How to Change Your IP Address (and Why You'd Want To)

If you need to spoof your IP address, there are a few ways to do it

What To Know

  • Windows: Open Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center > Change adapter settings and follow the directions in this article.
  • Mac: Go to System Preferences > Network. Select a network and choose Advanced. Go to the TCP/IP tab, select Manually. Enter info.
  • iOS: Open Settings > Wi-Fi, tap the circled i next to the network, select Configure IP > Manual. Set up the new IP.

This article explains how to change your IP address manually by switching from the router's assigned DHCP address to a static one on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. It also covers how to change your router's public IP address, which appears as the public IP address of every device on the network unless you use a VPN. You can also get a new IP by releasing and renewing your IP.

Change a Windows Computer's IP Address

If your Windows computer has the IP address set up as a static one, change the IP address as follows:

  1. Open Control Panel and select Network and Sharing Center. If you don't see it, first select Network and Internet.

    Network and Sharing Center in Control Panel
  2. Choose Change adapter settings.

    Change adapter settings in Control Panel
  3. Double-click the connection that you want to change the IP address on. For example, to change the wireless adapter's IP address, double-click the one that mentions Wi-Fi.

  4. Select Properties.

    Properties button in Wi-Fi Status dialog
  5. Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4).

    IPv4 section in Wi-Fi Properties
  6. Either alter the IP address or select Obtain an IP address automatically to have the router control the IP address.

    IP address options in Windows 10
  7. If you leave the setting to obtain an IP address automatically, the router automatically assigns an IP address to the computer. However, when you enter the IP address information, the computer's IP address stays static.

    Leave Obtain DNS server address automatically selected. Otherwise, your DNS server settings remain empty, which may cause other connection issues.

Change a Mac Computer's IP Address

Here's how to change the IP address on a Mac.

  1. Open the System Preferences app on the Mac and select Network.

    Mac System Preferences with Network highlighted
  2. Select your Wi-Fi network in the left panel and click Advanced.

    Mac computer Network preferences
  3. Select the TCP/IP tab.

    The TCP/IP tab in Mac Network preferences
  4. Select Manually in the drop-down menu next to Configure IPv6 (or iPv4) and enter the information for the new IP.

    Manual configuration selection in Mac Network preferences

Change a Phone's IP Address on iPhone

You can also change the IP address on a mobile device such as the Apple iPhone as follows:

  1. Open the Settings app and select Wi-Fi.

  2. Tap the small (i) next to the network and select Configure IP.

  3. Choose Manual. Enter the network details manually, such as your IP address and DNS information.

    iOS screens showing Configure IP and Manual settings button

The choice of a specific local IP address does not affect the network performance in any meaningful way.

Change a Phone's IP Address on Android

It's also possible to change an Android device's IP to a static IP on your network.

Android phones can vary depending on the manufacturer of the device. Some manufacturers alter the Android OS to meet their specifications, which means the steps you need to follow may differ slightly from those listed here. These steps should apply to most Android devices.

  1. Go to Settings > Network & internet > Wi-Fi.

  2. Tap the network that you want to change the IP address for.

  3. Select Forget.

  4. Tap the network from the list of available Wi-Fi networks.

  5. Select Advanced options.

  6. Tap DHCP.

  7. Choose Static.

  8. Scroll down and fill out the IP address fields.

  9. Enter the Wi-Fi password at the top of the screen.

  10. Select Connect.

Change a Router's IP Address

To change the router's IP address, log in to the router as an administrator. From the control panel, change the IP address to whatever you like. However, this IP address is usually changed when there's a problem with it. The default IP address should suffice for most situations.

Screenshot of IP configuration in a typical home router

How to Change Your Public IP Address

An external public IP address is the address used to communicate with networks outside of your own, such as those on the internet. Use a VPN to mask or hide your real IP address. You can also use a web proxy to mask your public IP.

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How to Change Your IP Address

Why Change Your IP Address?

Some ISPs assign static IP addresses to their subscribers. Home users are commonly configured with a dynamic IP address. Either way, you may be able to contact your ISP to request a new static IP or a dynamic IP change. You can't change your external internet IP address on your own.

Some people change their public external IP address to avoid online bans or bypass country location restrictions that some sites impose on video content.

Changing the IP address of a client computer, phone, or router is useful when:

  • An invalid address is accidentally configured, such as a static IP address in the wrong numeric range.
  • A malfunctioning router provides bad addresses, such as an address used by another computer on the network.
  • Installing a new router and reconfiguring a home network to use its default IP address range.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is changing an IP address dangerous or illegal? Nope! There are many reasons someone may want to change their IP address. However, if you're on a work setup or have a home network running, messing with IP addresses can sometimes cause headaches, so make sure you know what you're doing.
  • Does resetting your router change your IP address? It's possible but not probable. If you're power-cycling the device, it's likely the address won't change. Still, if you reset your router to factory defaults, it's more likely the device will assign new addresses.
  • Can you change your IP address location? Yes, you can. However, you need third-party software. A VPN, or virtual private network, gives you unique IP addresses in locations anywhere on earth.
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