How To use IPConfig Commands and Options Explained

How To use IPConfig Commands and Options Explained. These days most computers are seldom standalone. According to Zappia, over 4.9 billion people have access to the internet. That’s over half of the world’s population. Of course, not all the devices used to connect to the internet are Windows based PCs. However, we estimate that a large portion of Windows PCs are either connected to a network of some sort or at least have the potential to be. Thus, every Windows user, power user or not, should be able to perform basic troubleshooting for network issues. The Ipconfig tool should be in every user’s repertoire.  Hence, the following guide discusses what it is and how to use it.

So, shall we start with How To use IPConfig Commands and Options Explained.


What is Ipconfig?

All in all, Ipconfig literally stands for internet protocol configuration. Whilst its name is a description of what it does partially, it’s not all there is to it. When used without flags or options it fetches all the IP data associated with your computer’s network adapters. Altogether, this information includes the name of your network adaptors and also:

  • Connection specific DNS Suffix.
  • Link local IPv6 Address.
  • Subnet Mask.
  • Default Gateway Address.

Additionally, when the Ipconfig command is called, it also refreshes the Domain Name System (DNS) settings and the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). We have seen it used to discover the IP address for remote servers and flush the DNS. Nevertheless, if you are unfamiliar with network administration or architecture, these terms can seem a little alien to you. Certainly, the next section provides you with a concise glossary of some of the terms related to Ipconfig.

Ipconfig: Important Terms and Concepts

Below are the following networking terms and concepts worth knowing. After studying this section, re read the previous one (What is Ipconfig?). It should make more sense once you’re familiar with the information:

Internet Protocol (IP) Address:

Computers in a network use data/network packets to transmit and exchange information. Similarly to how the post office works, these data packets must have the right address associated with them to reach their final destination. As such, each data packet contains IP information. Ultimately, IPs define a set of rules that govern how information is sent and rerouted on the internet. The IP address denotes which domain or device the information is sent to/from. Consequently, IPv6 is the latest IP standard, with IPv4 being its predecessor. Despite IPv4 address exhaustion, IPv6’s adoption has been sluggish. In fact, some devices may not support IPv6 at all. Albeit, an Ipconfig command performed with no parameters will yield the IPv4 address and the link local subnet IPv6 address.   

Subnet Mask:

Next is a nested network. Subnetting makes sending data packets more efficient by dividing large networks into smaller ones. The subnet mask consists of the host and network identity. Moreover, it is used to ascertain if a host is on a local subnet or a remote network.

Default Gateway Address:

Your network adaptor’s IP Address.


Dynamic host configuration protocol automatically assigns IP addresses (and other settings) to network devices.


Following is the domain name system acts as a directory for domain names and IP addresses. Your operating system and web browser uses it to translate domain names into IP addresses and vice versa.

Connection Specific DNS Suffix:

Adds a suffix to incomplete domain names. For instance, the subdomain may be specified (www.) but the rest of the domain may not be. Equally, the connection specific DNS suffix is used to fully qualify the domain. If you’re in a workgroup, it’s used to register your computer’s host/domain in the local network’s DNS.

MAC Address:

The Media Access Control address is 12 character alphanumerical value that denotes the physical addresses of network devices.

Physical Address:

Displays your device’s MAC Address.

DHCP Enabled:

A value that shows you if your DHCP is enabled. If DHCP is disabled, your device is using a static (non dynamic) IP address.

Lease Obtained:

Reveals the date and time when your computer/device acquired the IP address. 

In summary, these are just a few of the terms related to the Ipconfig command. Interestingly, Cloud Infrastructure Services features a helpful guide on the various types of network protocols. Give it a visit if you’d like to learn more about network administration. Indeed, the next section covers how to use the Ipconfig Command.

Up next with How To use IPConfig Commands and Options we learn about the Commands. Have a look below.

Using The Ipconfig Command

For one thing, the Ipconfig is a CLI command that must be run from a terminal screen (PowerShell or Command Prompt) with administrator permissions.

  • Right click on the start menu to open the Windows Power Menu (Or Winkey + X).
  • Click on Windows PowerShell (Administrator) or Command Prompt (Administrator).
  • You can then type Ipconfig into the command line screen.
  • Hit Enter.

Forward slashes (/) allow you to add options/parameters to the command. Like, you can use /? to reveal a short ipconfig help guide displaying all the available command options.

Meanwhile, Ipconfig’s syntax/usage is as follows:

					ipconfig [/allcompartments] [/all] [/renew []] [/release []] [/renew6[]] [/release6 []] [/flushdns] [/displaydns] [/registerdns] [/showclassid ] [/setclassid  []]

Further, the guide’s next section explains all Ipconfigs and what you can use them for.

Ipconfig Options

Ipconfig features the following options and parameters:

Essential Options:

  • /?: Displays a wall of helpful text showing Ipconfig’s usages and options.
    Example: IPConfig /?
  • /all:  Returns all the network configuration information related to all your network devices. This includes the:
    • Physical address.
    • The status of the DHCP (DHCP enabled).
    • IPv4 Address.
    • Default Gateway.
    • DHCP Server.
    • DNS Server.
    • Link Local IPv6 Address.
    • Lease obtained.

Example: Ipconfig /all

More of Essential Options:

  • /release: Releases the IPv4 address for the specified network device. If you don’t specify a device (IPConfig /release), it will release the IPv4 addresses of all your network adaptors. As with most CLI commands, you must place long names with spaces between quotation marks. You can also use the asterisk (“*”) wildcard to release adapters that share part of a common name.


Example: Ipconfig /release “Wireless Lan adapter Wi-FI” or Ipconfig /release Wireless*

  • /renew: Requests a new IPv4 address from the DHCP server. It is typically run after a release. The rules for the /release command’s parameters also apply to this command.

Example:  Ipconfig /renew


Example: Ipconfig /displaydns

  • /flushdns: Clears the local DNS cache. This is used to refresh the DNS and clear all outdated records.


Example: Ipconfig /flushdns


Example: Ipconfig /registerdns

  • /showclassid: Displays all (IPv4) DHCP class IDs for a specific adapter. You can use the asterisk wildcard to display the class IDs of all connected network adapters. This option only works on devices with adapters that obtains IP addresses automatically.


Example: Ipconfig /showclassid *

  • /setclassid: Allows you to modify the IPv4 class IDs for one or more of your network adapters


Example: Ipconfig /release “Wireless Lan adapter Wi-FI” or Ipconfig /release Wireless*

IPv6 Specific Options:

  • /showclassid6: Displays all the IPv6 DHCP class IDs allowed for a specific adapter. The usage is identical to the normal /showclassid
  • /setclassid6: Allows you to modify the IPv6 class IDs for your compatible network adapters. Again, it uses an identical syntax to the /setclassid
  • /renew6: Requests a new IPv6 address from the DHCP server. Called after a release command.

Thank you for reading How To use IPConfig Commands and Options. We shall conclude this article now. 

How To use IPConfig Commands and Options Explained Conclusion

All in all, Ipconfig is one of the most accessible commands on Windows. This is because it is flexible, and doesn’t have any mandatory parameters. Consequently, you run the Ipconfig command without any options and it is still be useful. Of course, Ipconfig’s functionality isn’t exclusive to the Windows operating system. The Linux version is known as ifconfig. Its usage and interface are a little more complex compared to Ipconfig. However, it’s an important part of the SoftEther VPN Server installation process on Ubuntu. Thus, it’s worth learning. Nevertheless, we hope you’ve found this guide to be helpful. For more Windows related content, please head to our blog over here

Avatar for Mduduzi Sibisi
Mduduzi Sibisi

Mdu is an Oracle-certified software developer and IT specialist, primarily focused on Object-Oriented programming for Microsoft and Linux-based operating systems. He has over a decade of experience and endeavors to share what he's learned from his time in the industry. He moonlights as a tech writer and has produced content for a plethora of established websites and publications - including this one. He's always open to learning and growing.

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