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Sunday, 13 January 2013

How to change Hosts file in Windows

What is Hosts file?
It is a configuration file in Windows Operation system through which we can do name resolution, same like what popular DNS (Domain Name Service) service does. The default entry in hosts file is as following. As the name suggest hosts file is used to enter hosts names against IP Address to make it convenient to access computer resources. localhost

What is the use of Hosts file?
With Hosts file it becomes easier for you to access your computer, firewall etc. at your home or in your office. As now, you don't have to remember the IP Addresses.
For example: typically you would type to access your home wireless access point, broadband router or firewall, but now after adding host file entry you could just type http://firewall or http://myrouter istn't it easy to access network resources now.

How to change host file in Windows XP?
How to change host file in Windows 7?
How to change host file in
Windows 8?
The answer to all above questions remains same, please see below detailed steps.
1. Go to start > run > and paste this C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc and hit enter key or click OK button.
2. Now right click and click Open or double click Hosts file.
3. This will launch a pop-up window with title: Open With, now select NotePad application from the list.
4. Now by default you would see only following entry. localhost
5. Add IP address and hostname in following format. officepc firewall
6. Finally save and close the file.

Host file location in Windows XP?
Host file location in Windows Vista?
Host file location in Windows 7?
Host file location in Windows 8?
The answer to all above questions remains same, the host file is located at following path.
C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc and the file name is Hosts , this is one single hosts file.

1. The drive (C:) letter may be be different for your computer if OS is installed on another drive.
2. Do not miss interpret lmhosts.sam file as hosts file.

How to know on which drive my OS is installed?
The default drive letter for any OS is C: drive, if you are not sure and want to know the the drive letter than simply follow below instructions.
1. Go to start > run > and type CMD paste and hit enter key or click OK button.
2. If you see C:\> than that means C: drive is your OS drive.

What will happen if I edit/modify/change hosts file incorrectly?
Nothing much over to worry, simply revert back the changes, I would suggest you to make a backup of hosts file before you start editing it.

Important Notes:
1. You may require to open Hosts file by right click Run As Administrator option if you are using Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8 machine \ computer.
2. Hosts file are not hidden so no need to navigate to 'Folder Options' and uncheck 'Show hidden files and folders.
3. You can use text editor other than Notepad such as NOtepad++ etc.
Do you need further help? or have any query?, please leave us a comment and we will get back to within couple of hours.

Author : Pankaj // 14:50

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