Windows hosts file not working

On Windows you can manually match hostnames to IP addresses using the hosts file located in C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc. An example of a hosts file:

127.0.0.1       localhost
#10.22.1.18     foo foo.bar.ca
16.17.18.19     toronto
16.17.18.125    boston

If you find that the contents of the hosts file are not being picked up by Windows it might be because the file is corrupted though the corruption is not evident in your editor. The best thing to do is to delete or move that file and create a brand new hosts file and hopefully the contents of this hosts file will be picked up by Windows.

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10 thoughts on “Windows hosts file not working

  1. This works !!!!!!!!! , just copy paste the hosta file,ctrl+A remove all the content and write wt u want , clear cache if you are using IE ‘Done’

  2. !!!!!!!!!!!!

    Another reason is incorrect file access security settings. (maybe because file-recreation, 3rd party programs access etc.)

    re-creating hosts file did not solved my problem.

    here is another working solution
    right clicked hosts file
    open “security” tab
    make sure that the users/groups “SYSTEM”, “Administrators”, “Users”(read only access) are there; add them if they are not there.

    now Windows reads and obeys the hosts file!

    (I have tested on xp, I was an administrator but “Users” was not there and windows was not reading the hosts file)

  3. In addition to my previous comment:

    re-creating the file not worked for me because I have re-created the file on my desktop and copied to its location. But since it is my desktop, “Users” are not added to access security settings.

    Nevertheless, we can check file security settings, before trying to re-create it IMHO.

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