The Windows HOSTS file can be used to redirect a domain name to a different IP address. This technique is often used by malware programs to redirect users of infected computers to phishing websites or to infected websites. You can always reset the HOSTS file back to the default – restoring its contents to the same state as they were when you installed Windows. Here is how :
The method described in this article applies to Windows XP, Vista and 7. You must have administrator level access to perform the following steps. You should temporarily turn off all the security application which prevent the HOSTS file from changing, for the process to be successful.
- Download the file reset_windows_hosts_file.zip.
- Extract the contents of the zip to a folder on your desktop. You can right-click on the zip file and choose Extract All and follow on-screen directions. If you are using a third party program to open zip files, then use it to extract all the files to a folder.
- If you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7, then right-click on reset_windows_vista_seven_hosts.bat and choose Run as administrator. If the UAC asks you to allow to make changes, then click Yes.
- If you are using Windows XP, then just double-click on reset_windows_xp_hosts.bat. You must be logged in with an administrator level user account.
- That’s it. You have just reset your Windows HOSTS file back to default.
This should be enough to take care of the business. But if, for some reason this method does not work, then you can download the Fixit Tool from Microsoft’s web site and give it a try.