So it turns out all is not lost, you can still revert to the original behavior of apples resolver! They’ve added a parameter to mDNSResponder called -AlwaysAppendSearchDomains. Implying that this new behavior was very intentional. I had read that Windows apparently made a similar change in one of their past updates as well so I guess this is to help fight some phishing attacks maybe? Either way, it’s annoying!
Anyway the gist of how to fix it is this:
Open up /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.mDNSResponder.plist and add this following parameter to the list in the ProgramArguments block:
So your file should look like this:
<key>ProgramArguments</key> <array> <string>/usr/sbin/mDNSResponder</string> <string>-AlwaysAppendSearchDomains</string> </array>
Then reload the launchd config for it, this should take care of restarting it as well:
launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.mDNSResponder.plist launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.mDNSResponder.plist