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How to edit Hosts File in Windows 7

Sometimes is it necessary to edit your "hosts" file on your Windows computer so you can develop your new website before new DNS settings can propagate throughout the internet.  You can edit your local Windows hosts file to force your computer to look at the new web server before your server settings naturally update through the internet.  To do this here are the following steps to edit your local "hosts" file.

 

  1. Click the Start Icon on the main menu of Windows 7
  2. Click in the area "Search Programs and Files"
  3. Type the following (or copy and paste) C:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\
  4. Then a file will open and show some files sitting in the directory you just opened.  Open the hosts file (you may get asked to choose the program you want to open this file with, so choose notepad).
  5. Then add an entry in your file like the following 111.65.227.65 www.bigplans.co.nz (remember to use the IP address of your server and the domain name you want.  The correct IP address to use here would have been sent to you in your Welcome email when your hosting plan was activated) Remember to enter all this on one line.
  6. Then click File > Save and close the file.
Then open your web browser and type the domain name you entered in your host file and you should arrive at your new site you are developing.  If you do not get to the new site you are developing then you may need to restart your DNS services as follows.
  1. Click the Start Icon on the main menu of Windows 7
  2. Click in the area "Search Programs and Files"
  3. Type "services.msc" without the brackets
  4. The browse for DNS Client
  5. Then click Restart Service which should be at the top of the tool bar of the services.msc you just opened
  6. Close the services.msc panel you just opened
  7. Open you web browser and type the domain name again.

PLEASE REMEMBER THAT YOU CAN USE THIS METHOD TO DEVELOP A NEW SITE WHILE IT IS NOT LIVE, BUT ONCE YOUR NEW SITE IS LIVE YOU WILL NEED TO REMOVE THE HOSTS ENTRY YOU ADDED TO YOUR HOSTS FILE IN THE PREVIOUS STEPS.

 

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