How to set your Host file on Windows

What is a Host file?

A Host file serves the function of translating friendly host names into numeric protocols. It is located deep in the Windows folder and is a small sized plain text file. The system facility offered by Windows, assists in addressing network nodes on a network.

It can also be used to “block” someone from accessing harmful websites, and resolve naming methods such as Domain Name System (DNS).

Setting up a host file

You can set up or modify a host file to override the DNS for a domain, on that particular machine. The following steps will help:

1. Press the Windows key on your keyboard or the Desktop.

2. Search program Notepad by tying in the search field.

3. If you are not the administrator, right-click on the Notepad in the search result and select option to “Run as administrator”.

4. Got to File > Open and to the following file address: C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc\hosts

5. As per requirement:

A. Make necessary changes to the host file.

B. If you see any unwanted IP redirects, delete them. These redirects cause access blocks to useful resources.

C. Only the IP redirects that begin with 127.0.0.1 should be there. Others should be deleted.

6. For Non-notepad users Save the file (File > Save) with the following steps as you will not be able to directly save the file to Windows “etc” folder:

A. Go to File > Save > Save as Type > and in drop-down – select “All Files”.

B. Click “Save” after selecting Desktop as location.

C. Notepad users need to delete the file extension “.txt” – you might get a warning, select “Yes”.

D. In the “etc” folder, delete the current “host” file and replace with the one just created.

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