FIX: Unable to contact DHCP server error [Ipconfig /Renew]

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Former Managing Editor
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  • Some users encounter the You cannot contact your DHCP server error message after renewing the IP address of their Windows 10 PCs.
  • This type of error indicates that the network card cannot communicate with the DHCP server, so it cannot share a new IP addresses.
  • Check out our Network & Internet Hub for more information on how to handle networking issues.
  • Take a look at our Windows 10 section for fresh news, updates, and everything you need to know about Windows 10.

Say you’ve tried refreshing your IP address or releasing it, but you’re still getting Unable to contact DHCP server.

To get to the bottom of your troubles, you first have to understand which element means what in this equation.

DHCP stands for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, and it essentially is responsible for creating new IP addresses.

And the type of error that accompanies it is always related to the ipconfig /renew command that you execute in Command Prompt.

This command will disable communication from your Network Interface Controller to the DHCP server. Now that we’ve cleared out the basics, let’s get busy with the fixes.

How can I fix the Unable to contact DHCP server error?

1. Update or reinstall your network drivers

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In order to update the network drivers, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + X, and select Device Manager.
  2. Select a category to see names of devices, then right-click on the one you’d like to update.
  3. Select Update Driver.
  4. Click on Search automatically for updated driver software.
  5. Once it’s done updating you’re all set.

To reinstall your network drivers, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + X, and select Device Manager.
  2. Locate your network device, right-click it and choose Uninstall device.
  3. Check the Remove driver software for this device option.
  4. Select Uninstall.
  5. Click the Scan for hardware changes icon.
  6. Windows will now try to install the default driver.

If Windows is unable to find a new driver, you can try looking for one on the device manufacturer’s website.

Downloading drivers manually is a process that carries the risk of getting the wrong driver installed, which may lead to serious malfunctions.

The safer and easier way to update drivers on a Windows 10 PC is by using an automatic software.

We strongly recommend the DriverFix tool to update your drivers in order to avoid the damage to your PC by manually downloading the wrong driver versions.

This great tool was developed so that you do not have to worry about manually downloading and installing your drivers yourself.

It scans your system and lists all existing and possibly missing drivers. The tool also detects if there is already a new version for current records. If necessary, these can be updated directly by this program.

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2. Register your DNS

command prompt Unable to contact DHCP server

  1. Type cmd in your Start Menu.
  2. Open Command Prompt.
  3. Enter ipconfig /registerdns.
  4. Type exit in Command Prompt.
  5. Restart your PC.

Having trouble accessing Command Prompt as an admin? Take a look at this handy guide.


3. Enable or disable DHCP

In order to disable your DHCP, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows key + X, and select Network Connections.
  2. Double-click the active network connection.
  3. Select Properties.
  4. Click on Internet Protocol Version 4 or Internet Protocol Version 6..
  5. Choose Properties.
    internet protocol version 4 DHCP server
  6. Click on Use the following IP address.
  7. Enter the values for your IP Address, Subnet Mask, etc.
    use the following IP address can't contact DHCP server

Be careful when you disable DHCP and move to a static IP configuration. If you enter the wrong settings, this can result in your Internet connection not working.

To enable your DHCP, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows key + X, and select Network Connections.
  2. Double-click the active network connection.
  3. Select Properties.
  4. Click on Internet Protocol Version 4 or Internet Protocol Version 6..
  5. Choose Properties.
  6. Click on both Obtain an IP Address automatically and Obtain DNS Server Address Automatically.
  7. Click OK.

If you’ve re-enabled your DHCP, make sure to reboot your PC to apply the changes.


We hope that these solutions worked for you. Let us know on what other network issues have you faced, in the comments section down below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in September 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.