I want to specify host names with two different ports in the Windows hosts file.

Is there a way to do it? Or is it not allowed by Windows itself?

I have been wasting my time searching for the solution for the last 8 hours.

Is it possible to specify ports in the host file, hosts? E.g.: and

  • 2
    The HOSTS file only associates names with IP addresses, not IPs+port(s). Do check superuser.com, however, by describing more of the specifics of what you are trying to do (is this for a web server etc. etc.) as there are many ways to achieve this type of mapping, but always depending on specifics at hand.
    – mjv
    Feb 21, 2010 at 18:44
  • You need NGNIX or Apache HTTP server as a proxy server for forwarding http requests to appropriate application -> which listens particular port
    – Musa
    Feb 8, 2018 at 18:08

3 Answers 3


Simply use IP addresses without ports. Example:  example.com

Then, to access from your browser (or other program):


The hosts file can be found at:

Linux /etc/hosts

Windows: C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts

  • It will be helpful to add both path and the name of the file to be edited. Sep 15, 2016 at 10:21
  • 1
    Can you possibly update with the reason for NOT specifying the port number when editing the file at C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts ? Sep 15, 2016 at 19:57
  • That's covered in the other answers. Sep 15, 2016 at 21:35

You cannot associate a port number with a hostname mapped to an IP in the hosts file. You can achieve this with Fiddler though using FiddlerScript: 

if (oSession.HostnameIs("somesite.com")){
    oSession.bypassGateway = true;
    oSession["x-overrideHost"] = "";
  • 8
    Nice suggestion for tech users. Just to clarify, 1) First install Fiddler 2) Then open it and go to Rules Menu and pick Customize Rules option ( or press Ctrl + R on windows ). This will open a JS file in notepad. 3) Find static function OnBeforeRequest and paste the script suggested by @John inside its body. Also HostNameIs will not work, it should be HostnameIs. Hope this helps.
    – Riz
    Aug 13, 2013 at 7:40
  • Are you aware of any open source alternative (james, owasp zap, or other) which can be used to the same effect?
    – Marc.2377
    Dec 21, 2018 at 18:36
  • The hosts file is for host name resolution only
  • The browser, in the absence of directly specifying the port: i.e. <hostname>:<port>, defaults to port 80

###Typical Problem Scenario###

  1. applications typically set their servers to the same default ip address aka localhost (defined in the hosts file).
  2. to avoid collision between possibly other existing/running servers, the application typically allows you to change the port, but not the ip address.

2a. If you could change the servers ip address to another in the loopback reserved address space, then you probably wouldn't be attempting to set ports in the hosts file.

Possible solution

You can work around this using Windows included Networking tool netsh as a port proxy.


 |                               <--browser defaults to port 80
 +--> example.app:80
       |                         <--Hostname resolution by Hosts File
             |                   <--Link by netsh Utility


  • Start your server on localhost:8081
  • Add the "local DNS" in the hosts file as a new line
    • example.app
      • Any free address in the network can be used.
      • Note: I am assuming is not occupied by another service.
      • You can check with netstat -a -n -p TCP | grep "LISTENING"
  • add the following network configuration with netsh command utility
    • netsh interface portproxy add v4tov4 listenport=80 listenaddress= connectport=8081 connectaddress=
  • Access the server at http://example.app


  • These commands/file modifications need to be executed with Admin rights*

- netsh portproxy needs ipv6 libraries even only to use v4tov4, typically they will also be included by default, otherwise install them using the following command: netsh interface ipv6 install

You can see the entry you have added with the command:

netsh interface portproxy show v4tov4

You can remove the entry with the following command:

netsh interface portproxy delete v4tov4 listenport=80 listenaddress=

###Links to Resources:###

Note: this answer is a duplication of my answer discussed in this similar question/answer on stackoverflow.

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