Using the hosts file on your local computer can help you test a website by overriding a website’s DNS to point to a different server. This can be useful for various purposes, such as previewing a website before it goes live or accessing a development version of a site. In this guide we will walk though using the Hosts File Editor utility within PowerToys.
- Download and install Microsoft PowerToys.
- Once installed you should see the new application icon within the system icons, bottom right of your taskbar.
- Double click on the logo to open the application. Once loaded you should see all the built in PowerToys tools and applications. Using the side menu find and click on Host File Editor.
- Leave the default options as they are and click Launch Host File Editor, accept the warning to continue.
- Here you can now manage your host file entries. Click New Entry at the top left, Enter the address, e.g 192.168.1.123, the host, e.g yourwebsite.co.uk, add a comment so you know what the record is for and click add.
- That’s it, your now using a custom host file to point an IP to your testing website. You can easily toggle the record on and off in the interface for easy and fast testing.