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Fix DNS Failure on Mac with 7 Effective Methods 

Updated on Friday, June 14, 2024

iBoysoft author Ciki Liu

Written by

Ciki Liu
Professional tech editor

Approved by

Jessica Shee


Summary: If you fail to open a web page and see the service unavailable error message, this post will explain what is the DNS failure and show feasible methods to fix it. - iBoysoft

how to fix service unavailable DNS failure on Mac

The DNS failure occurs when your try to reach a certain web page. For example, you may encounter an error message saying, service unavailable, DNS not responding, or DNS address could not be found. As a result, you are unable to access your desired website or web app.

What is the DNS failure exactly and how to troubleshoot this issue? This post will explain this network error clearly and walk you through feasible methods to fix service unavailable DNS failure on Mac.

Understanding DNS failures

To start with, DNS, the domain name system, is a distributed internet database that links domain names to web server IP addresses. Servers use IP addresses to connect with each other, however, it's a tough job for us humans to remember a series of numbers to reach a web server that's hosting a website. Without the system, the web would not work.

If you receive an error message about the DNS server, which is used to hold and update the DNS database, it simply means the browser is having trouble reaching a certain DNS server. Or, the DNS server finds it unable to connect to the target website URL. As a result, your client device such as your MacBook fails to access a website, seeing only the DNS not responding.

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Fix DNS failures by restarting the Mac

Believe it or not, a restart on Mac can solve up to 80% - 90% of your Mac issues. If the web page you want to reach fails to load and shows the service unavailable message, try giving your Mac a reboot and relaunching the page. Similarly, it's also worth trying to quit the browser you are visiting and reopen it to fix the DNS failure.

restart Mac

Fix DNS failures by force refreshing the web page

If the above method fails to work, here's another way to grant a new start to the system, that is to force refresh Mac on the page you want to reach. By doing so, a new DNS query will be established and if the issue is a temporary one, your browser should go and fetch a new copy of the page to finally load it.

To force refresh the page using key combinations on Mac:

For Chrome users: Command + Shift + R

refresh Chrome on Mac

For Safari users: Command + Option + R

refresh Safari on Mac

For Firefox users: Command + Shift + R

Fix DNS failures by reaching the page in another browser

Due to a lot of factors, the DNS server may function slightly differently in one browser and another. Therefore, if you encounter a DNS failure in one platform, say, Safari, you can switch to Chrome to see how it works. Trying various browsers might surprise you.

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Fix DNS failures by checking the internet connection

Since the internet is involved in all your online activities, for sure, you may troubleshoot the DNS issue by checking internet connections. Check the two things you can do.

Restart the modem/router. The modem connects your home to your ISP, the internet service provider. By restarting, it's likely to fix the corruption that's causing the error and load everything from scratch. The same solution applies to the router.

Turn off and on your Wi-Fi network. Perhaps the Wi-Fi is gone for a sec, simply switch it off and turn it on again to fix the internet error.

Fix DNS failures by removing the cache on Mac

If your browser is heavily loaded with aged cache, chances are it cloud trigger issues that stop you from surfing the internet. To clear the cache on Mac, check below for a detailed guide.

Fix DNS failures by waiting and retrying

The service unavailable error can happen on some big and trendy websites due to the large and overwhelming increase in traffic. Therefore, it might be helpful if you quit the website for a while and enter it again when there are fewer visitors. The fewer people get on the website, the larger chance you have to successfully load the page.

Fix DNS failures by directly contacting the website admin

Sometimes, what causes the service unavailable error is not from your end but the website. It's highly likely the website admin is already aware of the issue and is trying to fix it, but contacting them won't do anything terrible anyway. 

Nowadays most websites are social networks supported, so it won't be a problem for you to find their contact information such as email addresses and even phone numbers.

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If you encounter the service unavailable error when opening a website on your Mac device, this post elaborates on how to fix service unavailable DNS failure with multiple effective solutions. Next time you have an issue with a website's server, try these methods above.