How to reset Hosts file back to default in Windows 10 / 8 / 7

The Hosts file in Windows, is used to map host names to IP addresses. If for some reason, you find that your Hosts file has been compromised, and that some malicious entries have been added, you can if you wish, reset Hosts file back to default.

Reset Hosts file

Reset Hosts file in Windows 10 / 8 / 7

The Hosts file in Windows 10 / 8 / 7 is locate at the following location:

C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc

To reset the Hosts file, open File Explorer, type the following in the address bar and hit Enter:

%systemroot% \system32\drivers\etc

Rename the hosts file to hosts.bak. You may be required to take ownership of the file first.

Next, create a new default Hosts file. To do so, open a new Text file named hosts in the folder %WinDir%\system32\drivers\etc folder.

Copy-paste the following text into the notepad file:

# Copyright (c) 1993-2009 Microsoft Corp.
 #
 # This is a sample HOSTS file used by Microsoft TCP/IP for Windows.
 #
 # This file contains the mappings of IP addresses to host names. Each
 # entry should be kept on an individual line. The IP address should
 # be placed in the first column followed by the corresponding host name.
 # The IP address and the host name should be separated by at least one
 # space.
 #
 # Additionally, comments (such as these) may be inserted on individual
 # lines or following the machine name denoted by a '#' symbol.
 #
 # For example:
 #
 #      102.54.94.97     rhino.acme.com          # source server
 #       38.25.63.10     x.acme.com              # x client host
 # localhost name resolution is handle within DNS itself.
 #       127.0.0.1       localhost
 #       ::1             localhost

Save the text file. Alternatively, if you wish you can download the default Hosts file of Windows 8 by clicking here. Extract the contents and place the hosts file in your C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc folder. You may be asked for permissions to replace it.

HostsMan is good freeware utility that lets you add, remove entries and generally lets you manage the Hosts File in Windows easily. Go here to see how you can Lock, Manage, Edit Hosts File in Windows 8  / 7.

Posted by on , in Category Security with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com and a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows for the period 2006-16. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.