Now let’s talk about the Windows Hosts file. If you are wondering what is a host file, a host file is a Windows plain-text file for the purpose of mapping hostnames to IP addresses and the host name assigned to your computer is called localhost. Every website you see in the internet has an IP address connected to it. Now, the hosts file works in mapping it to the actual domain name. A clean hosts file has normally one entry for localhost. 127.0.0.1 is the IP of the localhost, and any domain name in the hosts file that is associated with this IP cannot access the Internet and will be trapped in your computer. Because of this, security programs can take it your advantage and use the hosts file in making your computer more secure. However, viruses may also edit the file and prevent you from accessing the internet. When you see a line starting with a pound sign (#) are called comments, and its main function is to write descriptions.
Here are the various locations of your Windows Hosts file:
- Windows 95 – C:\Windows
- Windows 98 – C:\Windows
- Windows Me – C:\Windows
- Windows 2000 – C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\Etc
- Windows XP – C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\Etc
- Windows NT – C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\Etc
- Windows 2003 Server – C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\Etc
- Windows 2008 Server – C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\Etc
- Windows Vista – C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\Etc
- Windows 7: C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\Etc
Can I manually Fix my Hijacked Hosts File?
Yes you can! Since Hosts files are just a plain text file, you can easily modify using a Notepad or any text editor. To make changes just open the Hosts File in your Notepad, make the appropriate changes and resave the file.
- Open your hosts file by Double-clicking on the Hosts file and choosing to open with Notepad or you can first open Notepad, click on File then Open, set the files to “All files” then locate your hosts file.
- Delete or remove any lines without the (#) except for the localhost entry pictured above.
- Save the file.
If you are having troubles following the instruction above you can download a tool from Microsoft to automatically reset your hosts file. Just download the fix-it and run it to reset the hosts file.
Download Microsoft Fix-It