On a Windows computer, the Host file is a special file that allows you to manually map specific domain names to IP addresses, rather than using the DNS (Domain Name System), which is really just a decentralized method for naming/mapping the various computing devices.
And, after you’ve made the necessary changes to the Host file, instead of relying on DNS, Windows will look for the specific hostname in your Host file to connect to the IP address specified there.
Why bother modifying the Host file at all?
There are numerous reasons for this. It’s useful when you want to restrict user access to certain websites, for example. It can also serve as an extra layer of security, preventing spyware and adware from gaining access to your default DNS settings. It can also assist you if you simply want to test a website before it goes live. These are some of the most compelling reasons to make changes to your Windows Host file.
While editing your Host files is a difficult task, we’ve broken it down into simple steps to ensure your internet connection doesn’t go haywire. However, just to be safe, we recommend making a backup of your Windows settings in case something goes wrong; our complete system image backup guide will come in handy here.
Let’s get to work on the actual editing now.
How to Modify Host file in Windows 11
After you’ve made a backup, we’ll begin the editing process by opening the Notepad app. Follow the steps below to get started:
- Go to the Start menu search bar, type in “notepad,” and run the Notepad as administrator.
- Click on File and select the ‘Open…” option from the menu.
- Put the Host file address (C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts) in the “File name:” option, and click on Open.
This will open your Notepad and open the Host file, which you can edit from there. To configure the mapping, enter the IP address as well as the domain name.
For example, if you want to point “Google.com” to IP address 124.234.1.01 (an invalid IP address), type the IP address first, then the domain name. Also, don’t start with the hash symbol (#); if you do, the changes won’t work.
Similarly, if you want to block a website, such as facebook.com, you can use the IP address 127.0.0.1. You can add multiple websites like this to your list from here if you want.
When you’re finished, go to File > Save to save your changes. When you’re finished making changes, reboot your computer to ensure that all of your changes are applied.
Host file in Windows 11
That’s all there is to it when it comes to editing the Host files. You can map domain names to IP addresses of your choice using the Host file. However, as previously stated, make sure your current Windows and Host settings are backed up to protect your files, just in case something goes wrong. Hopefully, you were able to change your Windows 11 Host file without too much difficulty as a result of this article.