Whenever your computer can’t get a valid IP address from your DHCP server (usually your modem or your wireless router), Windows will give a “Ethernet doesn’t have a valid IP configuration” error. If this is happening to you, don’t worry. We’ll help you fix it.
Why Does The Error Happen?
Your computer should be able to obtain a valid IP address, and a few other details, automatically. However, there are times when your computer can’t fetch those details.
The reason isn’t exactly known, but the result is obvious: your connections can’t reach and go through the DHCP server. In other words: you won’t be able to use the internet.
How to Fix Windows Error “Ethernet Doesn’t Have a Valid IP Configuration”
The good thing about this error is that it isn’t hardware or software related. This means that it’s not permanent and that it’s quite easy to fix.
There are several ways to try and fix the “Ethernet doesn’t have a valid IP configuration” error. We recommend trying them in order, but you can jump to whichever method you like (or know) the best.
1. Restart Your Computer
This might seem like an extremely simple piece of advice, but you’d be surprised by how many problems you can fix by simply rebooting your computer.
Turning it off and back on is a tried-and-true method. It might work for you. In the off chance that it doesn’t and that the problem persists, don’t despair.
2. Restart Your Modem / Router
Again, this can seem like an almost offensive piece of advice, but when it comes to internet-related problems, unplugging and plugging back your router or modem works most of the times.
Of course there are more technical ways of solving your problem, but none of them are as simple and effective as restarting your modem or your router. Try it, there’s a high chance that it will fix your problem.
If these simpler fixes don’t work for you, don’t worry. Let’s get dirty with the actual techy stuff.
3. Reset TCP/IP Settings
Here’s how you do it:
- Open the command prompt by pressing the Windows key + X and selecting “Command Prompt (Admin)
- Type in “netsh winsock reset” and press enter
- Type “netsh int tcp reset” and hit enter as well
- Finally, type “netsh int ip reset”, press enter one more time and restart your computer.
The “Ethernet doesn’t have a valid IP configuration” error should be fixed after rebooting your computer. In the rare occurrence that the error persists, try the next solution.
4. Flush Your DNS
Besides resetting your Winsock protocol and your IP and TCP settings, you can also try flushing your DNS to see if it fixes the problem.
Flushing your DNS is quite similar to the previous step. To do it, just:
- Open the command prompt as you did in the previous step
- Type “ipconfig /release” and press enter
- Type “ipconfig /flushdns”, hitting enter again
- Type “ipconfig /renew” and hit enter one last time
After doing these steps, the error should be fixed. If it isn’t, your computer might require a restart. If you’re still having the error, let’s try another solution.
5. Configure Manually Your TCP/IP Settings
Even though Windows is supposed to automatically acquire your TCP and IP settings, you always have the option to do it manually. Since the error you’re having stems from Windows’ inability to fetch the required settings, you might have to do just that.
Luckily, it’s not too complicated. Just follow these steps:
- Right-click the Network icon on your system taskbar and choose “Open Network and Sharing Center”
- Choose the network adapter that you’re currently using and hit “Properties”
- Scroll down to find the “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) option and click on it
From here on now there are two possible scenarios.
Scenario one is the one in which you’re having the “Ethernet doesn’t have a valid IP configuration” error because you’ve previously configured a static IP address. If that’s the case then you’ll need to switch it back to automatic configuration.
To do so, just choose the highlighted options:
Scenario two is the one in which you haven’t changed anything at all and you’re still having the same error. In this case, we recommend trying to set everything up with static addresses.
There are a few addresses you can utilize, but you might want to call your internet service provider and ask them for the best ones (they might even be able to fix your problem remotely).
In any case, you can use these addresses:
- IP address: 192.168.1.112
- Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
- Default Gateway: 192.168.1.1
- DNS Server (we recommend using Google’s): 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52
If you end up changing these addresses you will need to keep this in mind:
- Default Gateway: This is the address of your modem or your router. So, if you need to navigate to your router’s or to your modem’s admin page, you will need to use the address you’ve selected.
- IP Address: You need to follow a set of rules when you’re deciding on an IP address, mainly obeying your default gateway’s address form. If your gateway address is 192.168.11.1, then you will need to have an IP address like “192.168.11.XXX”, in which the X’s represent any number between 2 and 255.
Keep in mind that two devices cannot have the same IP address, since it will lead to an IP conflict problem. Although it’s an easy to troubleshoot problem, you don’t really need any more problems. Just pay attention to what you’re doing and don’t use the same IP address in two different computers.
If you still haven’t managed to fix your problem with these tips, there’s still one last chance.
6. Reinstall and Update Your Network Drivers
Your network drivers might be the cause of your problems. Reinstalling them or updating them to the newest version can fix all of your troubles. The old or corrupted driver might be conflicting with something on your computer and causing your network adapter to fail.
Reinstalling and updating drivers is very simple. To do so:
- Open the Device Manager by hitting the Windows Key + X and choosing it from the drop-down menu
- Scroll until your find your network adapter
- Right click it and choose “Update Driver Software”
In the next step you will have to choose between searching automatically for drivers or to browse your computer for driver software. We recommend choosing the automatic option.
However, if you’ve managed to find your network adapter drivers on the internet, or if Windows fails to automatically download them, then choose the second option.
If updating the drivers doesn’t work (or if by any reason you can’t update them), then you might want to reinstall them.
To uninstall your network adapter driver just right click on your network adapter in the Device Manager and choose “uninstall”. Then, you’ll need to install your network adapter by using drivers provided on its website.
After following this tutorial you will have fixed the “Ethernet doesn’t have a valid IP configuration” error. If, by any reason, the problem still persists, let us know. We’re here to help you.