Using DNS over HTTPS (DoH) can make your web browsing more secure by hiding the websites your computer is accessing from outsiders. We’ve covered turning on DoH in your browser, but the newest Windows Insider update adds a system-level DoH setting to Windows 10. It’s incredibly handy.
Turning on Windows 10’s system-level DoH will enable DNS over HTTPS for all browsers installed on your PC that support it, plus any other internet-based programs that can use it now or in the future. Brave, Chrome, Edge Chromium, Firefox and Opera all currently support DoH, but until now you had to configure each browser’s DoH settings individually—a tedious process if you used more than one. Using the Windows 10 DoH applies your PC’s internet adapter so that every browser or app that accesses it will use the same DNS settings.
While Windows 10’s DoH feature is currently only available to Windows Insiders, its presence in the latest updates implies that a public release could be happening soon. If you want access to Microsoft’s system-level DoH early, though, we’ll show you how to get it.
How to turn on Windows 10’s DNS over HTTPS for Windows Insiders
In order to try out the early version of Windows 10’s system-level DoH, you need to be a Windows Insider—basically a Windows 10 beta tester—as Windows 10 DoH is available on the most recent Insider system update. To sign up, simply open up Windows Update and click on the Windows Insider Program section on the left sidebar. We recommend the Slow ring for Insider builds; you can be a little less risky by sticking to release preview builds (at the cost of features), or a little riskier by going for the Fast ring (at the potential cost of system stability).
Once you’re an Insider, and you have the latest Windows Update, here’s how to check which version you’re using:
- Press the Start key to open the Windows Start Menu.
- Search for
winverand run the application.
- A Window will pop up. Look for the “OS Build” number, next to the version number. You need to be running OS Build 19628 or higher to turn on DoH.
- Click “OK” to close the window.
If your OS Build doesn’t match, make sure you’ve installed the latest Windows beta updates, and then check again.
Once you’ve confirmed you’re running the right Insider build, you can now turn on DoH. This requires a bit more file manipulation that your average feature, but Microsoft says this process only applies to the Windows Insider build. The setting will be more straightforward once system-level DoH rolls out publicly.
To get started:
- First, open the Windows Start menu, the search for and open Registry Editor as Administrator.
- In the Registry Editor window open: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Dnscache\Parameters
- Right-click within the “Parameters” folder and create a new Dword (32-bit) Value. Name this new file “EnableAutoDOH” and set its value to “2.”
- Close the Registry Editor and restart your PC.
- After the reboot, open the Start menu again and open Settings.
- Go to Network & Internet > Change adapter options
- Right-click the internet adapter you PC uses, then select “Properties.”
- Scroll down and double click Internet Protocol Version 4 or Internet Protocol Version 6 (you’ll need to repeat the next steps if the adapter has both).
- Select “Use the following DNS server addresses,” then type in the address(es) for one of the following DNS services:
- 184.108.40.206 (IPv4)
- 220.127.116.11 (IPv4)
- 2606:4700:4700::1111 (IPv6)
- 2606:4700:4700::1001 (IPv6)
- 18.104.22.168 (IPv4)
- 22.214.171.124 (IPv4)
- 2001:4860:4860::8888 (IPv6)
- 2001:4860:4860::8844 (IPv6)
- 126.96.36.199 (IPv4)
- 188.8.131.52 (IPv4)
- 2620:fe::fe (IPv6)
- 2620:fe::fe:9 (IPv6)
Add the addresses, and then click “OK” to close the window and save your settings.
You can now test your DoH connection by visiting Cloudflare’s help page, which will tell you whether your browser is using DoH. If everything looks good, then your settings are solid and you can now browse with near-ubiquitous DoH settings.
If you’re seeing any errors or it says you don’t have DNS over HTTPS, go back through the steps above and triple-check that everything is named correctly and that all the addresses are correct.
To turn off Windows 10’s auto-DoH settings, delete the registry key you previously created. You can also switch your DNS settings from manual to automatic, but you’ll lose the benefits (and likely faster speeds) of a third-party DNS service—compared to your ISP, at least.