An Internet Protocol address or IP address is a unique identifying number which is associated with computers on the internet or a local network. The IP address makes it possible for computers to send and receive information between each other.
A Network Interface Card (NIC) on the other hand, is a hardware component which facilitates your computer getting connected over a network.
If you receive an error message saying Ethernet doesn’t have a valid IP configuration while attempting to access the internet, it means that the NIC hooked to your router through the Ethernet cable is unable to access a valid IP address from the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP).
What the DHCP does, is to enable servers to assign IP addresses automatically to a computer on a particular network. The error Ethernet doesn’t have a valid IP configuration indicates that your computer cannot be assigned an IP address and so is unable to create a working connection.
What Causes Ethernet doesn’t have a valid IP configuration?
- A pretty common cause is the NIC being faulty. Because of how essential this piece of hardware is for connecting to a network, a defective NIC will result in the Ethernet doesn’t have a valid IP configuration error message.
- Defective or outdated internet routers are also potential reasons why you may receive that message.
- Finally, the error message may be due to wrongly assigned IP addresses.
There are a number of fixes to correct the “Ethernet doesn’t have a valid configuration” error. Let’s look at them step by step.
Reboot your Computer and Router
Sometimes, all it takes to fix what looks like a complex technical issue may be the simplest step. Shut down and reboot your computer and that may be enough.
Various users who previously had that issue have reported that disabling the Fast Startup feature has proven effective for fixing the issue. To disable Fast Startup:
- Tap on the Windows button and the X key at the same time >> Click on “Power Options” >> Under “Related settings”, click on “Additional power settings” >> “Choose what the power button do” >> Click on “Change settings that are currently unavailable” >> Uncheck the “Turn on fast startup” (recommended) checkbox.
Also, turn OFF your router or modem and put it back ON after a few minutes. Check to see if your Ethernet now gets a valid IP configuration.
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Check your Network Adapter Settings
By default, your router assigns IP addresses automatically even though you may decide to do so manually. A possible fix to correct the “Ethernet doesn’t have a valid IP configuration” error would be to first configure it to automatic, and then switch to manual after getting the correct settings.
- Press and hold the Windows and R keys together >> Type ncpa.cpl in the field provided, and press Enter >> Right-click on Ethernet and choose Properties >> Next, select “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” and click Properties >> Make sure the “Obtain an IP Address Automatically” and “Obtain DNS Server Address Automatically” settings are selected
To set the IP addresses manually:
- Back to the connection settings, select “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” >> Properties >> Select “Use the following IP address” and “Use the following DNS server addresses” settings >> Enter the IP address details like IP address, default getaway and subnet mask >> Click on OK.
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Reset TCP/IP and Network Adapter using Command Prompt
- Press and hold both the Windows and X keys >> Click on “Command Prompt (Admin) or Windows PowerShell (Admin) depending on which your computer has >> Type “netsh winsock reset” and click Enter to reset your network adapter.
- Repeat the process, and type “netsh hint IP reset” to reset TCP/IP
Uninstall/Reinstall your Network Adapter
If the error has still not been corrected, the next step is reinstalling your network adapter.
- Press and both the Windows and R keys together >> Type “hdwwiz.cpl” in the field and click OK >> expand the “Network adapters” dropdown >> Right-click on your Ethernet card and click “Uninstall device” >> Confirm the uninstallation prompt.
- Reinstall the network adapter via Device Manager
IPv6 configuration has been observed to sometimes prevent the Ethernet connection from working as it should. Some users who experienced the “Ethernet doesn’t have a valid IP configuration” error have reported that disabling IPv6 has solved the issue for them.
- Right-click on the Network icon located in the systray and click on “Open Network and Sharing Center” >> Click on “Open Network and Sharing Center” >> “Change adapter settings” >> Right-click on Ethernet and choose Properties.
- Navigate to Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) and disable it. Click on OK.
If you follow these steps as outlined, the “Ethernet doesn’t have a valid IP configuration” error on your Windows 10 PC should be corrected.
John follows everything happening in the tech industry, from the latest gadget launches to some of the big-name moves in the industry. He covers opinionated pieces and writes on some of the biggest names in the industry. John is also a freelance writer, so he shares articles on freelancing every now and then. email: firstname.lastname@example.org