Picture this: You want to get online at your office to correspond with clients, work on your presentation, and finish out your daily tasks. Maybe you’re at home, and you just want to wind down and stream video or check your social media accounts. You click on your favorite web browser – and suddenly, you’re hit with an error message. You check your connections and everything seems good. Maybe you even contact your ISP to see if there’s an outage. But these don’t seem to be the problem.
While your internet outage could be due to a number of things, one of the first that you should check for is a DHCP Not Enabled error. Maybe you’ve run troubleshooting and this is the error you’ve received. If this is the case, it’s important to understand what this error means and how you can resolve it.
What Is DHCP?
DHCP stands for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. The simplest way to explain DHCP is that if it is enabled, the server can assign the computer an IP address. This IP can be static or dynamic, and a length of time for the assignment can be established. DHCP can be enabled on a server in a business, or through your router on a home network.
To break this down further, when your modem connects to the internet, it communicates with the server or router to get an assigned IP address. This also occurs when other devices get online, whether it’s a smartphone, tablet, or wireless printer. Each device will be automatically assigned an IP. But what if it doesn’t and you’re unable to get online? If this is the case, you’ll likely have to enable DHCP through your server or router.
DHCP Not Enabled: How to Fix It
Maybe you have a new router, or perhaps you disabled DHCP to use a static IP. If this is the case and troubleshooting shows that DHCP is not enabled, you will need to fix the problem before you can get online. Luckily, on Windows-based computers, it’s actually quite easy to access and change your settings.
To enable DHCP, first access your Network Connections menu. Select your active connection. Once opened, open the Properties menu. Select Internet Protocol Version 4, and select the options Obtain an IP address automatically and Obtain DNS server address automatically. You may have to repeat these steps for Internet Protocol Version 6.
After changing your settings, save your changes. Remember, if you want to disable DHCP in the future, you’ll access the same menus, deselecting the options to obtain DNS server and IP addresses automatically. These instructions are virtually the same for all Windows platforms, although older versions may be slightly different.
How to Know If DHCP Is Enabled
If you’re having connection issues or you just want to make sure DHCP is enabled without having to go through all of the steps outlined above, you can do so by using the ipconfig /all command in the command prompt. There will be a field titled “DHCP Enabled,” which will show you if DHCP is enabled. If not, follow the previous instructions to enable DHCP and get back online again.