Release and Renew Your IP Address in Microsoft Windows

Use the IPconfig command to fix common networking errors

What to Know

  • Release an IP address: Open Command Prompt, enter ipconfig /release, and press Enter.
  • Renew an IP address: Open Command Prompt, enter ipconfig /renew, and press Enter.

Releasing and renewing the IP address on a computer with the Windows operating system resets the underlying IP connection, which often eliminates common IP-related issues, at least temporarily. It works in a few steps to disengage the network connection and refresh the IP address. Instructions apply to Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, and Windows 7.

Windows: Release and Renew IP Addresses 

Under normal conditions, a device can use the same IP address indefinitely. Networks usually reassign correct addresses to devices when they first join. However, technical glitches with DHCP and network hardware can lead to IP conflicts and other problems that prevent the networking system from working correctly.

In Windows, release and renew IP addresses
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When to Release and Renew the IP Address

Scenarios in which releasing the IP address and then renewing it might be beneficial include:

  • When connecting a computer to a modem.
  • When physically moving a computer from one network to another, such as from an office network to home or home to a hotspot.
  • When experiencing an unexpected network outage.

Release and Renew an IP Address With Command Prompt

Here's how to release and renew the address of any computer running the Windows operating system.

  1. Open Command Prompt. The quickest method is to press Win+R to open the Run box dialog, enter cmd, and then press Enter.

    Command Prompt window
  2. Enter ipconfig /release and press Enter.

  3. In the command results, the IP address line shows as the IP address. This is normal because the command releases the IP address from the network adapter. During this time, your computer has no IP address and cannot access the internet.

  4. Enter ipconfig /renew and press Enter to get a new address.

  5. When the command is finished, a new line appears at the bottom of the Command Prompt screen that contains an IP address.

    A new IP address has been obtained in Command Prompt.

More Information About IP Release and Renew

Windows may receive the same IP address after renewal as it had before. This phenomenon is normal. The desired effect of deleting the old connection and starting a new one occurs independently of which 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 error indicates that the DHCP server may be malfunctioning or is unreachable. Reboot the client device or the server before proceeding.

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

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