How to fix “Wi-Fi does not have a valid IP configuration” in Windows

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Wi-Fi is a wonderful thing when it works properly. You can probably carry a device and still get high-speed Internet access. But when it misbehaves, fixing Wi-Fi configuration errors in Windows can be a hassle. Here are some things you should try.

Restart your computer and router

“Have you tried turning it off and on again?” it’s the biggest cliché in technology, and for good reason: restarting a computer will often solve a host of problems. In this case, you will need to restart both your router and your PC.

Note: Combination router and modem units are common now. They’re standard hardware you get from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) – if you don’t have a dedicated router, just reboot the combo unit.

Locate your router (or combo unit) and unplug it for a minimum of 30 seconds, then plug it back in. Be sure not to accidentally disconnect any Ethernet, fiber, or coaxial connections while handling power.

Next, you need to restart your computer. The Start menu received a significant cosmetic overhaul between Windows 10 and Windows 11. Follow the instructions for the version of Windows you have on your PC.

windows 10

To restart Windows 10, click the Start button, then click the Power icon on the left, and then click “Restart”.

windows 11

Click the Start button, click the Power icon, then click “Restart”.

Reset Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)

DHCP should handle acquiring an IP address from your router automatically, however, nothing is perfect. Try to force your computer to reacquire a new IP address from your router. You will need to launch an elevated PowerShell.

Click the Start button, type “powershell” in the search bar, and then click “Run as administrator”.

Type the following two commands in Powershell:

ipconfig /release

ipconfig /renew

After executing each command, you will see a bunch of text related to different network adapters appear. Every computer will be different, depending on the hardware present. The ipconfig /renew The command can take 10, 20, or even 30 seconds to fully execute, so don’t panic if you hang around for a while before you start seeing things pop up in PowerShell.

Try your connection again.

Reset TCP/IP stack

Transmission Control Protocol and the Internet Protocol, more commonly known as TCP/IP, handle how information is divided into packets and then tagged for delivery. It’s critical to most modern internet traffic, and when something gets corrupted or messed up, it can cause connection problems.

Start PowerShell as administrator, then type the following command in the window to reset the TCP/IP stack.

netsh int ip reset

There will be a lot of “Rebooting, OK!” lines in the PowerShell window if everything went well.

A successful reset will result in a bunch of

Reboot your PC, then check if the error still occurs.

WinSock Reset

WinSock is another part of Windows that allows your PC to communicate with devices on the Internet. WinSock can be responsible for network errors (including Wi-Fi), and a WinSock reset only takes a few seconds.

Note: Resetting WinSock may cause problems with some programs that modify the WinSock catalog. If you’re having trouble with an app after the reset, but it fixes your Wi-Fi error, just reinstall the program. It should fix the program problem.

Launch an elevated command prompt or PowerShell, then type netsh winsock reset in the window

You will see “Successfully reset WinSock catalog”. After running the command, restart your computer and try your Wi-Fi again.

Adjust network settings and drivers on your PC

Set automatic DHCP

Your PC will be set to automatically acquire an IP address unless you manually change it at some point. If you get the error “Wi-Fi does not have a valid IP configuration”, manually setting your IP could be the source of the problem.

Click the Start button, type “view network connections” in the search bar, and click “View network connections.”

You can also navigate there via Control Panel if you like: Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center, then click “Change adapter settings” in the top left corner.

Locate your Wi-Fi network adapter, right-click it and hit “Properties”.

Scroll until you find “Internet Protocol version 4” (IPv4) and “Internet Protocol version 6” (IPv6). Start by selecting “Internet Protocol Version 4” and then click “Properties”.

Note: Not likely, but if you notice that “Internet Protocol Version 4” or “Internet Protocol Version 6” are not enabled (they are not enabled if they don’t have a check mark next to them) click the and enable them, then click click “OK”. That may be the source of the problem.

Select the “Obtain an IP address automatically” option, and then click “OK.”

Repeat the process for “Internet Protocol version 6”. Just keep in mind that the IPv6 settings will show all IPv6 addresses, so don’t worry if the IP addresses look different.

RELATED: What is IPv6 and why is it important?

Update your network drivers

Click the Start button, type “Device Manager” in the search bar, and then click “Open.”

You are looking for the “Network Adapters” category. Once you find it, click the arrow and expand the list. What you see listed depends entirely on what hardware and software you’re running, whether you have a lot of things that require physical or virtual network adapters, like a VPN, virtual machine, physical Ethernet port, and Wi-Fi. Fi Adapter – You should expect a pretty busy list.

The Wi-Fi network adapter will probably be called something along the lines of “Intel(R) Wi-Fi” or “Realtek Wi-Fi” since they make most of the wireless adapters you’ll find in laptops and motherboards. If you have installed a specific Wi-Fi card, such as one from TP-Link or D-Link, look for that instead.

Select

Right click on the adapter and click “Update Drivers”.

Note: If you’re getting this specific error, it’s very likely that you can’t access the internet to get drivers in the first place. If you can, connect it via an Ethernet cable.

Select “Search for drivers automatically” and let it search.

If it recommends installing drivers, do so and then restart your computer.

If you can’t access the Internet to find drivers, or if the drivers that Windows obtained automatically didn’t help, you need to download and install the drivers from the manufacturer.

You can find the manufacturer’s drivers on the manufacturer’s website. Be careful when looking for drivers, there are many websites that promise to install all your drivers and optimize your computer for you; at best, they’re loaded with tons of junk freeware that you probably don’t want. and definitely not necessary.

If you have an Intel wireless card, Intel provides a utility to automatically identify the correct drivers for your system.

Factory reset your router

Your router is probably not the source of the problem, so don’t do this until you’ve exhausted all other available options. Configuring all your network settings isn’t really fun, so it’s best to avoid it if possible.

RELATED: Beginner Geek: How to Configure Your Router

However, if you are out of options, you can give it a try. Locate your router or combo unit and press the recessed button for at least 10 seconds. You may need a paper clip or other narrow object to press the button.

A reset button inserted next to a power connector.
Alexander Gordeyev / Shutterstock.com

If that didn’t work, you’ll have to start trying more unlikely solutions. If you’re running antivirus software and a firewall, whether it’s a third-party antivirus or Microsoft Defender, try disabling them. After that, go through the list and see if any of these solutions help.

RELATED: How to fix when Wi-Fi won’t connect