Your IP address which stands for Internet Protocol address is the unique identification number of your internet connection linked to all your internet & networking activities. The procedure of releasing and renewing the IP address of the computer can be undertaken to resolve several minor glitches and errors related with your computer network.

Moreover, it will also refresh the internet connection, which allows other changes and troubleshooting to take effect.

Commandline utility to perform this task on windows is ipconfig. It works with all versions of Windows in just a few steps to release the network connection and refresh the IP address.

When you release and renew the IP address on a computer running the Microsoft Windows, it resets the underlying IP connection. It often removes common IP-associated issues, at least temporarily.

Let’s first find out the reason to renew IP address and then we will know the steps to release and renew an IP address using window’s command prompt.

Why should I renew my IP address?

You may have to renew your IP address for various reasons.

A typical cause can be a short-term failure of your router’s Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server, which allocates IP addresses to network adapters when they log on.

A technical malfunction with DHCP and network hardware can result in IP conflicts and other issues in which connections suddenly stop functioning.

Often, DHCP server failures are temporary, and renewing your IP address will work instantly.

In this case, you may have to reset your router by switching it off and waiting a minute before powering it up again.

Other reason for DHCP failure can be that your network connection is not configured to use DHCP. So, check DHCP configuration by opening the Properties of your network connection.

In hardwired Ethernet connections, a loose cable may cause an IP address failure.

If you get a message as “Media disconnected” from ipconfig, it means your network adapter has no connection with the router. Ensure that the connections between your network adapter and the router are secure.

Rarely, you may have to replace the cable or even the network adapter.

If a wireless network adapter has a “media disconnected” problem, then it may be that a corrupted driver is causing it.

In such cases, you should try to uninstall and reinstall the adapter through Device Manager. You can also check for an updated driver for that adapter.

Some cases in which releasing the IP address and then renewing it might prove to be advantageous are:

  • When you need to connect a computer directly to a modem
  • When you need to physically move a computer from one network to another such as from an office network to the home
  • When you are experiencing a sudden network outage

How can I release and renew an IP address with Command Prompt?

When you are unable to access the Internet through your Ethernet or wireless connection, the problem may be that you have no IP address or an invalid one.

Sometimes this is due to a flaky router, but whatever the reason, you can often fix the issue by renewing your IP address.

In Windows, renewing your IP address is quite easy and takes just a few seconds. Here are step by step instructions to release and renew the IP address in Microsoft Windows:

  • Launch Command Prompt. The fastest way to open this window is to press the Win+R keyboard combination. It will open the Run box where you have to type cmd and press Enter or click on OK button.
  • Type ipconfig /release at the prompt window, and press Enter.
  • Wait for the command to complete. It will release the current IP configuration. You will see that the IP address line shows 0.0.0 as the IP address. It is because the command releases the IP address from the network adapter. During this period, your computer has no IP address and cannot open the internet.
  • Type ipconfig /renew at the prompt window, and press Enter.
  • Wait for a while, and the DHCP server will assign a new IP address for your computer.

Many people merely shut off their computer and router, wait a few minutes, and power up again. This procedure also renews your IP address, though not as quickly or efficiently as the command-line method.

What is ipconfig?

In computing, ipconfig an acronym for internet protocol configuration is Window’s command line application for managing your computer’s network interfaces.

It displays all current TCP/IP network configuration values and can modify Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) and Domain Name System (DNS) settings.

If you type “ipconfig” into the command line, you will get a list of your network connections, their respective statuses, and IP addresses.

It provides you with all of your necessary networking information in a more compact form than you will find with any GUI tools.

Also, you can append several other commands to IPConfig, including the flag to renew your computer’s IP lease.

What is the function of ipconfig/release and ipconfig/ renew commands?

Routers can automatically connect computers to their network using the DHCP protocol. The DHCP server runs on your router, and each of the computers has DHCP clients that communicate with the DHCP server.

Like companies lease office space and occupy it for the duration of the lease, routers also lease IP addresses to individual computers.

You know that a lease agreement is only valid for a set amount of time. Likewise, IP address leases are also valid for a fixed duration.

That’s why, once a computer’s lease on a particular IP address is over, the router will disconnect that computer with its network.

These expired IP addresses or other issues with a computer’s current IP address lease are often the cause behind network connectivity issues.

An essential feature of ipconfig is to forcefully refresh the DHCP IP address of the host computer to request a different IP address. It is performed using two ipconfig commands in sequence.

Firstly, ipconfig /release is entered to force the client to give up its lease quickly. It forwards the server a DHCP release notification which changes the server’s status information and makes the old client’s IP address as “available.”

After that, the command ipconfig /renew is executed to request a new IP address. It orders the DHCP client to renegotiate an IP address lease with the DHCP server on your router.

Conclusion

Windows may get the same IP address after renewal as it had before and it is normal. Sometimes attempts to renew the IP address may fail, such as when it is not possible to contact your DHCP server. It indicates that the DHCP server may be malfunctioning or is currently unreachable. In such a case, 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. This section can run various diagnostics that include a similar IP renewal procedure if it detects that it’s needed.

However, renewing your IP address will not fix all Internet connectivity issues. But it is something you can try before contacting your Internet Service Provider’s support line, and often it works.