How to Enable DHCP


In today's world, the Internet and home-networking are a part of daily life. Sometimes, though, your computer just will not cooperate with your home network, keeping you from accessing the Internet or other computers in your home. While there are many possible explanations for a failing network connection, a very common place to start troubleshooting is to make sure you have Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) enabled. Many Internet service providers (ISPs) will not allow you to connect without this one simple setting enabled.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Ethernet cable
  • Cable/DSL modem


  • Click on the Start menu and click "Control Panel." Double-click "Network Connections" or "Network and Internet Connections." In Windows Vista, click "Network and Sharing Center."

    Right-click "Local Area Connection" and click "Properties" if you are using an ethernet cable for connection.

    Right-click "Wireless Network Connection" and click "Properties" if you are using a wireless connection. In Windows Vista, click "View Status" next to "Wireless Network Connection."

  • Click "Properties" in the lower left portion of the "Connection Status" window if you are using Windows Vista. If you are using another version of Windows, skip to the next step.

  • Click on "Internet Protocol Version 4 TCP/IP v4" in the Network Settings window and click "Properties" to the lower right. Alternatively, right-click and select "Properties" from the context menu. A "Properties" window will appear. Near the top of the window, click the button labeled "Obtain an IP address automatically" if it is not already selected. DHCP is enabled on your Windows computer.


  • Click the Apple menu in the top left corner of the screen.

  • Click "System Preferences."

  • Click on "Ethernet" in the menu on the left side of the window if you are using an ethernet cable to connect to your network. For a FireWire or USB connection, click "FireWire" or "USB" in the menu on the left side of the window.

  • Click "AirPort" or "AirCard" on the left side of the window for wireless connections.

  • Click the drop-down menu on the right side of the window, next to "Configure IPv4." Select "Using DHCP." Click "Apply" at the bottom right of the window. Your Mac is now DHCP enabled.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are on an employer's network, check with the system administrator before making any changes to your network settings.
  • Be careful not to change any other settings while in the network settings, as it can be difficult to troubleshoot a connection problem caused by an accidentally changed setting.

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  • Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
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