Hardware, Software, Technology

How-to: Fix Networking Issues with IPConfig

TooManyPigeons by BenFrantzDale; this image by McKay, via Wikimedia CommonsYou have to acknowledge that set up and maintenance of your home network is much easier with Windows utilities than ever it was. Network and Sharing Center is a suite of tools that help the network novice with a graphical interface.

But still you may hit issues that Windows network GUI tools don’t touch. For example, what to do when your PC’s connection to a network is unreliable, or you’re getting IP address conflict error messages?

In such cases, you probably want to try to renew your IP address. This is still better done using an old command-line tool beloved of network administrators: ipconfig.

Renew Your IP Address

  • Click the Start button and open a Command Prompt (Start > Applications > Accessories > Command Prompt), Right-click it for the context menu and select Run as Administrator.
  • This opens a terminal window running a Command Prompt with Administrator privileges defaulting to C:\Windows\system32\
  • Type ipconfig/release and press <Enter>. This will release the current IP address. It will also close the network connection.
  • Type ipconfig/renew and press <Enter>. This will set your network card to poll for a new IP address and open a new network connection. The new network connection info will scroll up the terminal window.
  • Type exit at the prompt; press <Enter> to close the window.

Fix the DNS Cache
If you are getting old and outdated pages for known addresses, or pages don’t update when you exepect them, there is likely to be old page data in your DNS (Domain Name Service). You can also get messages of the kind “unable to resolve domain name…”

Whenever you type a URL into a Web browser, your PC requests your Domain Name Service server (DNS server) to translate that URL into a physical IP address and caches that information. The DNS cache can become outdated or corrupt, which can cause Internet connection problems.

The first solution here is to flush the DNS Cache.

  • Open the Command Prompt, selecting Run as Administrator as before
  • Type ipconfig /flushdns, and press <Enter>.

Image credit: TooManyPigeons by en:User:BenFrantzDale; this image by en:User:McKay [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Related: How-to Trouble Shoot Slow Internet Connection Part II

About Allan J. Smithie

Allan J. Smithie is a journalist and commentator based in Dubai.


3 thoughts on “How-to: Fix Networking Issues with IPConfig

  1. Appreciate your expertise. I will try this tool. C.

    Posted by Conaty Clayborne | Sep 28, 2012, 9:17 am
  2. this article is really a great help especially to a newbie like me. great one.

    Posted by Claumulti | Sep 28, 2012, 7:58 pm


  1. Pingback: Review: CanYouSeeMe.org – Open Port Check Tool « Everything Express - Nov 5, 2012

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