Is your PC’s wireless network card getting stuck while acquiring a network address? Windows users can’t connect to the internet when that happens. That issue also has an impact on printer and file sharing. If this is a familiar scenario, this is how you can fix the cannot acquire network address error in Windows.
Computer got stuck on acquiring network address
- Open the Internet Connections Troubleshooter
- Switch off Firewalls
- Check the DHCP Client
- Update the LAN (Network Adapter) Driver
- Clear the DNS Cache and Renew the IP Address
- Reset the TCP/IP Protocol
- Roll Windows Back to a Restore Point
Open the Internet Connections Troubleshooter
- The Internet Connections troubleshooter might shed some light on and perhaps even fix the issue. To open that troubleshooter, press the Cortana button on Windows 10’s taskbar.
- Input ‘troubleshoot’ in the search box. Select Troubleshoot to open the window shown directly below.
- Select Internet Connections and press its Run the troubleshooter button.
- Click the Troubleshoot my connection to the internet option in the troubleshooter’s windows. The troubleshooter might then provide some potential resolutions.
Switch off Firewalls
The Windows or third-party firewalls might be blocking the DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) ports 67 and 68. The DHCP protocol enables automatic IP address and network parameter requests. Switching firewalls off will ensure they aren’t blocking the DHCP.
- First, enter the keyword ‘firewall’ in the Cortana or Start menu search box.
- Select Windows Firewall to open its Control Panel tab shown below.
- Click Turn Windows Firewall on or off to open the Customise Settings tab in the snapshot directly below.
- Select both the Turn off Windows Firewall options.
- Click OK at the bottom of the Customize Settings tab.
- You can switch third-party anti-virus software firewalls off via their system tray icons. Right-click your anti-virus utility’s system tray icon to open its context menu.
- Select a disable option on the context menu to switch the anti-virus software off.
- You can temporarily disable most anti-virus software by selecting an appropriate setting from their context menus.
- If switching firewalls off resolves the acquire network address error, restore them to their default configurations. You can restore the Windows Firewall to its default settings by clicking Restore Defaults on the Firewall tab and pressing the Restore defaults button.
Check the DHCP Client
Your PC will not receive any dynamic IP addresses if the DHCP Client isn’t on. As such, check that the DHCP service is on. This is how you can configure that service.
- Press the Win key + R hotkey to open Run.
- Enter ‘services.msc’ in Run, and press the OK button.
- Double-click the DHCP Client to open its properties window shown directly below.
- Select Automatic from the Startup type drop-down menu if that’s not already selected.
- Click Apply and OK to confirm the new setting.
Update the LAN (Network Adapter) Driver
Updating drivers is usually a good way to fix hardware issues. That’s especially the case for more outdated laptops or desktops that might not have the latest drivers. To fix the cannot acquire network address error, you can update the wireless LAN driver as follows.
- Open the Win + X menu in Windows 10 or 8 by pressing the Windows key + X hotkey. If your Windows platform doesn’t have that menu, enter ‘Device Manager’ in its search box instead.
- Select Device Manager on the Win + X menu to open the window shown directly below.
- Double-click Network adapters and right-click the listed wireless LAN device to open its context menu.
- Select Update driver to open the Update Drivers window.
- Click the Search automatically for updated driver software option to obtain and install the latest device driver.
- Some prefer to manually download and install drivers. You can do that by entering a hardware device listed on the Device Manager window in a search box on the network adapter’s manufacturer website.
- If you’re not sure which manufacturer website to download a driver from, right-click the wireless LAN device listed on the Device Manager window and select Properties. The General tab includes manufacturer details.
- Download a driver that’s compatible with your Windows platform from the manufacturer website. Select the Browse my computer for driver software manually option on the Update Driver window.
- Press the Browse button to select the new driver, and click Next to install it.
Clear the DNS Cache and Renew the IP Address
Clearing the DNS (Domain Name System) cache and renewing the IP (Internet Protocol) Address can resolve DHCP issues so that you can connect again. You can clear the cache and renew the IP with the Command Prompt. Press the Win key + X hotkey, and select Command Prompt (Admin) from the menu. Then input the commands below in the Command Prompt, and press the Return key after entering each one:
- ipconfig /flushdns
- ipconfig /release
- ipconfig /renew
Reset the TCP/IP Protocol
Resetting the TCP/IP protocol can also resolve connection issues. That resets the TCP/IP to its default configuration. You can reset the TCP/IP with the Command Prompt as follows.
- Open the Command Prompt as an administrator by entering ‘cmd’ in the Windows search box and right-clicking Command Prompt. Then you can select a Run as administrator option.
- Enter ‘netsh int ip reset resettcpip.txt’ in the Command Prompt, and press the Return key.
- Alternatively, you can enter ‘netsh int ip reset’ without specifying a log file path.
- Thereafter, restart the desktop or laptop.
Roll Windows Back to a Restore Point
The System Restore tool in Windows rolls the OS back to a selected restore point. As such, with that utility you can restore Windows to a date when there was no connection issue. System Restore will restore the network settings back to what they were at the selected restore point.
- To open System Restore, press the Win key + R keyboard shortcut to open Run.
- Enter ‘rstrui’ in Run’s text box, and click the OK button.
- Press the Next button, and select the Show more restore points option.
- Select a listed restore point that predates the acquire network address error.
- System Restore might also remove some software. Click Scan for affected programs to open a list of software that will be deleted.
- Press the Next > Finish buttons to confirm your restore point and restart Windows.
Some of the resolutions above will probably fix the acquire network address error and re-establish the internet connection. A few third-party utilities, such as LSP-Fix, might also help resolve connection issues. Check out this article for further tips on how to repair internet connections in Windows 10.
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