Windows Server Hosts File Location

Greetings Dev, today we’ll talk about the location of the Windows Server hosts file. As you are aware, the hosts file plays an important role in DNS resolution for a Windows Server. This article will guide you on how to locate the hosts file in order to edit it, and also answer some frequently asked questions about the hosts file.

What is the hosts file?

The hosts file is a plain text file used by the operating system to map IP addresses to hostnames. This file can be edited manually and is useful for overriding DNS settings and blocking certain websites.

It is also used to provide local DNS resolution for internal domains that are not available on the internet, and to test websites that are in development.

The hosts file is located in different places depending on the operating system you are using. In Windows Server, you can find the hosts file in the following location:

Operating System
Hosts file location
Windows Server 2003/XP
Windows 7/8/10/Server 2008 and newer

How to locate the hosts file?

Step 1: Open Windows Explorer

Click on the Start button, then click on Computer or press the Windows key and E at the same time to open Windows Explorer.

Step 2: Navigate to the hosts file directory

Depending on your operating system, navigate to one of the following directories:

For Windows Server 2003/XP:


For Windows 7/8/10/Server 2008 and newer:


Step 3: Open the hosts file

Double-click on the hosts file to open it in Notepad or any other text editor. You may need to right-click on the file and select “Open with” to choose a text editor.

FAQs about the hosts file

1. Can I delete the hosts file?

No, you should not delete the hosts file. It is an important system file that is used by the operating system to map IP addresses to hostnames. If you delete this file, you may experience problems with DNS resolution and network connectivity.

2. Can I edit the hosts file?

Yes, you can edit the hosts file. You can use it to redirect a website to a different IP address or block access to certain websites. However, make sure you only edit the hosts file if you know what you are doing. Incorrect changes to the hosts file can cause network connectivity issues.

3. Do I need to restart my computer after editing the hosts file?

No, you do not need to restart your computer after editing the hosts file. Changes to the hosts file take effect immediately.

4. Can I use the hosts file to block ads?

Yes, you can use the hosts file to block ads. However, it may not be as effective as using an ad blocker extension in your web browser.

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5. Can I use the hosts file to redirect a domain to a different URL?

Yes, you can use the hosts file to redirect a domain to a different URL. Simply enter the IP address of the URL you want to redirect to in the hosts file next to the hostname.

We hope this article has been helpful in locating the hosts file on your Windows Server and answering some of your frequently asked questions. Happy editing!