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How Do I Edit the Hosts File

January 16, 2012  |  Difficulty: Medium

how to modify hosts file in the Windows® 7 operating system.

The hosts file resides in your system folder. It has a special function for networking; in short, it maps domain names to IP addresses. The hosts file enables Windows to override DNS entries from your Internet service provider, preventing access to the listed sites by redirecting any attempts to connect back to your computer. There are multiple reasons why you may want to change the content of this file. For example, a well-designed hosts file can help prevent malware or spyware attempts from blocking updates of your security applications. It is good to know where this file is located and how to modify it in the most common versions of the Windows® operating system.

How to Edit a Host File in Windows XP®, Windows Vista® and Windows® 7:

  1. Open notepad, or any other text editor (Follow the path; “Start > All Programs > Accessories > Notepad”).
  2. Change the file types in the dropdown menu next to the “File name” box to “All Files”.
  3. In the main bar, click on the “File > Open” section. Browse to the “C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc” folder.
  4. Select the hosts file and click on the “Open” button.
  5. Now you can see and modify content of the “hosts” file.
  6. If you make changes, click on “File > Save” and close the notepad.

Tips and Tricks:

  • It is good to have a backup copy of the original host file in case you want to record the initial values of the file.
  • If you have problems with saving the modified “hosts” file, check the file’s attributes if they aren’t set to the “Read Only” option.

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