You know, for as important as error messages and codes are supposed to be, they sure have a difficult time telling most of us just what’s going wrong on our computers. The same can be said of the “dns_probe_finished_bad_config” message that can frequently show up in browsers like Google Chrome. We’re going to show you how to fix it because that’s what Online Tech Hub is all about. More than that, though, we’re going to look into the reasons that this error might crop up in the first place so that you can not only put it to rest but understand why our particular fixes work like they do. Read on for a few quick potential fixes to this too-frequent error code, and a bit of handy knowledge to go along with it!
While these specific error codes might be more meaningful for people who are used to working in online support and web administrator positions, they don’t mean much for the rest of us. That’s the reason that you’ve ended up reading our guide, and it’s the reason that we’re going to break things down into comprehensible language. After all, there’s no use in fixing a problem that you don’t learn a little bit about, in the process.
As with most error codes that come up while you’re browsing online, this one has to do with the way that web page data is translated. Specifically, it relates to the connection between the DNS (Domain Name System) and IP addresses.
Lost already? Don’t worry, because we’ll lay it out quick in a way that you’ll explain. If you know all of this already, then go ahead and skip down to our list of recommended solutions and fixes, below!
What’s a DNS? What about an IP address? How are the two related, and what do they have to do with my error code? We’re going to use an analogy to save the day, and even though there’s a lot of science and web programming knowledge that goes into IP address systems, it’s still fairly easy to grasp.
DNS exists because human beings aren’t particularly good at memorizing hundreds of numbers. More specifically, we’re better at memorizing names than we are hundreds of numbers. If you need proof, just answer this–what’s easier to remember, http:www.google.com or 22.214.171.124? One of them is a basic URL and the other is an actual IP address. Go ahead and plug the latter into your browser’s address bar, and see where it takes you.
This, at its most basic level, is how DNS works with IP addresses.
When you enter a web address, your browsers uses the DNS to find a list of viable, related IP addresses that are within range of your internet connection. Typically, the browser will then choose the closest and display its data. Voila! Web page!
To extend the analogy, think of it as the contacts list on your cell phone. Do you remember the phone numbers of each and every person on your contact list? Of course not! (At least, I don’t!) Instead, we remember things based on the names that we choose to give them. Mom. Dad. Tim. Pizza Hut. You get the picture.
When you tap on one of those entries in your phone’s contact list, it’s not going to dial “Mom.” Instead, it’s going to look at the phone number attached to that name, and dial it for you.
At its simplest, this is the part of web information that we’re dealing with when this particular error code comes up.
Resolving the Error Code
Like many online error codes that your browser spits out, it can be fairly easy to identify which part of the web data process is causing the error. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the problem itself is easy to identify. That’s because the error is a symptom, and the code that shows up in your browser is just a sign of the symptom. The problem at the root of it all could be any number of things, but rest assured; the checklist of potential fixes below will help you to get it sorted out.
I’ve arranged this list in the ideal order that you should move through it. We’ll start with the easiest fix, and then move a bit deeper into solutions that are going to require you to use the Windows command prompt.
Reset Your Router
The first fix is actually quite simple, and won’t require any menu diving or use of the Windows command prompt. Find the router providing your machine with internet access, and reset it. Either unplug the router for up to 30 seconds. Or, if it has a dedicated reset button, press and hold the button for the same length of time. This will cause the router to reset and will also, if successful, reset your IP address.
It’s important to remain patient through this process. Your router might require a little bit of extra time while booting up, so don’t be alarmed if it takes a minute or two to reestablish your online connection.
Renew Your IP Address
We can also manually renew your IP address from within Windows, which is going to be the next step in our list of potential solutions. If the problem is being caused by your computer’s current IP address, then you can occasionally chase that error screen away by grabbing a new one!
First, you’re going to have to open the Windows Command Prompt. From within the Windows Start Menu or the search bar in Windows 10, simply type “cmd.” Click Command Prompt to proceed.
- Type the following line into the command prompt: ipconfig /release
- Press enter and your computer will release its current IP address
- Next, type this line into the command prompt: ipconfig /renew
- Press enter once more, and your computer’s IP address should be renewed
Try accessing the website that was giving you trouble before. If we managed to resolve the error, then bravo! If you’re still getting the same “dns_probe_finished_bad_config_ message, then continue to the next step.
Flush the DNS
Next, we’re going to flush the DNS registry on your computer. Think of it like “wiping the slate clean” in a way, but don’t worry–you’re not going to be losing any data in the process. Your computer populates your DNS registry automatically as you browse the web. Therefore, this can be a good thing to do from time to time even if you’re not experiencing errors.
“We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.” – Roy Amara
First, follow the steps above to open up the Windows Command Prompt. Once you’ve found your way back, proceed with the following steps:
- In the Command Prompt window, type the line ipconfig /flushdns
- This simple line of text will cause your computer to flush its DNS registry
And…that’s it! Go ahead and give that website another try. Still getting the same error code? Then we have one more trick up our sleeve, but it’s going to require changing a few of your deeper network settings.
Change Your DNS
First, you’re going to have to open up Windows’ network and sharing menu.
- Look for the network (or “internet”) icon down in your Windows taskbar. Right-click it, and select Open Network and Sharing Center.
- Look for Local Area Connection in your list. Click it, and in following window that opens, select Properties.
- In the next window, you’re looking for Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4). Select it, and then click Properties just below it.
- There are two entry boxes that you need to change, in this window. First, select Use the Following DNS Server Addresses.
- For Preferred DNS Server, enter 126.96.36.199
- For Alternate DNS Server, enter 188.8.131.52
- Check the Validate settings upon exit box, and then click OK.
What you’ve done is change your DNS to one of the fastest and most reliable online–Google’s. This is the handiest fix that you can apply when you’re having any DNS-centric error on your computer. If this still doesn’t resolve the error message that we’re tackling, then it’s time to get in touch with your local internet service provider and describe the problem as specifically as you can.
It’s our hope that this guide has managed to solve your error message outright, but do to the varying natures of the problems that cause these sorts of things to pop up, it’s exceptionally hard to preemptively know what the required “fix” is going to be. That said, the information above will help you to learn a little bit more about the relationship between the DNS and IP addresses so that you can resolve future issues with a little bit of grounded knowledge.
The “dns_probe_finished_bad_config” error is far more frequent of a problem than it has any right to be, but the steps above are some of the most reliable ways that you can be about fixing it on your Windows computer. If you have any remaining questions about your computer’s DNS, IP addresses, or this error code, in particular, let us know in the comments below! Please consider sharing this guide on Facebook and Twitter, so that we can reach more folks online!