Mac OS X: How to Clear Your DNS Cache (or How Can I See My New Server?)

Let me preface this post by saying: Sucks.

In fact, that’s an important enough fact for another complete post.  Let’s just say that I have not had email service from my provider,, since December 29th.  Forget 99.9% uptime.  This is over five days of no email service, and very terse and angry emails from their customer service when requesting daily updates of status.   I’ve been using their service for over five years, so you’d think they’d treat you a little bit better, but no.

I finally got tired of hearing nothing useful from them, and I switched providers yesterday to Cheaper ($4/month), more features (5GB space, 250GB transfer, 500 email accounts), and email support 24×7 that responds in about one hour.

However, I did learn an important trick.  So GoDaddy got my new hosting service up in record time, literally hours.   However, I realized that my current FTP & Email clients were still seeing the old DNS mapping for my domain.

I realized this was because my machine had cached the DNS lookup for my domain.  The applications weren’t seeing the new IP address, because they thought they already knew it.

The answer is simple:

  1. Open up the Terminal application (in Utilities)
  2. Type “lookupd -flushcache”

That’s it.  I love the Unix underpinnings of Mac OS X, so it’s always nice to discover a nice back end trick.  This one was easier than most.

Many thanks to the Inert Ramblings blog for the easy answer to this problem.

Hopefully, I will now have consistent and available email service through the rest of 2007 & beyond.

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