How to enable DHCP in Windows 7?

Written by: Oliver Krautscheid - Published: Thursday, February 11th, 2010 - Comments

So your router supports DHCP and you want to know how to enable the DHCP in Windows 7? DHCP is actually enabled by default, because all modern routers nowadays support DHCP, but if your configuration is messed up somehow, you still might want to check it.

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How to enable DHCP in Windows 7

Always make sure your broadband router actually supports DHCP. Most modern routers do, but don’t take it for granted. Some routers also have a control panel where you first may have to enable DHCP. Common routers like Linksys, Asus or Dell use the IP address 192.168.1.1 for its configuration panel. If that doesn’t work try changing the C Class IP (the third number from 1 to 0 or 2 and hit enter)

Short Instructions: Fast Method For Quick Learners via ncpa.cpl

If you’re already a little familiar with Windows 7, here are the instructions to enable or disable the DHCP in short (for more detailed instructions, scroll a little down)

1. Step Hit Windows key + R
2. Step Enter ncpa.cpl and hit Enter
3. Step Right-click your adapter, usually called “Ethernet” and click Properties
4. Step Scroll down, double-click Internet Procotol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)
5. Step Select the option “Obtain an IP addres automatically” and “Obtain DNS server address automatically”
6. Step Optionally, you may have to configure your router

1 Network Properties: Right-Click Network Icon

Right-click on the “Network” icon on your desktop and click on “Properties”:

Network Properties

2 Local Area Connection: Click The Blue Link “Local Area Connection”

On the following screen you will get basic network information and see all of your current connections. One of the connections, should be called “Home network” (if you did not set it to something else, e.g. Work network).

Basic network information and connections

  • Click on “Local Area Connection”.

In some cases, the name will “Ethernet” or something else, but the layout always looks the same:

Connection Link Properties.png

3 Connection Status: Click Properties Button

The status screen of your “Local Area Connection” will appear. Click on “Properties“:

Local Area Connection

4 LAN Properties: Double-Click Internet Protocol Version 4

Click “Ok” when prompted. Scroll down the list until you find the entry “Internet Protocol Version 4″ and double-click on it. (as you can see the Internet Protocol 6 is currently unchecked, more about that later).

Local Area Connection Properties

5 Internet Protocol 4 Properties: Enter IP Manually

Info: In the screenshot we have entered an IP manually. Most routers can assign the IP automatically, that’s why you should try to select the option “Obtain IP address automatically”

Next, you will find the settings that allow you to enable DHCP for your connection or disable it and retrieve a static IP. In this case I entered a fictive static IP:

Internet Protocol 4 Properties: DHCP

We have the following entries that are important.

  • a) Obtain an IP address automatically
  • b) IP Address
  • c) Subnet mask
  • d) Default gateway
  • e) Obtain DNS server address automatically
  • f) “Use the following DNS server addresses”
  • g) Preferred DNS server

To enable DHCP, you have to make sure to check the options a) and e). That’s how you tell your router to automatically find the addresses provided by the DHCP. DHCP stands for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol and is basically a protocol to retrieve IP addresses automatically and that’s exactly what we want to do, right?

Still no dice? You may have to configure your router. Open your web browser and enter this into the address 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.2.1, or Google your router manufacturer e.g. CISCO and “192.168″

Next Configure your router to automatically assign an IP via DHCP (turned on by default)

Disable DHCP

If you want to disable DHCP instead of enabling it, you can enter a static IP. In your router manual, you will find the default IP gateway. Write it down or remember it. Then enter the IP into the field d) and g). Copy the gateway address from your manual again and enter it into the field IP address, but the last field should be a random number other than the default gateway IP.

Example:

  • You router gateway IP could be:192.168.5.1
  • Then you enter the IP address:192.168.5.xxx (every other number other than the one defined by your router, in this case “1″)

Related: How to disable IPv6

As you might have noticed, I disabled IPv6. New broadband routers support IPv6, so you can also follow the instructions above and simply use Internet Protocol Version 6. Keep in mind that IPv6 are longer.

If you want to find out if it’s a good reason to enable IPv6 or if you should disable it, you can read this guide:

Windows 8 Users

If you’re on Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, you can also follow the instructions above


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Written by: Oliver Krautscheid
Oliver is the founder and lead editor of this site. He is interested in finding new ways to break Windows, find common errors and help others to fix them. Aside from that, he loves to fully customize systems with Rainmeter and Dreamscene, find out more about ancient civilizations like the Chachapoya, sharpen his digital photography skills and create software with a small group of selected developers. If you would like to connect with him to discuss anything, send him a mail!

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18 Responses to How to enable DHCP in Windows 7?

  1. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    John said:

    Thanks for the info but still cannot connect to internet with this darn new windows 7 stuff.

  2. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    Isabel said:

    Thank you so very much! I couldn’t figure this out!

  3. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    KB said:

    wat if the network is connected and internet is disabled??
    it is showin a window about ipaddress conflict.cant windows 7 share ip address of a network and enable internet??

  4. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    sOliver said:

    Try to unplug your router or modem for longer than 10 seconds, maybe even do a reset. Sometimes routers get messed up and can’t assign an IP address via DHCP and you can’t connect to the internet then.

    Obtaining the DNS server address automatically is the preferred settings by the way and should work in most cases.

    Windows 7 includes a nice troubleshooting tool for internet connections that is often very helpful.

  5. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    Da_Man said:

    My router which is a linsys model wrt54gs keeps shuting off when trying to connected via wireless…but it works perfectly when i plug in a ethernet cable.

  6. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    sOliver said:

    Strange problem. Have you called their support? I would suggest to do a firmware upgrade and see where that goes .. my router wouldn’t always work immediately, I’d have to do that firmware upgrade first. Not much works right out of the box ;)

    Let me know..also check your error log if there is any

  7. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    Sunny Akande said:

    Thanks for the info about enabling DHCP. It worked for me. Again THANKS

  8. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    shawn said:

    Wow, thanks that was the answer. I messed up my friends wifi on her laptop trying to secure the wifi. She was a little mad because she needs for school and work. you’re a life saver. Thank you.

  9. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    christian said:

    It worked for me but this WiFiMax I bought from codejunkies.com still says: “unable to obtain ip adress”

  10. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    Michelle said:

    I have searched the web over, and troubleshooted everything I can think to trouble shoot. And alas, I still can’t even get the xbox to connect via Windows Media Center, let alone the internet. I have enable the DHCP, I have tried changing the internet sharing connection settings, I have tried manually entering the IP address, and I still can not get the Xbox 360 to connect to my PC. ANYONE, HELP!!!

  11. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    sOliver said:

    Michelle, we can’t really help you with that little information. I hope you will figure it out. If the DHCP is in fact enabled it will automatically assign an IP to your PC, to your XBOX and any other device that is connected to your network.

  12. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    kk said:

    to connect to the internet try this…..Open command prompt and type cmd and enter. type ipconfig/release and enter. type ipconfig/renew and enter.

  13. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    JTD said:

    I had this issue but the problem was actually my DNS server for the campus network I’m on. I had to specify in the IPv4 properties, under the DNS server tab, that I had a specific DNS domain name to add. I figured out what the domain name was by doing an ipconfig on my other computer that was connecting just fine. Now it works !

  14. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    Sajid said:

    I am from India, Pune.
    Recently i got a new internet broadband connection ie. Sify Broadband, Previously i have used Airtel and Tikona Broadband connection where i had to Obtain IP address automatically but now for this Sify Broadband i was asked to fill in these details:

    PC IP :10.30.68.89

    Subnet Mask :255.255.255.0

    Gateway :10.30.68.1

    Primary DNS :202.144.115.4

    Secondary DNS :202.144.66.6

    Outgoing Mail Server : asmtp.sifybroadband.com

    Outgoing Mail Server Port : Port 587

    Incoming Mail Server : imap.sify.com

    Incoming Mail Server Port : Port 110

    Previously i used to connect through a Linksys E1000 router and everything used to work absolutely fine now my problem is that i can use the net when i directly plugin the cable directly coming from the Service provider into my Desktop but when i try to connect it through my router i cant get connected and when i dignose the connectivity issue it says that DHCP is not enabled, I tried confiq. my router several times after reseting it but no sucsses till now hence please help me with my problem as i want to use WiFi connectivity at my Home
    Thanks and Regards.

  15. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    BC said:

    THAMK YOU very much for the info. I was stuck Like Chuck with that DHCP stuff, but I’m on the net now thanks again.

  16. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    Harv said:

    My D-Link adaptor shows that I’m connected to my home network, but Explorer will not connect to the internet — says DHCP is not enabled. I set it for automatic configuration. I tried a download of Firefox, but would not connect…says it is not configured for the IP address…don’t know how to fix that, either. I pinged yahoo.com using the cmd prompt and was successful so the network is working, I just can’t get the browsers to work.

  17. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    anthony said:

    I have checked all above and it is showing ok, BUT if i leave the comp to idle when i return it’s disabled the DHCP and will not return til i get windows the find and cure..don’t like it like that, how can i keep it enabled ?

  18. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    Margaret said:

    Our laptop could not connect although the desktop was. Tried everything and then finally wired the laptop to the router and then windows enabled the DHCP, but wouldn’t as long as it was wireless.

    Strange because it was working fine for the last year and then all of a sudden the DHCP was disabled – but at least it is fixed now.

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