How to Use Traceroute in Windows 10 (Tracert)


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If you are looking for more information about traceroute, please visit: Tracert – Wikipedia

Traceroute is a command-line tool that can be used to trace the path of packets over an IP network. In Windows 10, tracert has been replaced with the tracert command.

How to Use Traceroute in Windows 10 (Tracert)

Packets are routed from point A to point B to point C to form networks. Each packet follows a path from its origin to its destination. Tracert, a helpful traceroute program in Windows 10, can help you figure out what’s going on.

This post will teach you how to use the traceroute (tracert) command on Windows 10. You’ll learn what it’s for, how to use the switches, and how to analyze the data it produces. By the Conclusion of this essay, you’ll have all the information you need to make the most of this tool!

How to Use Traceroute in Linux is a related article.

What Is Traceroute/Tracert and How Does It Work?

Traceroute’s principal function in Windows 10 (and all other OSes) is to detect the route a packet travels while traversing a network. It does this by collecting information about the many routers the packet encounters along the way through error messages.

The Time-to-Live (TTL) field in IP packet headers is used by Tracert. TTL shortens a packet’s life, preventing it from lingering on the network. This is critical if a route fails or if a routing loop occurs.

The TTL value of a packet lowers as it approaches a router until it reaches 0. When the TTL of a packet reaches 0, the router discards it and sends an ICMP TIME EXCEEDED message back to the packet’s originator.

Tracert, unlike its Linux cousin traceroute, sends probing packets through UDP rather than ICMP echo requests.

The TTL field of a packet is changed when the traceroute command sends it out to discover the path it follows. Traceroute can put together and uncover the path a packet traverses through a network using information from the error messages.

Terminology for Traceroutes

We’ve already covered a few words, but as you read on, you’ll pick up on a few more. Let’s go over a few more key phrases first.

  • Host – The Traceroute tool is run from a computer or device called a host. It might be a PC running Windows or Linux, or a Cisco IOS device.
  • A router is a device that passes or directs packets from one network to another through several interfaces.
  • A hop is a router that is located along a network path. Consider how a routed packet ‘hops’ from one router interface to the next as it travels across a network.
  • A route is a path that connects a host to each router interface. Each time the traceroute tool is used, the route might be different. Because of routing protocols and rules that might guide traffic to other interfaces, this is the case.
  • A path is the path followed by a packet as it travels from one host to another.

Traceroute on Windows 10 is shown.

Perhaps you’ve been tasked with resolving a network problem for a program you oversee. Looking through certain log files, you may observe that queries made by the program to a remote server are taking longer than expected or losing packets completely. This is an ideal situation for Windows 10’s traceroute tool, tracert.

Open a command prompt (cmd.exe) or a PowerShell console on Windows. All of the examples in this section will be done using Windows PowerShell v5.1.

Obtaining Assistance

Let’s first get to know and understand how the tracert program in Windows 10 works. By typing tracert -?, you may view all of the options available to you while using this command-line application.

You can see that tracert provides a few different choices for configuring its behavior in the following code snippet. Tracert, the Windows 10 traceroute application, does not have as many options as its Linux equivalent.

If you enter tracert -?, you’ll see all of the command’s options.

Tracert is a term that is used to describe a device that is used to [-d] maximum hops [-h] [host-list -j] [-w timeout] [-w timeout] [-w timeout] [ [-R] [-S srcaddr] [-S srcaddr] [-S src [-4] [-6] target name Options: -d Addresses should not be resolved to hostnames. maximum hops -h The maximum number of hops required to find the destination. -j list-of-hosts Along the host-list, create a loose source route (IPv4-only). timeout -w For each response, wait the timeout milliseconds. -R Trace the route backwards and forwards (IPv6-only). -S srcaddr srcaddr srcaddr src To use as a source address (IPv6-only). -4 Force IPv4 to be used. -6 Make IPv6 the default.

When troubleshooting on a daily basis, you’ll probably just employ one or two of these alternatives at most. You may use tracert followed by the destination server’s IP address or fully-qualified domain name (FQDN) in the case given.

Example of a Traceroute

Assume your application has to connect to Simply enter the address as the first parameter to traceroute in Windows 10 to trace the application’s journey to (tracert).

The path a packet from the example host takes to get there is shown in the following illustration, which includes 11 routers.

traceroute on WIndows 10 exampleexample of traceroute -q

Let’s have a look at the output and then go through the findings.

Following the path to [] Throughout the course of a maximum of 30 hops: 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 [] 2 56 ms 11 ms 12 ms 3 65 milliseconds 468 milliseconds 29 milliseconds [] 4:61:22:21:21:21:21:21:21:21:21:21:21:21:21:21:21:21 [] 5 508 ms 23 ms 29 ms [] 6 73 ms 41 ms 31 ms 6 73 ms 41 ms 31 ms 6 73 ms 41 [] 7:76:33:37:7:76:33:37:7:76:33:37:7:76:33:37:7:76 8 382 milliseconds 29 milliseconds 36 milliseconds 975 milliseconds 32 milliseconds 37 milliseconds 10 * 1320 ms 29 ms 11:28:27:27:27:27:27:27:27:27:27:27:27:27:27:27:27 [] The trail is now complete.

In the output, there are five columns of data. From the left to the right:

  • This route has 11 hops in column 1 (hop count). Remember that you may execute this command again and receive different results. This is to be anticipated, since you might be sent to a different router interface or perhaps a different router completely.
  • ICMP (ping) packet round trip timings (columns 2-4) – These times are in milliseconds. Remember that these packets also include the TTL, which allows the router to emit an error with information that the tracert command may utilize.

A suitable high-speed hop reaction time is between 5 and 30 milliseconds. The most usual times are between 35 and 60 milliseconds. When you start seeing periods of 60ms or more, you may be experiencing a delay.

  • Column 5 (hostname or IP address) — The router in the path returns this value. If a router is set to not answer or is not accessible for whatever reason, a * will appear instead. Tracert does a reverse DNS query on each router IP address by default. This is why you see DNS names instead of IP addresses here.

If you use the -d flag to disable name resolution, tracert will run faster. This option disables hostname resolution and instead returns just IP addresses.

You now have the basic information you need to troubleshoot network latency or routing issues with this output. For a router, you have time measurement, IP address(s), and/or FQDN(s) to explore.


The traceroute command-line network tool in Windows 10 is a tried-and-true network utility. In this post, we didn’t go over all of the parameters for each command, but we did go over a lot of the most important ones.

Check out the tracert Microsoft documentation if you want to learn more about how traceroute works on Windows.

The “traceroute example” is a command-line tool that allows users to trace the route of packets. It can be used in Windows 10.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you use tracert?

A: tracert is a command-line utility used to trace the path taken by packets across an internet route.

Does Windows use tracert or traceroute?

A: These are two different methods of tracing the route to a host computer. Tracert is used in Windows and traceroute is used on UNIX systems.

How does traceroute or tracert work?

A: Traceroute and tracert send packets of information to the destination in order to determine how a network is set up.

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