Bluehost Web Hosting Help

How to Change your Hosts File

What is a Hosts File?

The hosts file will allow you to set IP addresses for domains on your local machine. These files can override the authoritative DNS settings for your domain, so this can be useful for seeing what a domain will display if pointed to a different server. A typical hosts file will have one or more lines referencing your 'localhost'(your computer).

This is very beneficial for development purposes, as it allows you to make changes on a server other than the one loaded by your domain when visitors access your page.

Editing your Hosts File

To change the host your domain loads from, you will need to know the correct IP for your server. Bluehost servers will require you to use the IP address displayed under Server Information in your cPanel.

Editing System Files

You can change the host your local computer loads your website from by directly editing your system's hosts file. This method will be easier if you are an experienced user of the operating system on your local PC.
All operating systems will have a hosts file like our example: localhost

Add the second line in this example to your hosts file, with the following edits:
  1. Replace "" with the IP address from your cPanel.
  2. Replace "" with your actual domain name.

To undo this change, deactivate the line by prefacing it with a "#" (as shown on the third line in the example above). This will cause the line to be ignored.

Remember to undo any changes you make after you're done previewing your site. Otherwise, any of these changes could prevent your domain from loading the correct DNS.

Flushing DNS

Once you have modified your hosts file, we recommend flushing your DNS cache to see the changes more quickly. For more information on flushing cache, please see DNS Cache Flush.

Knowledgebase Article 90,720 views bookmark tags: admin development dns file hosts ip test

Was this resource helpful?

Did this resolve your issue?

Please add any other comments or suggestions about this content:

Recommended Help Content

Modifying the Nameservers through other registrars

How do I Change My DNS?

How To Change Your Primary Domain

How can I change the primary domain name on my account?

What Is an A Record? How To Edit an A Record

Definition of an A Record

Related Help Content

What Are DNS Records? Domain Name System Examples - DNS Zone Editor

What are the commonly used DNS entries?

Wildcard Subdomains or DNS

Do you support wildcard subdomains or wildcard DNS entries?

Manually Changing the Domain of Your WordPress Site

How to change the name of your WordPress site without WP Tools

Whitelist IP Address

How do I Whitelist my IP Address? I can't log into MySQL from a remote computer using a MySQL admin tool (phpMyAdmin, Navicat, MySQLFront, MySQL-Admin, etc).

How To Activate Newly Registered Domain - New Domain Name Inactive

Once I Register a Domain, How Long Does it Take to Become Active?

How To Login To WordPress Site - WP Admin Access

This article will explain how to login to a website created with WordPress.

About Domain Names

You need two things to have a successful website and professional email: a domain registration and a hosting account.

DNS Management - How To Add Edit Or Delete DNS Entries

How to Modify Your DNS Records