TRACERT (Trace Route) is a network diagnostic command used to determine the path that an IP packet takes to reach its destination. The command lists all the routers it passes through until it reaches the destination, along with the time taken for each hop. It is particularly useful for identifying points of failure and delays in the network path.


TRACERT [options] destination
  • destination can be either an IP address or a hostname that you wish to trace the route to.


  • -d: Do not resolve addresses to hostnames. This speeds up the tracing by avoiding DNS lookups.
  • -h maximum_hops: Specifies the maximum number of hops in the route search. The default is 30 hops.
  • -j host-list: Uses the loose source route along the host-list. Rarely used as many routers do not support source routing.
  • -w timeout: Wait timeout milliseconds for each reply. The default is 3000 milliseconds (3 seconds).
  • -R: Trace round-trip path (IPv6 only).
  • -S srcaddr: Specifies the source address to use (IPv6 only).
  • -4: Forces using IPv4.
  • -6: Forces using IPv6.


  1. Basic Usage to Trace Path to
  2. Avoid DNS Lookup and Use a 2 Second Timeout
    tracert -d -w 2000
  3. Specify Maximum Hops
    tracert -h 10
  4. Using IPv6 to Trace Route
    tracert -6

Common Issues

  • Timeout: Sometimes “Request timed out” appears, indicating a timeout at a particular hop. This could be due to the router at that hop refusing to respond or a network issue between those hops.
  • Unable to resolve system name: If TRACERT cannot resolve the hostname to an IP, ensure that the domain name is correct and check your DNS settings.

Tip: Running TRACERT as an administrator can sometimes yield more detailed results.


TRACERT can be combined with other commands for enhanced network diagnostics:

  • With ipconfig: To get your IP details before running TRACERT.
    ipconfig /all
  • Save Output to a File
    tracert > tracert_output.txt
  • PING: Use to send ICMP Echo Requests to a host to measure the round-trip time and see if the host is reachable.
  • PATHPING: An advanced version of ping and tracert, which provides more detailed information about network behavior over multiple hops.

Additional Resources: