Clearing the DNS cache on your Android device can help speed up web browsing and fix certain connectivity issues. The DNS (Domain Name System) cache stores information like IP addresses for websites you’ve visited recently to help speed up loading times. Over time, this cache can get overloaded with outdated or incorrect data that can slow things down or cause problems connecting to certain sites. Fortunately, Android makes it easy to clear out this cache and start fresh. Here are the steps to clear the DNS cache on any Android phone or tablet.
Why Clear the DNS Cache on Android?
There are a few key reasons you may want to clear the DNS cache on your Android device:
- Speed Up Web Browsing– Over time, your DNS cache fills up with entries mapping domain names to IP addresses for sites you frequently visit. When the cache gets too full, it can slow down the DNS lookup process required to load a web page. Clearing the cache removes old entries and helps speed things up again.
- Fix Connectivity Issues– If you’ve been having trouble connecting to certain websites, clearing your DNS cache can help resolve the problem. Sometimes the cache contains incorrect or out-of-date mappings that prevent you from accessing a site. A fresh cache ensures you have the most current DNS data.
- Switch DNS Servers– By default, your Android device uses your WiFi network or cellular carrier’s DNS servers. If you want to override this and use custom DNS servers like Google Public DNS or OpenDNS, clearing your cache ensures your device queries the new DNS servers going forward.
- Diagnostics– If you’ve been having general internet connectivity issues on your Android, clearing the DNS cache is one of the basic troubleshooting steps experts recommend. It rules out a corrupted cache as a potential culprit.
- Privacy– The DNS cache on your device contains records of sites you’ve visited. Clearing it helps protect your privacy by removing this browsing history.
How to Clear DNS Cache on Android 9 and Higher
For Android 9 Pie and later versions:
- Open the Settings app.
- Select Network & Internet> Advanced > Private DNS.
- Tap on the dropdown menu and select Off to disable private DNS.
- Wait about 30 seconds for the cache to clear.
- Tap the dropdown menu again and re-enable Private DNS if you had it on before.
- Your DNS cache is now flushed clean!
How to Clear DNS Cache on Android 8 Oreo
If you’re running Android 8 Oreo:
- Go to Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi.
- Long press on the Wi-Fi network you are currently connected to.
- Select Modify network.
- Tap on Advanced options.
- Choose Static under IP settings.
- Change the IP address slightly (e.g. change the last digit of the IP address to a different number).
- Tap Save.
- Go back and change the IP address back to what it was before.
- Tap Save.
- Your DNS cache is now cleared.
How to Clear DNS Cache on Android 7 Nougat and Older
For Android 7 Nougat and older versions:
- Install an app to flush the DNS cache. Options include DNS Flusher or Quick DNS Cache Cleaner.
- Open the installed app and tap on the big flush button.
- Confirm that you want to clear the DNS cache when prompted.
- The app will flush the DNS cache on your device. You’ve now successfully cleared the DNS cache!
Tips for Flushing DNS Cache on Android
Here are some useful tips for clearing your DNS cache on Android:
- You typically only need to flush your DNS cache occasionally when experiencing issues or slowdowns. As a rule of thumb, clearing it once a month is sufficient for most people.
- After clearing the cache, you may need to wait a short time (up to an hour) for the changes to fully propagate through your network.
- Clear the cache on all your Android devices if you made a change like switching to Google public DNS and want it applied everywhere.
- If switching DNS servers, you should also clear the cache on your router so your whole home network gets the update.
- You can automate cache clearing by using an app like DNS Cache Flusher that does it automatically on a set schedule.
- For a quick test after manually clearing the cache, switch your WiFi off and back on again or restart your device to force it to repopulate the DNS cache.
- If clearing the cache didn’t resolve your issues, check your router and modem settings and reboot them as well. There may be an issue beyond just your device’s DNS cache.
Additional Troubleshooting Steps
If clearing the DNS cache doesn’t fix your connectivity issues, here are some other things you can try:
Check Proxy Settings – Make sure your network or apps aren’t configured to use a proxy that could be causing problems. Go into your Wi-Fi settings and browser settings and disable any proxies.
Toggle Airplane Mode – Turn airplane mode on, wait a minute, then turn it off again to force a fresh connection. This resets more than just DNS, so it’s a heavy-handed fix.
Factory Reset Device – As a last resort, do a factory reset to wipe your device and start fresh. Make sure to backup data first.
Contact Carrier Support – For persistent cellular data issues, contact your carrier to make sure there aren’t network problems on their end causing trouble.
Switch DNS Servers – Try using public DNS servers like Google (184.108.40.206) or Cloudflare (220.127.116.11) instead of your ISP or carrier’s default servers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Will clearing the DNS cache delete any of my data or files?
A: No, clearing your DNS cache does not delete any of your data or files. It only deletes temporary DNS records. Your apps, photos, music, etc. will not be affected.
Q: Can I clear the DNS cache without uninstalling the apps I mentioned above?
A: Yes, on Android 7+ you can clear the DNS cache without any extra apps by using the built-in network settings. For Android 6 and under you will need a dedicated DNS flushing app.
Q: How often should I clear the DNS cache on my Android?
A: Most people only need to clear the DNS cache occasionally when troubleshooting network issues or speeding up a sluggish connection. As a general rule of thumb, clearing the cache once a month is good basic device maintenance.
Q: Will clearing the DNS cache impact other devices on my home network?
A: No, clearing the cache on your Android device will only affect DNS lookups on that device. No changes will be made to the network or other connected devices when you flush the DNS.
Q: What’s the easiest way to change DNS servers on my Android device?
A: Open Settings, go to Network & Internet > Advanced > Private DNS, and enter the DNS server addresses you want to use. Clear the cache afterward so the changes take effect immediately.
Clearing your DNS cache is a quick and easy way to speed up web browsing, resolve connectivity problems, switch DNS servers, improve privacy, and perform routine maintenance on your Android device. With just a few taps in your network settings or the use of a simple flush app, you can flush old DNS records and start fresh. Keep these steps in mind next time your Android seems sluggish online or can’t connect to a website. A clean cache can go a long way towards keeping your mobile internet running smoothly!
Mustafa Al Mahmud is the founder and owner of Gizmo Concept, a leading technology news and review site. With over 10 years of experience in the tech industry, Mustafa started Gizmo Concept in 2017 to provide honest, in-depth analysis and insights on the latest gadgets, apps, and tech trends. A self-proclaimed “tech geek,” Mustafa first developed a passion for technology as a computer science student at the Hi-Tech Institute of Engineering & Technology. After graduation, he worked at several top tech firms leading product development teams and honing his skills as both an engineer and innovator. However, he always dreamed of having his own platform to share his perspectives on the tech world. With the launch of Gizmo Concept, Mustafa has built an engaged community of tech enthusiasts who look to the site for trusted, informed takes on everything from smartphones to smart homes. Under his leadership, Gizmo Concept has become a top destination for tech reviews, news, and expert commentary. Outside of running Gizmo Concept, Mustafa is an avid traveler who enjoys experiencing new cultures and tech scenes worldwide. He also serves as a tech advisor and angel investor for several startups. Mustafa holds a B.S. in Computer Science from HIET.