I know that the Windows hosts file maps host names to IP addresses. But there is no mapping for localhost. Instead it has a comment that says this:

# localhost name resolution is handled within DNS itself.
#       localhost

I don't understand this. Where is this "DNS" that handles this resolution? Is it a program somewhere in Windows OS? Is it outside of Windows? Does it have a config file? How is this being done?

1 Answer 1


DNS here refers to the Windows operating system DNS resolver, which is part of the network stack.

  • From Microsoft Docs "The resolver is a software component bundled in the Windows 2000 Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) stack that communicates with DNS Servers to create and resolve name-resolution queries." So I guess it's a piece of software part of Windows.
    – Liga
    Jun 3, 2020 at 11:35

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