Does the message "IP address could not be obtained" appear on your device and you cannot use your WLAN? Then there are probably communication difficulties between the router and smartphone, laptop or tablet. Our guide reveals how you can fix this error.
The error message "IP address could not be obtained" always appears when one of your devices tries to establish an Internet connection via WLAN, but your router or Fritzbox cannot assign an IP address to the device. The cause of this error can either be with the device trying to establish a wireless connection or with the router itself.
Fortunately, the problem can be fixed relatively quickly. Try the following to resolve the "Unable to get IP address" error.
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1. Restart the device
In most cases, restarting the smartphone solves the problem with the non-retrievable IP address. Image: © Future 2019
First you should check whether the error message "IP address could not be obtained" only occurs on one device with WLAN access, or whether several devices are affected. If the problem only occurs with one device, the problem is likely with the device. A service that is important for the WLAN may have been interrupted or terminated. It often helps to simply restart the affected smartphone, tablet or laptop. All important services are restarted and the device regains access to the WLAN.
2. Delete the saved WLAN connection and add a new one
If restarting the device does not help, it can help to delete the saved WLAN connection on the affected device and to dial into the wireless network again. Follow the steps below to do this.
- Open the settings on your smartphone or tablet.
- Then select the WLAN item in the menu. Depending on the manufacturer, this menu item can also be located in the wireless & networks main category.
- Select the affected network and open the options for the WiFi . To do this, either tap the entry once or press and hold the entry.
- Then you should be presented with an option to remove or delete the network , which you should press.
- Then tap on the corresponding WLAN in the list of all available networks and enter the password.
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
- Select the menu item WLAN .
- Press the blue i on the network you want to remove from the device.
- Then select Ignore this network and the profile will be deleted from the device.
- Now you can select the WiFi again from the list of available networks and enter your WiFi password.
- Select the WLAN symbol in the notification area of the taskbar at the bottom right and open it with a left-click.
- Now look for the network with which the WLAN problem occurs.
- Right-click to open a menu with various options. Select Don't save here.
- Then search for the network again in the list of all available WiFi networks and re-enter the WiFi password.
3. Improve the router's WiFi signal strength
The signal strength of the WLAN also depends on the positioning of the router. Image: © AVM 2020
The error "IP address could not be obtained" may also occur if the signal strength of the WLAN is too weak . See if the problem can be solved by moving the router closer to the device. If you are already a short distance from the device, an optimization of the WLAN network is a good idea.
4. Restart the router
If the error message "IP address could not be obtained" occurs on several devices, it is very likely that the cause can be traced back to the router. But before you search through all the settings of your router for the error, you should first try a restart . Often this can solve the problem. To do this, briefly disconnect your router from the storm, press the power button on the device or restart it via the web interface.
5. Deactivate the Mac address filter in the router or add the device's Mac address to the list
With the Mac address filter, all devices can be entered that are to be granted access to their own WLAN. Image: © Vodafone / Screenshot 2021
If none of the previous tips helped, the router may not assign an IP address to the respective device because the Mac address of the smartphone, tablet or PC is not stored in the router's whitelist. Some routers offer so-called Mac address filtering. Here the router only lets those devices into the WLAN for which the Mac addresses are in its filter list. This feature serves to better protect your own WLAN from unauthorized access, but it can also exclude your own devices under certain circumstances.
There are two options for giving the affected device access to the WLAN again. Either you switch off the Mac address filtering in the router or you add the Mac address to the whitelist.
Turn off Mac address filtering in the router
- In order to switch off the Mac address filtering in the router, you have to switch to the web interface of your router. Enter the IP address of the router on any device in the address bar of your browser and confirm with Enter. You can find the IP address either on the router or in the documents of your provider.
- You should also have received the login password for the web interface from your provider. However, you may have already changed your login password when you first set up the router. Enter the password in the respective field and confirm with Enter.
- The router's web interface differs depending on the manufacturer. Under the menu item WLAN you should be able to find a feature called Mac address filtering, Mac filter or something similar.
- Deactivate the function and save the settings. Your router may restart itself.
Add the device's Mac address to the filter list
- Log into the web interface of your router as described above and navigate to the Mac address filter list in the settings.
- There you then add the Mac address of your device and then save your changes.
Read out Mac address
- Windows : Press the key combination "Windows key + R" and enter "cmd" in the input field. Now enter "ipconfig / all" in the console. The Physical Address entry is the Mac address of your device.
- Android: Path to the Mac address: "Settings> About the phone or Phone info> (WLAN) Mac address"
- iOS : Path to the Mac address: "Settings> General> Info> WLAN address"
6. Update or reset router firmware
The error message "IP address could not be obtained" may also occur if the firmware of your router is out of date. Conversely, however, newly installed firmware can also cause the problem. The solution to the problem is then either a firmware update of your router or your Fritzbox or a reset to the factory settings . It works like this:
Update router firmware
- Log into the web interface of your router as described under point 5.
- In most cases, you should find an option to update your router's firmware under the Settings or Status menu items.
- If you cannot find an update option in the web interface, find out more about firmware updates on the router manufacturer's website or from your provider.
Reset router to factory settings
- Log in to the router's web interface.
- Have a look around in the menu items Settings or Status, there you should usually find the option for a reset to the factory settings.
- Initiate the reset via the respective button. The reset can take several minutes.
7. Assign a local, fixed IP address to the WLAN-enabled device
You may also get the error message "IP address cannot be obtained" because there is a problem with the automatic assignment of IP addresses. Normally, the IP address of WLAN devices changes regularly, for example when restarting. However, you can also assign them a local, fixed IP address that does not change after a restart.
Assigning a fixed IP address should only be considered if none of the other suggested solutions work. Because assigning a static IP may result in further network problems such as double assignment of IP addresses.
- Navigate again via Settings> WLAN to the affected network and either tap the entry briefly or hold it down for a long time.
- You should then see various settings for the selected network. You may also have to activate an entry such as "Show advanced options " beforehand in order to see all options.
- Select the option "Static" under the menu item IP settings.
- You should now be presented with a number of settings. Under IP address you can now change the last two digits of your local IP address. All other digits should remain untouched.
- Open the settings on your iPhone or iPad.
- Select WLAN .
- Press the blue info icon on the affected network.
- Then tap on the Configure IP menu item and select the Manual option there.
- You can then enter a static IP address there.
- You can either see the local IP of your network in the web interface of your router or it is available as information somewhere on the housing of the router. Often, IP addresses such as 192.168.0.xxx or 192.168.1.xxx are used. It is important that you enter the first three digit sequences between the dots unchanged. For the fourth sequence of digits, it is best to choose a two-digit random number.
- To assign a static IP to a Windows computer, enter the term "network status" in the Windows search bar at the bottom left.
- In the new window you then select the respective network and click on Change connection properties .
- A window will now open with various properties of your WLAN connection. Scroll to the entry IP settings down and click on the Edit button.
- Then select Manual from the drop-down menu.
- The options IPv4 and IPv6 are now displayed. Activate the switch for IPv4 .
- Enter your desired local IP address under IP address. The first three sequences of digits must correspond to the IP address of your router. You can find this either on the housing of your router or in its web interface. Most of the time the IP addresses look like this: 192.168.0.xxx, 192.168.1.xxx. Enter the first three sequences of digits exactly as you would for the router. We recommend any two-digit number for the last sequence of digits.
- Enter 24 for the subnet prefix length and the IP address of your router for the gateway . With the preferred DNS you can either enter the IP address of your router or DNS servers from other providers such as Google . You can release the alternative DNS.
- Then click on Save and your computer will now have a permanent IP address.
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- Restart your device and check if this resolved the error.
- Delete the affected WLAN connection in the device and then add it again.
- Reduce the distance between the device and the router or optimize the WiFi signal.
- Reboot the router.
- Deactivate the Mac address filter in the router or add the Mac address of your device to the filter list.
- Perform a firmware update or reset your router to its factory settings.
- Give the affected device a static IP address.