How to Use Traceroute

Last updated June, 2019


Traceroute is an application that traces the path data takes from one computer to another. Basically, a traceroute is a map that shows what stops or locations that data must pass through in order to go from one computer to another.

Important: To be an effective troubleshooting tool, the traceroute needs to be run from a computer experiencing the problem while the problem is occurring.


To Run a Traceroute in Windows

The command application (cmd.exe) is used to run a traceroute on Windows. Launching it is slightly different depending on your version of Windows:

  •  In Windows 7:
    • click on the Start menu
    • type “cmd” and press Enter to get a command prompt.
  • In Windows 8:
    • move your mouse to the bottom-left corner of the screen to bring up the Start icon.
    • Right-click on Start and select Run.
    • Then type “command” and press Enter to launch the application.
    • Alternatively, you can type “command” into the Search field in the Charms menu after moving your mouse to the lower right corner of your desktop.
  • In Windows 10, type “command” into the search menu and press Enter for a command prompt.

To run the traceroute, type:


into the command prompt, where “” is the name of the server to which you are having difficulty connecting.

The traceroute may take only a few seconds or a few minutes. Typically, the closer you are to the server, geographically, the more quickly the traceroute will complete.


To Run a Traceroute in Mac OS X

If you have a Mac, you can use the built-in network tools to run a traceroute.

  • Launch Spotlight (with ⌘+ SPACE or by clicking on the magnifying glass in your menu) to search for and launch Network Utility.
  • Select the Traceroute tab and enter the hostname or domain name.


You also can perform a traceroute from the Terminal app. Simply enter:



To Run a Traceroute in Linux

At the command line, type:

  • dns, network
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