Like every machine, when your computer connects to a network or the internet, it is assigned an IP address. An IP address corresponds to a computer’s unique address and identity. The IP address system allows networks (or the internet in general) to differentiate and recognize computers. Therefore, in theory, no 2 computers can (or should) have the same IP address on any given network (or on the web in general).
Note: The article here is the first part of the series on resolving IP address conflicts in Windows.
What does it mean if Windows has detected an IP address conflict
Well, it is quite obvious – Windows is trying to tell you that your computer’s IP address is already in use within the network or on the internet. All IP addresses are supposed to be unique; a single IP cannot be shared between computers – and this explains Windows struggles involving IP conflicts.
In any case, we do not believe that two devices are sharing the same IP address on your network. Here, instead, we are assuming that the IP address conflict is down to a glitch or irregularity in your PC settings or router. Or your ISP might even be at fault. For this reason, with those assumptions in place, we intend to show you how to remove the ‘Windows has detected an IP address conflict’ error message.
We will now proceed to the primary part of this guide, where we get to describe the fixes. By the time you are done reading this article, you will have learned how to resolve IP address conflicts on Windows 10 computers. Here we go.
How to resolve the ‘Windows has detected an IP address conflict’ problem in Windows 10
We strongly advise that you begin with the first procedure and (if necessary) continue with the rest of the solutions in the order we arranged them below.
Restart your router or modem or internet setup:
The vast majority of IP conflicts defined by the Windows has detected an IP address conflict error can be resolved by a simple restart of the router or device powering the internet setup. At least, most users were able to make things right with their connection or the internet by doing precisely that.
These instructions cover the router or internet device restart procedure:
- If you use a router to connect to the internet, then you have to grab the router device (physically).
- Check your router’s body for its power button. Once you find the power button, you must press it and hold it down for as long as necessary until your router goes off.
You will know that your router has lost power once all its lights go off. The minimum waiting time is 30 seconds, but we actually recommend that you wait at least 5 minutes (to ensure all the devices and networks in your internet setup shut down) before you put on the device.
- If your router lacks a power button or if its power button fails to do the job, then you simply have to disconnect your router’s plug from the power source and then wait for a while or as long as necessary for the device to go off.
- Similarly, if you use a modem or similar device to connect to the internet, then you simply have to disconnect the modem from your computer, wait for a while (and you can even restart your PC during this time), and then plug your model or internet device back into your computer.
- Put on your router – if this step applies.
- Now, assuming you are back to your computer, you must try using your internet to see what happens.
If the IP issue persists, then you will do well to turn off or disconnect your router (or modem) from your computer again, restart your router, turn on your router or connect the modem back to your computer, and then test things using your network or internet again.
Disable and then enable your network adapter:
Your network adapter is the component that interfaces your computer with a network (or the internet in general). If you connect to the internet via Wi-Fi, then your machine will be configured to use a wireless network adapter. If you connect to the internet via Ethernet, then your PC will end up using a USB or wired network adapter.
Here, we want you to disable and enable your network adapter to force through shakeups in the adapter configuration or setting. This way, you get to do away with the glitch or inconsistency responsible for the IP address conflicts – if everything goes as expected.
These are the instructions you must follow to perform the enabling and disabling task for your network adapter:
- Press and then hold down the Windows logo button on your PC’s keyboard. Now, tap the letter R key.
- Once the Run dialog or window gets brought up, you must type cpl into the text box there.
- Run the code: You can do this by hitting the Enter button on your PC’s keyboard.
Your computer is supposed to direct you to the Network Connections screen in the Control Panel.
- Now, you must locate the adapter your computer uses to connect to the internet (Wi-Fi or Ethernet in most cases).
- Right-click on the adapter to see its Options menu.
- Select Disable.
Your computer will now break the links.
- Wait for a while.
- Now, you must right-click on the same adapter to access its menu again.
- This time, you must select Enable.
- Close the Control Panel app. Check if your computer can now connect to the internet without IP conflict errors coming up to bother you.
- If the connection fails or if the error message appears again, then you have to close other programs, restart your computer, and then check things again.
Release and renew your IP address:
The release and renewal procedure for IP addresses is commonly used to resolve a wide range of network and internet problems, so we were always going to propose it as a solution to the Windows has detected an IP address conflict issue. Here, by releasing and then renewing your computer’s IP address, you get to force your system to de-assign your IP and then assign it again.
The changes resulting from the task might do enough to help Windows distinguish between IP addresses and end the confusion causing the IP conflicts. However, before you do the job here, you must check and confirm that you are currently logged into your computer with an admin account. Otherwise – if you find out that you are currently inside your system with a local or regular profile – you have to log out and then sign back in using the top-level account with administrative privileges.
Anyway, these are the instructions you must follow to release and then renew your computer’s IP address:
- First, you have to head to the Windows Start screen: Hit Enter on your keyboard or click on the Windows icon in the bottom-left corner of your display.
- Now, you must input Command into the text box that gets brought up the moment you start typing.
Windows is supposed to run a search task using the inputted keyword as the query.
- Once Command Prompt (App) shows up as the primary entry on the results list, you must right-click on it to see its Options menu.
- Select Run as administrator.
- Click on the Yes button to affirm the elevated program launch operation – if User Account Control (UAC) brings up a confirmation prompt.
- Assuming you are now on the admin Command Prompt window, you must run these lines (one line at a time, one line after the other):
- netsh int IP reset c:\resetlog.txt
- ipconfig /release
- ipconfig /renew
- Now, you must leave or close the Command Prompt window.
- Here, you must check your computer’s network or internet status to see if things have improved.
Like in previous procedures, at this point, if you find out that the problem persists, you may want to restart your PC and then check things again.
Disable or remove the static IP:
Some users (or even computers) prefer using the static IP setup because it allows them to find specific devices on the network easily. However, when machines use static IP addresses – which, in theory, are not supposed to change – the chances of IP conflicts increase because other devices cannot change their addresses fast enough to avoid complications.
Therefore, we want you to do away with the static IP address. This way, you give your computer more chances of survival in the IP allocation process because it will now be able to accept or admit new IP addresses (IP changes). In other words, the alternative IP setup – dynamic IP – might do you a lot of good.
These are the instructions you must follow to put down the static IP and use a dynamic IP instead:
- Open the Run app: You can use the Windows button + letter R keyboard shortcut that we described earlier to perform the task here.
- Once the Run dialog or window comes up, you must type cpl into its text box.
- Run the code by hitting Enter on your keyboard or clicking on OK on the Run window.
- Assuming you are now on the Network Connections screen in the Control Panel, you must locate the network or internet adapter that your computer currently uses.
- Right-click on the appropriate adapter to see its Options menu.
- This time, you must select Properties.
Your computer is supposed to bring up the Properties menu for Wi-Fi or Ethernet now.
- Go through the list under the This connection uses the following items Locate Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and then double-click on this option.
Windows is supposed to bring up the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) window.
- Assuming you are on the General tab, you must click on the radio button for Obtain an IP address automatically to select this parameter.
- You have to click on the radio button for Obtain DNS server address automatically to select this parameter too.
If the radio buttons for both Obtain an IP address automatically and Obtain DNS server address automatically were already selected – which indicates that both options were already in use – then the procedure here to disable static IP never applied to you because your computer was not using the static IP setup in the first place. You should move on.
- In any case, you have to click on the OK button to affirm and finish things.
- Close the Control Panel app. Close other applications – if necessary.
- Restart your PC.
- Run a simple test using your network or internet connection to confirm that the IP issues have been resolved for good.
Flush your DNS; reset WINSOCK; run netsh commands:
DNS – which is a popular acronym for Domain Name System – is an important cog in your internet setup. The Domain Name System is the setup that links websites (URLs that you type into web browsers) with the corresponding IP addresses (figures or digits that you would otherwise struggle to remember). In Windows, WINSOCK refers to the interface or program that manages connection requests (input and output) for applications.
So, we want you to execute reset operations for both your DNS and WINSOCK. We also want you to run the netsh commands that are commonly used to force through changes in a network or internet setup to eliminate inconsistencies or discrepancies. You have to perform all the proposed tasks in an elevated Command Prompt window. We also recommend you log into your computer with an admin account (if you are yet to do so).
These instructions cover the entirety of the procedures described above:
- Right-click on the Windows icon in the bottom-left corner of your display.
- Assuming the Power User menu programs and options are now visible, you have to select Command Prompt (Admin).
- Click on the Yes button to confirm things – if Windows brings up a User Account Control (UAC) dialog.
Your computer is supposed to bring up the Command Prompt window with admin rights now.
- At this point, you must run these lines (one line a time, one line after the other):
- ipconfig /flushdns
- nbtstat –r
- netsh int ip reset c:\resetlog.txt
- netsh winsock reset
- Assuming the execution process for the last command has reached completion, you have to close the Command Prompt window now.
- Close other programs (if necessary). Restart your computer to finish things.
- Now, you must check whether the task you performed was sufficient to resolve the Windows has detected an IP address conflict
If you are still struggling with the Windows has detected an IP address conflict error, then you may want to check our continuation of this guide (Part 2). There, we described additional solutions to the problem plaguing internet configurations on Windows devices.
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