Why I had to change DNS Settings in Mac OS X El Capitan

I’m not one to tinker with settings but I’ve had erratic issues with DNS settings at home. When this would happen, I could not access certain sites using our home WiFi. I’d have to open a mobile WiFi modem to check and many times, the site would open. So frustrating, especially if the ISP’s technical support was not exactly helpful on a timely basis.

Has this DNS issue ever happened to you?

DNS error message
DNS error message

My techie son had long told me to try shifting to a Google DNS setting but reluctant me would try to make do…..until yesterday when a blog I was migrating from Blogger to WordPress kept breaking and I would constantly get the error message above. I had enough!

After consulting my son, who again repeated the suggestion to move to a Google DNS setting, I decided to see if it would work. By the way, I am currently on a Macbook Air with Mac OS X running El Capitan.

DNS means Domain Name Server. It basically translates numerical IP addresses into the domains that we usually read and are familiar with. If DNS servers are not properly configured, they would not functions well and one would encounter DNS errors or slow page loading issues.

Most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have their own DNS servers (mine does and it has been what I’ve been using since we began the broadband service). In many cases, that works fine. But the moment one starts getting DNS lookup errors and your ISP is not quick to assist you with your issues, the beauty of being on a Mac with OS X is that you have the option to change your DNS setting.

Let me walk you through what I did (and it is so super easy, I do a facepalm thinking why I never did this before now):

1. Go to the Apple menu and select System Preferences-Network. Select your  network interface from the lefthand sidebar (in my case here, it is WiFi but others may need to click Ethernet). Then click on Advanced at bottom of screen.

Network setting
Network setting

2. Click the DNS tab at the top of the screen. You’ll see your default DNS Server in the leftmost column. Add the two Google DNS Settings ( and in such a way that they are first and second on the list. To do that, click the + box at the bottom left and type in the two Google DNS Settiings. The final result should look like the image below.

Google DNS Settings
Google DNS Settings

3. Click on the OK button to close this window.
4. Lastly, on the Network screen, click Apply to make the change take effect.
5. Close System Preferences.

And you’re done!

When I did that, I could already open my blog which was problematic earlier using my ISP’s DNS settings. So I’m happy.

Try this if you’re also getting frustrated with your ISP’s DNS settings. Let me know what your experience is with Google DNS settings. For now, yay Google!!!


Tita Jane

Tita forever, geek forever!!! Loves gadgets more than clothes... First introduced to IT via punched cards and COBOL programming... IT auditor for over 5 years... IT consultant covering the financial industry for over 7 years... Now, a blogger and social media practitioner...and still covering the IT world, among other interests. And proud that all my kids are geeky as well. ~ Tita Jane Uymatiao

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