Windows Hosts File
Windows Hosts File Location and Basic Usage
When you visit a website, for example Save Location, the domain (in this case, savelocation.net) is just an alias for an IP address. If we think about the IP address as the host, and the domain as the name, it's quite clear to see where the name "hostname" comes from: it's the name for a host.
Perhaps the most-commonly used example of a hostname is
localhost which is actually just a hostname for
127.0.0.1. But how does your computer know which IP address a hostname points to?
In the case of
localhost, they both use system called DNS (domain name system) which - to really water things down - tells the computer where they point to.
It would also be possible to use the
hosts file to declare these. A hosts file defines any and all hostnames that aren't in the domain name system, in fact, one can even override the DNS by changing the hosts file (as it has priority). If you want to learn how to open up the hosts file, read on...
Windows Hosts File Location
hosts file location on Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7 is the same. You can find it at the following path:
On Windows 8 and 10, you'll need to run the application you wish to open the hosts file with as administrator in order to access it. We'll use Notepad as an example. First, open Notepad as an administrator by right clicking it and selecting
Run as Administrator:
Then, go to
Open (or hit
Finally, paste the
hosts file location from above into the
File name: field and hit
And that's you, inside the
hosts file and ready to edit it! If you want to learn how to use the hosts file, read on...
How to Edit the Hosts File on Windows
Each hostname you want to define should be on one line (and there should be a new line for each hostname). The syntax is fairly straight forward, first write the name of the host (e.g. IP address) you want the hostname to point to. Then, after a space (or tab), add the hostname. For example, the below line would make
home.computer point to
Say you also wanted to add the host
192.168.1.143 to have the hostname
lan.network, you could just add another line, so the file would look like so:
home.computer 127.0.0.1 lan.network 192.168.1.143