How do I change my hosts file?

You are likely asking this because you want to see your domain name before your DNS changes propagate. Reminder: You normally need to wait 48 hours for propagation to complete.

Here is an advanced process for forcing your computer to see the site early:

Windows 7 or Windows Vista or Windows XP

Watch video tutorial at or follow these instructions:

  • Use "Start", "Find", "Files and Folders" to find a file in your windows directory (or WINNT\system32\drivers\etc) called "hosts".
  • Verify that the file is not "read only" by right clicking it, and choosing it's Properties.
  • Then open the file for editing with Notepad. There should already be an entry for "localhost". Follow that format when you insert your domain and our IP.

Mac or UNIX

  • On Unix-based systems, hosts file is located at /etc/hosts. You will need to open the terminal (on most distributions is located at the following): Menu Applications Accessories Terminal
  • type in command: sudo nano /etc/hosts
  • enter root password
  • Enter website IP address followed by space and your website name such as Line should look like this:
  • Once you have modified your hosts file, you can flush your DNS so that you can see your new changes more quickly. Do this from the command line. Depending on your OS, there are different commands. On Ubuntu sudo /etc/init.d/nscd restart

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