Preview site before DNS has propagated - Windows



  1. Locate the HOSTS file on your computer. Typically it is in one of the following locations:
    • Windows NT/2000/XP/2003/Vista/7 - C:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
    • Windows 95/98/Me - C:\windows\hosts
  2. Open this file with a text editor such as Notepad or Wordpad.
    • Right-click on Notepad and select the option to Run as Administrator - otherwise you may not be able to open this file.
    Then, open the file. Consider performing a "Save As" so you have an original copy of the file that you can restore later. You will see two columns of information, the first containing IP addresses and the second containing host names. By default, a windows hosts file should be similar to the following:

    Filename: hosts localhost

    You can add additional lines to this file that will point requests for a particular domain to your new server's IP address. Example:

    Filename: hosts localhost
    123.123.123 example.com www.example.com
  3. Save your changes.
  4. Restart any currently open browsers. You may also want to flush your DNS cache. In Windows XP, go to Start, and then Run, then type "cmd" and hit enter. Type the following:
    ipconfig /flushdns
  5. Visit your new site using http://example.com/ or http://www.example.com/