The windows host file is a file included in Microsoft Windows that can be set to override where domain names resolve to. For example, you can force set “www.domain.com” to resolve to IP address “127.0.0.1”, or locally.
The Windows Host File location in Windows is:
Windows 95 = C:windows
Windows 98 = C:\windows
Windows Me = C:\windows
Windows 2000 = C:windows\system32\drivers\etc
Windows XP = C:\windows\system32\drivers\etc
Windows NT = C:\winnt\system32\drivers\etc
Windows Vista = C:\windows\system32\drivers\etc
Windows 7 = C:\windows\System32\drivers\etc
In order to edit this file in later versions of windows, you may need to locate NotePad in Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> Notepad, Right Click and select “Run as Administrator”. Then, locate to the location above and select “All files” for File Types in order to show the hosts file.
As always, I suggest a full backup of any files before you make modifications.