ARCHIVED: In Windows, what is traceroute and how do I use it?
The traceroute utility checks how many "hops" (transfers through
other computers on a network) it takes for your computer to contact
another computer. You can use traceroute if you know the other
computer's IP address, web site address, or name (e.g.,
To access the utility:
- Open the command prompt:
Windows 8: From the navigation section on the
right side of the screen, select
Search. In the search field, type
cmd, and click
Command Promptto open it.
Windows 7 or Vista: From the
Startmenu, in the search field, type
cmd, and then press
Previous versions: From the
Run.... In the "Open:" box, type
cmd, and then press
- Windows 8: From the navigation section on the right side of the screen, select
- At the command prompt, enter
tracert example, where
exampleis the IP address, name, or web site of the computer you are trying to access. For example, if you enter
tracert www.indiana.edu, you should see something similar to the following:
The first column, the hop count, represents the number of stops your information has made along the route to attempt to contact the other computer. The next three columns are the round-trip times in milliseconds for three different attempts to reach the destination. The last column is the name of the host that responded to the request.
The above example shows that a user on
a traceroute to
www.indiana.edu. On the fifth hop, the
request left the Ivy Tech network and went to the
network. On the eighth hop, the request went to the
iupui.edu network. Finally, on the tenth hop, the
request found its way to the
indiana.edu network. Since
there is a "Request timed out" message on the ninth hop, you might
guess that there could be some problem between the
iupui.edu network and the
network. If you are seeing other problems, such as the web page at
http://www.indiana.edu/ loading slowly,
this could indicate the location of the problem.
In many cases, a network technician will need to analyze the problem
further. To aid in this effort, you can save the output of the
traceroute program as a text file by entering the following command,
example is the IP address, name, or web site you
are trying to access:
You can then send the
test.txt file to your computer
support provider for further diagnosis.
Last modified on January 03, 2013.