How to Find IP Address Conflicts

By Jasmine Carpenter

Occasionally, your computer will experience an IP address conflict when two systems are assigned the same IP address by your network DHCP server built into the router. Windows will display an error message and you could lose your Internet connection, or it may slow down and become unusable. Sometimes, rebooting your computer will renew the IP address, but if the conflict persists, you will need to perform several steps to help resolve the problem.

Things You'll Need

  • Network router
  • Windows operating system

Step 1

Release and renew the IP address. Open a Windows Command Line prompt and type the command “IP CONFIG /RELEASE” and press the “Enter” key on your computer keyboard. Next, type “IPCONFIG /RENEW” and press the “Enter” key again. When you are done, close the Command Line open window. To open a Windows Command Line prompt, press the “Start” button on the taskbar. Then, highlight and select “Run” from the drop down menu list. Type “cmd” or “Command” in the “Open” run box and press the “Enter” key. A black and white Window will open on your desktop that resembles a DOS screen with a command prompt, such as C:\>.

Step 2

Click on the button that resembles the letter “X” located near the top and on the right side of the open Command Line window. Once the Command Line window closes, you will be returned back to Windows.

Step 3

Locate the router’s DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) error entry on your computer system. Press the “Start” button on your taskbar. Select “Control Panel” and choose “Administrative Tools” from the menu list. Then select “Event Viewer” to check the “SystemLog” file.

Step 4

Review the DHCP error entry. Normally, Windows will list a network address. You can use this information to help identify a conflicting non-computer device on your system. Open a Windows Command line prompt and type the command “IPCONFIG /ALL” to identify the conflicting device. Also, check the manufacturer’s label to help identify the device, which is usually located underneath it or on the back. Then, restart the device to see if this will help to resolve the IP address conflict.

Step 5

Restart your router if the problem persists and the above steps do not help to renew the IP address. Often, resetting the DHCP server will force the systems on your network to request new IP addresses. Also, it’s advisable to replace your router with a better model if there is a malfunction in the network’s DHCP server, and your computer continues to experience IP address conflicts.