“I want to point my computer’s browser to another location for a specific website. How do I edit the hosts file in Windows 7 to allow me to change where the domain points.”
All internet traffic relies on the hosts file on your local computer to tell your browser where to look for specific websites. This is a bit like your cell phone provider knowing to route a call to your cell phone number to your specific handset. If your local hosts file doesn’t contain an address, your computer then looks for the address at the DNS servers provided by your ISP, but the local file overrides whatever the DNS servers may have stored in their records. If you want to change the hosts file on your Windows 7 computer, you need to be an administrator.
To edit the hosts file, open Notepad by right clicking on the application icon and choosing run as administrator. This step is required so that you can make changes. If you don’t choose this option, you won’t be able to save your changes to the file.
Next open the hosts file in Notepad. The hosts file is located in:
C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc or if your system hard drive isn’t C: the path is whatever your system path would be: %systemroot%\Windows\System32\drivers\etc
Once you open the file, simply add the line for the IP address and site you want to include, with the IP address first and the domain name second.So if you wanted to hardcode this site in your hosts file, you would add the line:
Save the file and your change will instantly be active.