How To Edit Hosts Files In Microsoft Windows OS


02.05.2011

How To Edit Hosts Files In Microsoft Windows OS

If I remember well User Account Control (UAC) was 1st introduced in Windows Vista. Since then this has been a very prominent feature with what you can change and break many usual behaviors of your Windows OS. This happens in Windows 7 too and if we think a little, this will be there to use in further versions of the Microsoft product. Windows 8 will make no exception of course. The only thing that I found annoying is the fact that it’s no longer possible to directly edit the hosts file with Notepad. This allowed users to override DNS and so map IP addresses to the required domains.

If you would try to run Notepad or in fact any other text editor and try to open some files located in %WinDir%/System32/drivers/etc/ folder, after making the changes an error message will appear that will sound like this: “You don’t have permission to save in this location. Contact the administrator to obtain permission.”

This will happen even in those situations where the user has been logged on to Windows as administrators. In fact it doesn’t matter what type of account you have because the same error will appear again and again. So you will need to find a way in which you will be able to provide administrator permission to copy to this folder.

A thing that needs to be remembered is that in Windows 7, UAC has been greatly improved in such a way that you will need only to click the “Continue” in order to initiate the copying or moving. This happens only if you are logged in with an administrator account. Also giving credentials for an administrator account is a good way to do this.
In fact you have probably noticed that Windows doesn’t approve any applications that have non-elevated privileges when it comes to making changes to some important system files or folders. We will show you now the proper way to modify and edit the host file.

  1. Simply right click on the Notepad (or in fact any text editor you like) and from there select Run as Administrator.

  2. Now click on File -> Open and from there browse to the next folder.

  3. %SystemDrive%WindowsSystem32Driversetc

  4. A good tip would be to copy and paste into the location bar for a better folder path.

  5. From the file type drop down menu list click and select All Files (*.*).

  6. Now open the hosts file.

After you finish editing you will be able now to save the files.

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