DNS – How to see sites before propagation of Name Servers

For FTP “Problems” e.g. if domain has only recently been registered, for my dedicated hosting, I can add “host:” in the FTP to get access. If I want to actually see what the site looks like, keep reading….

To fool my computer into seeing the webpage I’ve created at a URL before the domain names have propagated, I need to alter the “hosts” file.

On my windows 10 PC, it’s here:

NOTE -Make a BACKUP of the hosts file before editing!!!

For Windows 10

  1. Press the Windows key.
  2. Type Notepad in the search field.
  3. In the search results, right-click Notepad and select Run as administrator.
  4. From Notepad, open the following file: c:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc\hosts
  5. Make the necessary changes to the file.
  6. Click File > Save to save your changes.

E.G. The changes to make to the file are:


I added two lines at the bottom of the file – which is my dedicated hosting IP address.

Once the domain has fully propagated (24 hours?) then I can change the hosts file back to what it was.


More notes on this at https://support.rackspace.com/how-to/modify-your-hosts-file/

  • Restart any currently open browsers. You may also want to flush your DNS cache. Go to Start, and then Run, then type “cmd” and hit enter. Type the following:ipconfig /flushdns