How to change your IP address on a computer or phone

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  • You can change your local IP address from the network settings command menu on a PC, Mac, or phone.
  • Your public IP address can be changed by resetting your router or connecting to a VPN.
  • You may need to change your IP address for technical or security reasons.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference Library for more stories.

Your computer, like any device that connects to the Internet, has an Internet Protocol (IP) address. It is a series of numbers interspersed with decimal points (for example, “198.169.0.101”), and acts as a home address that identifies where other devices can find your computer.

Rarely do you need to know your computer


IP adress

but if you need it, it’s easy to find (for more details, see our articles on how to find the IP address for Windows or the IP address on a Mac).

Here’s everything you need to know about changing your local and public IP addresses.

How to change your public IP address

No matter what kind of computer you have (Windows or Mac), it’s quite easy to change your public IP address.

Your public IP address is usually set by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and you cannot choose it yourself. However, you can “coax” it into changing in several ways:

  • Change your network or location: Your public IP address will change depending on where and how you connect to the Internet. If you have a phone with LTE, for example, disabling Wi-Fi so that it uses that LTE signal will force it to use a different IP address. You can also connect to another Wi-Fi network.
  • Restart your internet modem: When you restart the modem (turn it off, wait two to three minutes, then turn it back on), it will refresh all the IP addresses on the network.
  • Connect with a VPN: A VPN (Virtual Private Network) hides your public IP address and connects you to a server in a different location with a different IP address. When using a VPN, you can’t choose the IP address directly, but you can usually choose the geographic region you want to appear from, which will determine the IP addresses the VPN software will use to identify you.

If all else fails, contact your ISP and ask them to change your IP address. They may not be able to do it, but it’s okay to ask.

How to Change Your Local IP Address in Windows

1. Click the Start button, then click “Settings.”

2. Click on “Network and Internet”.

IP 1

You can change your local IP address in the settings.

Dave Johnson/Insider


3. In the navigation pane on the left, click “Wi-Fi”, then click the name of your Wi-Fi network. If you are connected with an Ethernet cable, select “Ethernet”.

IP 2

Select your network to change the IP address.

Dave Johnson/Insider


4. On your Wi-Fi network details page, scroll down to the IP settings section and click “Edit”. With Ethernet, click “Properties”.

5. Finally, in the Edit IP Settings dialog box, click “Automatic (DHCP)” and choose “Manual”. Then enable IPv4 by sliding the button to the right and enter the details of the new IP address. Click “Save”.

IP 3

Change the IP setting from automatic to manual.

Dave Johnson/Insider


How to Change Your Local IP Address on a Mac

1. In the Apple menu, click on “System Preferences”.

2. Click on “Network”.

SPF 4

Open Network Settings in System Preferences.

Dave Johnson/Insider


3. In the left pane, select the network you are connected to, then click “Advanced” at the bottom right of the window.

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After selecting your network, go to advanced settings.

Dave Johnson/Insider


4. Click on the “TCP/IP” tab at the top.

5. In the Configure using IPv4 section, click “Use DHCP”, then choose “Manually”.

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You have to switch from DHCP (which is the automatic mode) to select the IP address manually.

Dave Johnson/Insider


6. Finally, enter the details for the new IP address. Click OK.”

How to change the local IP address on a mobile device

Like any device connected to the Internet, your phone has its own IP address. If you have a compelling reason to do so, you can also change your phone’s IP address.

For iPhone and Android, you can customize the IP address from the Wi-Fi settings page. For step-by-step details on how to do this, see our articles “How to change the IP address on your iPhone” and “How to change the IP address on an Android phone”.

internet router modem mobile phone laptop hands

Your phone’s Internet works the same way as your laptop’s.

Kittichai Boonpong;EyeEm/Getty Images


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