Hosts file

Updated: 07/20/2017 by Computer Hope

hosts fileA hosts file is a local file stored on the computer that translates domain names or NetBIOS names into an IP addresses. For example, in the example below, the line translates 216.58.216.164 into the Google domain.

Example of hosts file line

216.58.216.164 google.com

When looking up an IP address, the computer will first look at the hosts file to resolve the name. If the name is not in the local hosts file, it will try resolving using a Domain Name Service (DNS), and if also not found the lookup will fail.

Microsoft Windows users should also see the lmhost definition for further information about configuring the Windows lmhost file.

DNS, Lmhost, Local host, Network terms