 → drivers → etc folder.  If you have Windows installed in a different directory, open that drive accordingly.

Copy this file somewhere safe. You can always upload it to a cloud storage service when in doubt. Many of them have been reviewed by us.

Edit Hosts file in Windows 11 using Notepad

Ensure that Notepad is running as an administrator. The Notepad app icon in the Start menu can be run as administrator by right-clicking the icon and selecting the ‘Run as administrator’ option.

Windows will display a permission prompt asking, “Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your computer? Select ‘Yes’ from the dialogue box. Notepad will be opened with administrator privileges allowing you to edit the host file.

From the File menu, click Open (Ctrl+O) a prompt Windows will appear asking for the location to a file. Navigate to the hosts file and open it.

Save the file by using Ctrl + S keyboard shortcut and adding the new IP addresses and domain names that you wish to resolve. The Notepad application is open in Administrator mode, so you can save the file without any further permissions being required.

Tip: You can do the same with other text editor programs such as Notepad++. For example, I opened the Hosts file in Notepad++.

There may be a lot of visual differences between Windows 11 and Windows 10. The Windows system folder structure remains largely unchanged, especially the files and folders. So now you’re familiar with the Windows hosts file and what does it do; don’t forget to bomb this article to someone who needs it.

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