Setting up a computer to obtain an IP address automatically

Configuring your computer to obtain an IP address automatically allows your networking device to assign a dynamic IP address to it.  Instead of manually entering the IP settings, which is time consuming, performing this procedure will ensure that the computer will get the correct TCP/IP settings.  This process is useful when:

  • Connecting a computer to a network with a DHCP server
  • Ensuring that the computer is getting the correct TCP/IP settings

To configure a computer to automatically get an IP address, you have to check the TCP/IP properties of the Ethernet adapter installed on the computer.  You will not be able to check or configure the TCP/IP protocols on your computer if an Ethernet Network Interface Card (NIC) is not installed on your computer.  If you are using a wired connection, make sure that the computer is properly connected to a network with a DHCP server.

Click on your Operating System (OS) below to learn how:

Windows 10/8.1/8 and higher
Windows 7/Vista
Windows XP
Mac OS®

Windows Vista/7

Step 1:
Click the User-added image Pearl button then click Control Panel.

Step 2: 
Under the Network and Internet section, click View network status and tasks.

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QUICK TIP:  At the upper right hand of the Control Panel window, you may change the window’s view type by selecting Large icons or Small icons.  Once you changed the view type, you can click on the Network and Sharing Center instead.  In this example, we selected Small icons.

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Step 3:
On the Network and Sharing Center window, click Change adapter settings.

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NOTE:  For Windows Vista, click Manage network connections.

Step 4:
Right-click Local Area Connection, then click Properties.

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NOTE:  For wireless computers, select Wireless Network Connection instead then click Properties.

Step 5:
On the Local Area Connection Properties window, select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) then click Properties.

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Step 6:
Select Obtain an IP address automatically and Obtain DNS server address automatically.

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Step 7:
Click OK to save the changes.

NOTE:  If the computer did not obtain an IP address, renew the IP address.  For instructions, click 
here.

 

Windows XP


Step 1:
Click Start > Control Panel.

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Step 2:
On the Control Panel window, double-click Network Connections.

QUICK TIP:  Check the upper left corner of the Control Panel screen.  Click Switch to Classic View to easily locate the Network Connections icon.

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Step 3:
Locate and right-click Local Area Connection then click Properties.


NOTE:  For wireless computers, select Wireless Network Connection instead then click Properties.

Step 4:
On the Local Area Connection Properties window, select Internet Protocol (TCP/IP).  Then click Properties.

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Step 5:
Make sure that the Obtain an IP address automatically and Obtain DNS server address automatically radio buttons are selected.

 

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Step 6:
Click OK to save the changes.

NOTE:  If the computer did not obtain an IP address, renew the IP address.  For instructions, click here.

 

Mac OS®


Step 1:
Click the Apple® icon and select the System Preferences... option.

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Step 2:
Click Network.

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Step 3:
Select Ethernet and click the Advanced… option.

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NOTE:  For wireless computers, select Airport instead.  For higher versions, select Wi-Fi on the left panel.

Step 4:
Under the TCP/IP tab, look for Configure IPv4 and make sure that the Using DHCP is selected.

NOTE:  In this example, 192.168.1.131 is used as the IP address that the computer is automatically getting from the DHCP server.

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Step 5:
Click OK.

NOTE:  If the computer did not obtain an IP address, renew the IP address.  For instructions, click here.

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