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How to Setup DNS Server on Windows Server 2012

Setting Up DNS Server

To install and setup DNS server on your Windows Server 2012, just follow these 11 easy steps! To begin:

  1. Log in to your Windows server with the administrator user.
  2. Open Server Manager

    Screenshot showing the Server Manager dashboard with the option to configure a local server

  3. Click the Manage menu and then select Add Roles and Features. On the next screen click on Next.

    Screenshot showing the Manage tab and highlighting the "Add Roles and Features" option from the dropdown menu

  4. For DNS servers, select the Role-based or feature-based installation. Click on Next.

    Installation Type screen highlighting the option for "Role-based or feature-based installation"

  5. Choose the option to Select a server from the server pool and click on the name of your local server where the DNS server will be installed.

    Select destination server window highlighting the option to "Select a server from the server pool"

  6. On the Server Roles screen, click on DNS Server from the list of available roles. This will open an additional window showing required features.
    Server Roles screen showing the list of available roles and highlighting the option to install "DNS Server"
  7. Click on Add Features. Once done you will see DNS Server is now selected on the Server Roles screen. Now click on Next.
    Add Roles and Features Wizard highlighting the option to "Add Features"

    Server Roles screen showing the "DNS Server" option selected and highlighting the "Next" button at the bottom of the screen

  8. The next window will ask if you’d like to add additional features. Since you’ve already added the features for DNS server, you can leave these as is.

    The Features screen showing available feature options and highlighting the "Next" button

  9. The next screen will show information about DNS servers and what it does. You can read over the information or simply click Next.

    DNS Server information screen giving an overview of the DNS server's functions

  10. On the Confirm installation selections screen, you’re given a final chance to look over the features you’ve selected before installing. You can select the option to Restart the destination server automatically if required or simply restart the server manually at a later time. It is however recommended that you restart the server immediately after installing DNS.

    When you’re ready, click on Install to begin installing the DNS server.

    Confirm installation selections screen highlighting the option to "Restart the destination server automatically if required"

  11. The Installation progress screen shows the progress of your DNS installation. Once the installation is complete, you can Close the window.

    Results screen showing the DNS server installation progress bar

And there you have it! Your DNS server has been successfully installed. Now that you’ve setup DNS server, you’re ready to start surfing the internet.


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