The DNS Server service can use Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) servers to look up names that are not found in the Domain Name System (DNS) domain namespace by checking the NetBIOS namespace that is managed by WINS.

To use WINS lookup integration, two special resource record types—the WINS and WINS-R resource records—are enabled and added to a zone. When the WINS resource record is used, DNS queries that fail to find a matched host (A) resource record in the zone are forwarded to WINS servers that are configured in the WINS resource record. For reverse lookup zones, the WINS-R resource record can be enabled and used to provide a similar benefit for further resolving a reverse query that is not answerable in the reverse domain.


As an alternative to using WINS for resolving single-label host names, you can configure DNS client computers to use suffix search lists. You can also deploy a specially named zone, called GlobalNames, to provide name resolution for a limited set of centrally managed host names. For more information about these alternatives to WINS, see Understanding DNS Client Settings and Deploying a GlobalNames Zone.

Membership in the Administrators group, or equivalent, is the minimum required to complete this procedure. Review details about using the appropriate accounts and group memberships at

To enable DNS to use WINS resolution
  1. Open DNS Manager.

  2. In the console tree, right-click the applicable zone, then click Properties.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • If the applicable zone is a forward lookup zone, on the WINS tab, select the Use WINS forward lookup check box. In IP address, type the IP address of a WINS server to be used for resolution of names that are not found in DNS, and then click Add.

    • If the applicable zone is a reverse lookup zone, on the WINS-R tab, select the Use WINS-R lookup check box. In Domain to append to returned name, type a name.

  4. Select the Do not replicate this record check box for this WINS record, if applicable.

    If you are replicating this zone between DNS servers that do not recognize the WINS or WINS-R resource records, select this check box. This prevents these records from being replicated to these other servers during zone transfers. If this zone will be used in performing zone transfers to BIND servers, this is a critical option because Berkeley Internet Name Domain (BIND) will not recognize WINS records.

Additional considerations

  • To open DNS Manager, click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click DNS.

  • When you enable this option, specified WINS servers that are configured in this procedure are used for final referral of names that are not found in the applicable zone.

  • As an option, you can click Advanced to adjust advanced WINS lookup parameters.