Why is it taking so long for my DNS changes to propagate in Route 53 and public resolvers?

Last updated: 2021-05-20

I updated a DNS record set in my Amazon Route 53 public hosted zone. However, the changes are taking longer than I expected to propagate. Why is it taking so long for my DNS changes to propagate?

Short description

DNS propagation is the amount of time that it takes for DNS changes to be updated across the internet. If the propagation isn't complete, clients won't see updated values after resolving the domain name.

If you're experiencing incomplete propagation, then clients can't connect to your application. Some clients might also experience DNS-related errors, such as "Servfail", "NXDomain", or "Refused". In this scenario, clients can connect directly to the IP address of the application, but they can't connect through the domain name.

Resolution

There are over 100 edge locations in Route 53 with DNS name servers that answer DNS queries from clients. When you update a record set in your hosted zone, the change is propagated to all Route 53 edge locations within 60 seconds. The edge locations are updated with the latest information from your hosted zone, and the edge locations respond to client queries accordingly. If a client sends a query directly to the domain name’s hosted zone name servers, then the client receives the correct response.

Use the dig tool to confirm that the client received the desired response:

dig <domain name> @<name server>

Then, use any public DNS tool to check the domain’s resolution from different Regions. Some locations might show the updated value, while other locations still show the previous value. Or, you might find that the previous value is shown in all Regions. In both scenarios, propagation isn't complete and you must wait for the public DNS resolver caches to clear.

If you updated your DNS settings but don't see the expected outcome, see the following troubleshooting steps based on your scenario:


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