Release and Renew Your IP Address in Microsoft Windows

Use the ipconfig command to get a new IP address

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Releasing and renewing the IP address on a computer running the Windows operating system resets the underlying IP connection, which often eliminates common IP-related issues, at least temporarily. It works with every version of Windows in just a few steps to disengage the network connection and refresh the IP address.

Under normal conditions, a device can continue using an IP address indefinitely. Networks also normally reassign correct addresses to devices when they first join.

However, technical glitches with DHCP and network hardware can lead to IP conflicts and other issues where connections suddenly stop functioning.

When to Release and Renew the IP Address

Scenarios, where releasing the IP address and then renewing it, might be beneficial include:

  • When connecting a computer directly to a modem
  • When physically moving a computer from one network to another such as from an office network to home or from home to a hot spot
  • When experiencing an unexpected network outage

Release/Renew an IP Address With Command Prompt

Follow the recommended steps to release and renew the address of any computer running the Windows operating system.

  1. Open Command Prompt. The quickest method is to use the Win+R keyboard combination to open the Run box and then enter cmd.
  2. Type and enter the ipconfig /release command.
  3. Wait for the command to complete. You should see that the IP Address line shows as the IP address. This is normal since the command releases the IP address from the network adapter. During this time, your computer has no IP address and cannot access the internet.
  1. Type and enter ipconfig /renew to get a new address.
  2. Wait for the command to finish and a new line to show up at the bottom of the Command Prompt screen. There should be an IP address in this result.

More Information About IP Release and Renew

Windows may receive the same IP address after renewal as it had before; this is normal.

The desired effect of tearing down the old connection and starting a new one still occurs independently of what address numbers are involved.

Attempts to renew the IP address may fail. One possible error message may read:

An error occurred while renewing interface [interface name] : unable to contact your DHCP server. Request has timed out.

This particular error indicates that the DHCP server may be malfunctioning or is currently unreachable. You should reboot the client device or the server before proceeding.

Windows also provide a troubleshooting section in Network and Sharing Center and Network Connections that can run various diagnostics that include an equivalent IP renewal procedure if it detects that it's needed.

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