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How to Download and Edit the Windows Hosts File

How to Download and Edit the Windows Hosts File

The hosts file is a small text file that maps hostnames to IP addresses. It is used by Windows to resolve domain names to IP addresses when you browse the web or access network resources. By editing the hosts file, you can block unwanted websites, redirect domains to different servers, or troubleshoot network issues.

windows system32 drivers etc hosts file download

However, sometimes you may need to download a new hosts file or restore the default one if your current hosts file is corrupted, missing, or modified by malware. In this article, we will show you how to download and edit the Windows hosts file using Notepad or other text editors.

How to Download the Windows Hosts File

The Windows hosts file is located in the following directory: C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc. You can navigate to this folder using File Explorer or the Run command (Windows key + R). However, you may not see the hosts file if your system is set to hide file extensions or protected operating system files. To make the hosts file visible, follow these steps:

  • Open File Explorer and go to the View tab.

  • Check the box next to File name extensions and Hidden items.

  • Uncheck the box next to Hide protected operating system files (Recommended).

  • Click Yes on the warning message that appears.

  • Navigate to C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc and you should see the hosts file.

If you still don't see the hosts file or you can't access it, you may need to download a new one from a trusted source. You can use the following link to download the default hosts file for Windows 10, 8, and 7:

Download HOSTS File for Windows - MajorGeeks

After downloading the hosts file, unzip it and copy it to C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc. You may need to overwrite the existing hosts file or rename it as hosts.bak before copying the new one.

How to Edit the Windows Hosts File

To edit the Windows hosts file, you need to open it with a text editor such as Notepad. However, you can't just double-click on the hosts file and open it normally. You need to run Notepad as an administrator to edit the hosts file. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Click on the Start button and type Notepad in the search box.

  • Right-click on Notepad and select Run as administrator.

  • Click Yes on the User Account Control prompt that appears.

  • In Notepad, click on File > Open and navigate to C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc.

  • In the bottom-right corner of the Open window, change the file type from Text Documents (*.txt) to All Files (*.*).

  • Select the hosts file and click Open.

Now you can edit the hosts file as you wish. The hosts file consists of lines that have two parts: an IP address and a hostname. Each line should be separated by at least one space or tab. For example: localhost

The first line is a default entry that maps the local loopback address ( to the localhost name. The second line maps a specific IP address ( to a domain name ( The third line blocks access to a website ( by mapping it to an invalid IP address (

You can add, modify, or delete any lines in the hosts file as per your needs. However, be careful not to make any mistakes or delete any essential entries as this may cause problems with your network connectivity or web browsing.

You can also add comments to the hosts file by starting a line with a hash sign (#). For example:

# This is a comment

# The following line redirects to bing 0efd9a6b88


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