DHCP Error: What It Is And How To Fix It

Troubleshoot DHCP errors on Windows

A DHCP error means the server on your network that provides an Internet Protocol address for devices isn't able to assign your computer an IP address. Because the DHCP setting can break the internet connection, the error can appear in many forms, but the end result is that you can't access the internet.

Instructions in this article apply to all Windows 10 PCs.

A router controlling a network of devices
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Causes of DHCP Errors

Two things can cause a DHCP error. One is the configuration on the computer or device that allows a DHCP server to assign it an IP. The other is the configuration of the DHCP server.

DHCP errors occur when the DHCP server or router on a network cannot automatically adjust the device's IP address to join the network. This results in a network connection error when you access the internet with a web browser.

What makes DHCP errors so difficult to troubleshoot is that the error message doesn't always include any mention of DHCP.

How to Fix DHCP Errors

Try these steps in order until the DHCP error is resolved:

  1. Run the Windows Network Troubleshooter. The easiest way to fix internet connection issues is by letting Windows automatically fix the internet settings. Right-click the network connection icon in the Windows taskbar and select Troubleshoot problems. The network troubleshooter identifies any settings that may cause an internet connection problem. If the DHCP settings caused the error, select Apply this fix to apply any suggested changes.

    Troubleshoot problems in Windows taskbar
  2. Check the DHCP adapter settings. The DHCP server or router on the network should automatically assign the computer an IP address by default. Still, this option can get disabled, so look in the network adapter settings to make sure it's enabled.

  3. Check the DHCP router settings. On a home network, DHCP settings in the router manage the IP addresses of devices on the network. Verify that the DHCP beginning and ending addresses match the gateway address.

  4. Contact IT support. On a typical corporate network, a DNS server manages the IP address of devices on the network. All DHCP settings are managed by an IT department. When you have network connection issues, contact your IT help desk.