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DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_BAD_CONFIG can be characterised as a fairly common error, with a large number of users encountering it. This error is typically an internet connection issue, which prohibits the users from surfing the web. So it goes without saying, that it’s a relatively big error.

This particular error can occur on any brand of internet browser, but its most commonly encountered on Google Chrome. Fortunately, as is the case with most internet connection issues, there are a plethora of viable solutions.


The DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_BAD_CONFIG is typically caused by an issue with the DNS server. The DNS (Domain Name System) is basically the system that translates website names into their corresponding IP address.

This is an error that can occur on every version of Microsoft Windows, and is unfortunately, gaining much ground, especially on the latest Windows versions.

Symptoms of This Error

When a user encounters this error, typically it’ll manifest itself in the following way:

  • The user will be forced to refresh the web page an inordinate number of times before it loads the page correctly.
  • The browser will attempt to load a website and will just abruptly stop half way through.

How to Fix It

There a number of different methods that a user can use to fix the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_BAD_CONFIG error. This error most commonly occurs on Google Chrome, so most of the solutions tend to be geared towards this assumption, on your part.

Whether or not a solution will work, depends greatly on the circumstances that lead up to the error, your internet browser and Windows version, so these are things you need to consider when attempting to fix this problem.

Anyway, I’ve arranged the various solutions in order of effectiveness, so it’s recommended you attempt them in the order they appear.

Release and Renew Your IP

One of the quickest and most effective methods of fixing a DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_BAD_CONFIG error involves assigning your system a new IP address. To do this, simply do the following:

1. First, boot into your computer with full administrative rights.

2. Then click on Start -> Run, type cmd and click on OK [Windows Vista/7/8/8.1/10: Press windows key + R, type cmd and press Enter].

Start -> Run, type cmd

3. Once Command Prompt loads up, type ipconfig /release then press Enter.

cmd -> type ipconfig /release

Note: This will remove the current IP address assigned to your computer.

4. Then type ipconfig /renew then press Enter.

cmd -> type ipconfig /renew

Note: This will tell the DCHP server to issue your computer a new IP address.

5. Once you’ve done that, close Command Prompt then reattempt to access the web again, through your internet browser.

Flush the DNS

Another method of fixing the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_BAD_CONFIG error involves flushing the DNS, which is a process where cached IP addresses and other DNS results are cleared in the event that bad results have been cached and are causing this error. Anyway, in order to do this, do the following:

1. First, boot into your computer with full administrative rights.

2. Then click on Start -> Run, type cmd and click on OK [Windows Vista/7/8/8.1/10: Press windows key + R, type cmd and press Enter].

Start -> Run, type cmd

3. From Command Prompt type ipconfig /flushdns then press Enter.

cmd -> type ipconfig /flushdns

4. Then close Command Prompt and attempt to access the internet through your web browser.

Reset IP Catalog

This method of fixing the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_BAD_CONFIG error involves clearing the internet catalog of IP addresses, which can be done by doing the following:

1. First, log into your computer with full administrative rights.

2. Windows Vista/7: Start -> Type cmd (into the Search programs and files box) and Press CTRL + Shift + Enter, then click on Yes [Windows 8/8.1/10: Press windows key + X and click on Command Prompt (Admin)].

Start -> Command Prompt

3. On Command Prompt type netsh int ip reset then press Enter.

cmd -> type netsh int ip reset

4. Then type netsh winsock reset catalog and press Enter.

cmd -> type netsh winsock reset catalog

The operating system will then begin to repopulate its IP catalog; a process when complete, should fix the error.

Modify Your DNS Settings

In some instances, many users find that their DNS settings are either blocking or prohibiting them from properly accessing the internet. In the event that this is the situation in your case, you can attempt to change your DNS settings to working ones.

For step by step instructions on how to do this, I suggest you check out my post on fixing DNS lookup errors.

Alternatively, you can try setting it to Auto DNS Server Selection.

Clear Browser Cache and History

This particular method is a fairly common remedy for fixing browser related issues. Sometimes browser cache can block an IP address or DNS, in such an event, clearing your browser cache and history can fix the problem.

The process of doing this varies from browser to browser, however, I have written extensively on how to do this on the three most popular browsers, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, so I suggest you check out those posts for step by step instructions on how to do it.

Disable Internet Security Software

Another thing that is capable of preventing you from accessing the internet through your web browser is your firewall. If you started receiving this error right after you upgraded your antivirus security suite or made certain changes to your firewall, then it’s likely your security tool(s) are to blame for the problem.

In this particular situation, I’d recommend you disabled your security software, and then attempted to browser the net, as this is the quickest way to determine whether or not the security software is to blame. If it does fix the problem, then consider rolling back to a previous version or undoing the recent changes you made.

Remove Website Filters

If you are running a particular plug-in that blocks certain websites, such as adult or graphic themed sites, so that only certain members in your household can access them, then that’s something you may want to look into as a possible culprit.

If after you installed the plug-in or made specific changes to it, your browser started to report the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_BAD_CONFIG error, then I recommend you try disabling it first, so that you can check whether or not it is to blame for your inability to surf the web.

In the event that it is, you should look into replacing the plug-in with something more compatible with your current system setup.

Check Your Hardware

In certain circumstances, ones hardware is more than capable of causing such an error. To check whether or not this is the case with you, I recommend you shut your system down, and unplug all the cable connected to it, such as microphones, speakers, keyboards, mouses etc, just so any electricity build-up can be discharged.

If you connect to the internet via a router, then I recommend you shut that down also, for at least 5 minutes, and then switch it on, at the same time as your PC, with all the cables reattached of course.

Once you’ve done that, simply load up your browser and verify whether or not it has repaired the error.

Update Network Drivers

If all methods of fixing the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_BAD_CONFIG error have failed up to this point, then I recommend you look into either upgrading or reinstalling your network drivers. To do this, you will need to visit the website of your motherboard/NIC manufacturer, there you should be able to find the most up-to-date drivers, simply download and install them.

Alternatively, if you are unable to locate the drivers, then you can use the driver updater tool called DriverAssist, which can automatically search the internet, locate and download, not just the NIC drivers, but all the latest drivers for your computer, all with a simply click of a button. A most recommended option, for obvious reasons, anyway you can download this powerful tool from the following link:

Delete Your Cookies

Cookies are essentially little files that are stored on your computer that contain stored preferences which a website can later access in order to remember previously selected options. Cookies are not without their faults, as they can become corrupted; carry viruses and various other things.

With that said, a handy method of remedying this problem involves deleting all the cookies saved on your computer. To do this, I suggest you check out my post on how to remove cookies.

Once you’ve done that, simply reload your browser window and check whether or not it has fixed the problem.

Try Different Browser

If all the above methods have failed you, then you can try using a different browser. The DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_BAD_CONFIG error may be restricted to a single browser. Firefox, Google Chrome and Microsoft Internet Explorer can all coexist on the same operating system without any problem.

Reinstall the Web Browser

If you are able to isolate the problem to a specific web browser, then you should look into reinstalling that specific web browser, that’s if, the use of that particular browser is of the utmost importance to you.

When it comes to reinstalling your web browser, the most important aspect is the removal process, as you want to ensure that there are no traces of the problem left behind on your computer before you install it again. That is way, for this process I recommend you use the installer tool called, Perfect Uninstaller, as it will not only remove your browser using the conventional InstallShield, but also scan your registry and system folders for remnants of the application, which is crucial. Anyway, you can acquire this tool from here:

Once you have removed the browser in its entirety, reinstall it again.

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  • Christa

    I have seen this. Thanks for sharing.

  • Neil 12345

    That’s great advice, but if the error is happening to every single device connected to the router on different browsers, then clearly it’s not the device at fault.

    • It could be the router or the ISP, in that case.

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