How to Clear DNS Cache on Mac (All Versions)

If you are facing connection issues on your MacBook, you might want to know how to clear the DNS cache on your Mac. That’s because the DNS cache acts like a memory that your device refers to when trying to load a website or a server. 

Clearing the DNS cache on Mac isn’t a difficult job. Depending upon your operating system settings, you can quickly clear the DNS cache on Mac. So, let’s not waste any more time, and let’s reset your DNS on the all leading MacOS versions. 

What is Exactly DNS Cache?

The DNS cache might sound like a super-complicated tech term, but it isn’t. Domain Name System, aka DNS, lists all domain names attributes to websites visited by you. Remember that it isn’t similar to your recent online history. Domain name information is coded in numbers like 123.142.113.192. 

And whenever you navigate to a new domain, its DNS address changes. If your Mac relies upon outdated DNS records, it can connect to your desired websites. 

The DNS cache is compressed of multiple components, including:

  • Resource Data: Records descriptions such as the hostname and address. 
  • Record Type: Categorize the type of record i.e., A or AAAA records. 
  • Record Name: This shows the DNS entry’s domain name.  
  • Time To Live (TTL): Resource data validity time. 
  • Class: Appropriate protocol group. 
  • Resource Data Length: It is the resource data’s value. 

Why Clear DNS Cache on Your Mac Occasionally?

Mac and other OS platforms perform DNS caching to reduce the DNS servers’ burden during high traffic. It is TTL’s responsibility to determine the cache’s validity period. Till the cache files are valid, your content requests will process without going through the DNS server. 

But if you are using outdated DNS cache files, that can expose you to security vulnerabilities. Sometimes, Mac saves a bad DNS cache when you visit a website that just moved to a new domain name. Therefore, we highly recommend clearing the DNS cache on your Mac. 

Here are a few other reasons to periodically clear your DNS cache:

  • Storing DNS records makes it easier for hackers to track your search behavior and predict your browser history. 
  • The DNS cache files are targeted for DNS spoofing that can endanger your sensitive information. 
  • Importantly, clearing the DNS cache on Mac can solve connection issues and wrongly displayed web content. 

How to Clear DNS Cache in Mac 

As you know what DNS is and why to clear it, let’s move to the main topic: how to clear DNS cache in Mac. 

Before we get started, you have to get familiar with Terminal commands to clear the DNS cache on macOS. Otherwise, you can use the Terminal app and paste the command to clear the cache. So, let’s see how to clear DNS cache on the latest macOS:

Terminal app
  • Go to Applications > Utilities or press Command + Space keys to launch Spotlight and search for Terminal. 
  • Paste the command sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder in Terminal and press the Return key on your keyboard. 
  • Now, enter your administrator password for the account and hit Return. And your DNS cache is cleared. 
Terminal commands

Interestingly, you can also hear an audio notification when DNS flush is complete using: 

sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder; say dns cleared successfully

How to Clear DNS Cache on Older MacOS and MacOSX Versions

The initial process is the same where you have to open the Terminal app. But the commands for clearing the DNS cache on most MacOS versions are different. You can use the following commands based on your device’s OS:

Operating System Terminal Command
Mojave (version 10.14)High Sierra (version 10.13)Sierra (version 10.12)Mountain Lion (version 10.8)Lion (version 10.7)sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder
El Capitan (version 10.11)Mavericks (version 10.9)sudo dscacheutil -flushcache   sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder
Yosemite (version 10.10)sudo discoveryutil mdnsflushcache   sudo discoveryutil udnsflushcaches
Snow Leopard (version 10.6)Leopard (version 10.5)sudo dscacheutil –
Tiger (version 10.4)lookupd -flushcache

Alternative Way: How to Clear DNS Cache on Mac 

If you aren’t comfortable clearing the DNS cache on your Mac manually, you can use a tool. Yep, you can use cache cleaning tools to automatically remove DNS files from your Mac. For example, CleanMyMac X is a great Mac maintenance tool that can clear DNS cache too. All you need is to download CleanMyMac X on your device and:

  • Launch the software. 
  • Click on the System Junk Tab in the sidebar. 
  • Navigate through the list of found items and click Clean. 

That’s it! All outdated DNS cache files will no longer trouble your connections. 

Extra Facts About Clearing the DNS Cache on Mac

  • Once you clear DNS cache files from your Mac, the next time you try to open a website, it will load a bit slowly. 
  • You can also delete browser caches to delete outdated DNS entries. 
  • Even if your network randomly slows down, you can cache DNS files to fix it. 

Wrapping Words 

There are tons of reasons to regularly clear your DNS cache on Mac. It keeps your system up-to-date, secures your private data, prevents phishing, and so much more. Most importantly, it is super simple to clear DNS caches. 

Periodically, take two minutes out of your schedule and clear your DNS files for safe and fast browsing. And, keep on following us for the more informative posts.

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