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Monday, June 6, 2011

How To Edit The HOSTS File In Vista or Windows 7

The HOSTS file is where your computer goes first to translate a domain ( to an IP address ( It’s mostly been replaced by the use of DNS because it would be impossible to keep up with all the new websites created or server changes that occur daily. Despite that, it still has its uses for correcting something locally or filtering sites. Malware might also find its useful to redirect web traffic to a different server. For that reason, Windows has tightened up security on the file and editing the file requires a little trick.

If you were to just go to C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc and open the hosts file in Notepad, you wouldn’t be able to save your changes.

Instead, you need to go under the Start Menu and either type Notepad or find its listing. Then right-click on Notepad and choose to ‘Run as administrator’. A prompt should come up and you can give it permission.

Once Notepad open go to File, Open (change file type in the dialog box from .txt to all files) and browse to your HOSTS file. You’ll then be able to make and save changes as needed.

TL;DR – Run Notepad as an Administrator (even if you are using an administrator account), open the HOSTS file, and save your changes. Confirmed by a Microsoft Support KB article.

1 comment:

  1. you pretty down-sized the instructions for using the host file lol