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How to Release and Renew an IP Address

Quick answer: "Just open the command prompt window and input 'ip config /renew' and Windows will release your machine's IP address and request a new one from the network".

Introductory thoughts on IP address release and renewal

As you might now, your computer's IP (Internet Protocol) address is a numeric label which is assigned when you connect to a network, to identify your network and location, in order to allow communication. ID addresses are usually dynamic - meaning that every time you connect to the Internet, your computer will be automatically assigned a new address within the range in which your ISP operates.

However, you don't necessarily have to shut off and re-connect your modem to get a new IP address. There is a simpler way to release and renew an IP address in Windows XP, Vista, 7 that is also considerably more practical. This article will show you how it's done.

Releasing and renewing an IP address is a straightforward process that works very much the same regardless of whether you're using Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7. Regardless of the Windows version you use, you can perform this task from the command prompt window.

Opening a Command Prompt window

To open a command prompt window, in which you can input advanced commands such as the one you'll be using to release and renew your computer's IP address, you just have to click the "Start" button and choose "run", then type "cmd" and hit the Return key. Alternatively you can press the "Windows" key on your keyboard and the letter "R" simultaneously, and then type "cmd" and click "OK". Again, this works similarly for Windows XP, Vista, 7 and even older versions of Windows.

Having reached the command prompt window, you should maximize it so you can get a better sense of what's going on. Once you input a command, your operating system will usually return a good chunk of text with information detailing what just happened in response to your order. While you don't have to read this text at all, we recommend skimming through it just to improve your understanding of what's happening "behind the scenes".

Releasing and renewing your IP address with a simple command

When you're ready to release and renew the IP address currently associated to your computer, just type the following command:
Ipconfig /renew

And that's it! Once you enter this command, your operating system will handle all the technicalities involved with releasing and renewing the IP address. A chunk of text will scroll across the command prompt window, and when it's done your IP address will have been renewed.

If you want to take it a step further, you can also re-register your machine's DNS name and DHCP lease by typing this command:
Ipconfig /registerdns

This procedure is helpful when you're having trouble connecting to the Internet or Local Area Network, or when there's some kind of IP address conflict keeping your computer from accessing the Internet.

Most people solve such connection problems by unplugging their modem or router and reconnecting it, which essentially does the same trick. However, the method we've just showed you is considerably more practical and elegant, and it's usually all it takes to release and renew an IP address in Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7.

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