I added a random entry to my hosts file to test custom hosts entries. I added this: www.gribble.com

Without restarting Chrome, I navigated to www.girbble.com and found that I went to the IP specified in my hosts file.

I then removed the entry from the hosts file, but my browser continued to go to the custom IP. I then tried the following:

  • ipconfig /flushdns

  • nbtstat -R

  • nbtstat -RR

  • Internet Explorer

  • rebooting

  • pinging www.gribble.com - this gets directed to the correct IP for www.gribble.com.

Still nothing stops my browsers (Chrome or Internet Explorer) from being directed to the now-purged custom IP. I have checked my hosts file multiple times to make sure the entry was removed. Do you have any ideas as to where is this entry being stored?

  • Did you try clearing caches in your other browsers? In chrome this is in History> Clear Browsing Data – Natecat Apr 2 '16 at 5:36
  • @Natecat, no luck. – Shadoninja Apr 2 '16 at 16:25

I think you answered your own question. The request you made for "gribble" was resolved by the entry you made, instead of going to an outside DNS server which would have taken you to the right location. Also the entry you manually input likely would be corrected when your local DNS database is updated.

Furthermore, all hostnames entered in a browser are routed through a DNS server somewhere on the internet, usually starting at the nearest one and working outwards till one is found that can match a hostname with its corresponding IP address.

  • "...would be corrected when your local DNS database is updated." Can you be more specific? I have listed everything I have tried so far. – Shadoninja Apr 2 '16 at 6:20
  • mixeduperic.com/ubuntu/… This is a tutorial on setting up a Bind9 DNS server. Towards the bottom are some steps to use to test if your local DNS server is working correctly. – 69_Goat Apr 2 '16 at 6:46
  • Clear browser history and temporary internet files. I linked a tool to remove all sorts of unwanted stuff from your computer. malwarebytes.org/junkwareremovaltool – 69_Goat Apr 2 '16 at 7:38
  • Your first link is for linux. The second one is using third party tools to blindly stab at the problem. I am trying to learn how the hosts file interacts with the operating system. – Shadoninja Apr 2 '16 at 15:20
  • @69_Goat Why would browsers and ping return different results if it was just a change in the local DNS database – Natecat Apr 2 '16 at 17:46

Chrome itself has a DNS cache. you can view the entries and clear them from here:


navigate there in browser and there is a button to:

Clear host cache

Looks to me like you made an entry in the cache with the hostfile and that seems to be more persistent.

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