I have two network interfaces on my computer on my Windows PC.

Primary and Secondary DNS servers are defined per network interface so I can define 2 sets of DNS servers on two network interfaces.

When looking up for a server name, which DNS server is used and why?


As far as I know windows implements interface priority which you could alter. I think it uses the connection with the highest priority, and from there it`s DNS server.

  • Where can I see priorities and how can I alter them ? – e-mre May 26 '11 at 7:24
  • Go to network connections, hit the alt key and go to advanced/advanced settings. – xciter May 26 '11 at 12:30

I haven't checked this, but my assumption would be that the DNS servers defined on the interface that has the default gateway will be tried first followed by the servers on the other interface.

Easiest way to check for sure is to capture your network traffic using Microsoft Network Monitor or a similar tool.

  • Default gateway is also defined per network interface, so two network interfaces can have two different default gateways defined, so it must be something other than that I guess. – e-mre May 12 '11 at 7:18
  • 1
    Capturing the network traffic would answer "which" but would not answer "why" – e-mre May 12 '11 at 7:18
  • AFAICT Windows will try only the first DNS server. If it says "address unknown", Windows will not query other networks. – MSalters Jul 31 '18 at 14:26

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