Windows Hosts file is a simple text file (without any file extension) which contains mappings of IP addresses and their respective host names. This is the basic task of a DNS server which is served by Windows Hosts file in Windows. Windows Hosts file can be edited manually to add any custom tweaks to any DNS entry. The Hosts file has always been there in Windows and Windows 8 also includes the Hosts file with the same functionality.
There has been no change in the functionality of Windows 8 Hosts file but the editing method of the file has certainly changed. Windows 8 makes it difficult to edit and change the contents of the Hosts file because many malware make use of this file to redirect the web browser to malicious sites. By default, the Hosts file is locked and cannot be altered in Windows 8. There are a few methods by which you can modify Windows 8 Hosts file. Let’s go through all of them.
Edit Hosts file by moving the Hosts file
Yes! this is the easiest and the simplest method by far. Follow the steps below to edit the Hosts file in Windows 8 successfully:
Go to C:WindowsSystem32driversetc
Copy the Hosts file to the Desktop
Edit the copied file from the Desktop
Move the edited file to C:WindowsSystem32driversetc
You will be asked for this move. Confirm and you’ll get the updated Hosts file.
Edit Hosts file using Notepad
You can also directly edit the Hosts file in Windows 8 by opening it in Notepad but you will need to open Notepad in administrative mode. Follow the steps below in order to edit the Hosts file using Notepad directly.
Open the Charms bar (Windows 8 Shortcut: Win + C)
Click on the Search button
Search for “notepad” from the search field.
Right-click “Notepad” from the search results.
Select “Run as Administrator” from the context menu options at the bottom of the screen.
Now open the Hosts file from Notepad open menu.
This way you will be able to save the Hosts file without any problems.
Edit Hosts file using Hostsman software
The popular and free Hosts file manager, Hostsman still works with Windows 8. When you run Hostsman in Windows 8, the SmartScreen will detect it as unlisted program and will not let it run. But you can click on the “Run Anyway” button and Hostsman will run without any problems. You can easily edit the Windows 8 Hosts file using Hostsman software.