How to Fix Failed to Obtain IP Address Errors (8 Tips)

Last updated on

July 15, 2020

Denis Graur

Keep getting the Failed to Obtain IP Address error on your Android device when you try to connect to a WiFi network?

We know how frustrating it can be, and we have good news - there are eight things you can try to solve that problem. We’ll tell you all about them (as well as the error itself) in this quick article.

What Is the Failed to Obtain IP Address Error?

You’ll normally see this error message when trying to connect to a WiFi network on your Android device. As far as we know, this mostly happens to Android users.

Why do you get the error?

Well, when you connect to a network, it has to assign an IP address to your device. That’s how you communicate to the web through it. 

Obviously, if you’re told the device failed to obtain an IP address, the network wasn’t able to assign it to you. So you can’t connect to it.

Why Does the Failed to Obtain IP Address Error Happen?

You might see this message due to many reasons:

  • Your WiFi signal is too weak. 
  • Your device is experiencing software or configuration issues.
  • Your smartphone doesn’t get along with the router’s encryption, and that causes a communication error.
  • The network’s router is experiencing problems.
  • The network’s router uses MAC filtering, and your device’s MAC address isn’t whitelisted.

How Do I Fix Failed to Obtain an IP Address Errors?

In our experience, doing any of the following eight things should solve this problem. We ranked them from easiest to less convenient:

1. Get Closer to the Router

Like we just said, you can get the Failed to Obtain IP Address error if your WiFi signal is too weak. That usually happens when you’re too far away from the router - like in a different room.

You’d be surprised just how much walls can lower your WiFi signal - especially if you have an older router. Sometimes, even having stuff laying around the router (like cups, boxes, or clothes) can weaken the signal.

So try getting as close to the router as possible, ideally right next to it.

This probably won’t work if you’re in public, though. You could ask the coffee shop’s staff to let you get close to the router, sure. But if it’s in a backroom where only employees are allowed, they likely won’t make an exception for you.

2. Forget the Network & Reconnect to It

If you’re getting the error due to temporary interference or configuration issues, this tip should work pretty well.

To start out, head to Settings, tap Connections, and then tap Wi-Fi.

Failed to Obtain IP Address 1

Look for the network that’s causing you problems, and hold it until a menu pops up. Then, tap Forget network.

Failed to Obtain IP Address 2

Now, just wait a few seconds, and reconnect to the network.

3. Restart the Router and/or Your Smartphone

Pretty straightforward. Just hold the power button on your Android device, and tap Power off or Restart.

Resetting routers isn’t so simple because how you do it varies from model to model. Many of them have a dedicated reset button, while others require you to log into their web do that.

4. Enable and Disable Flight Mode

Flight mode actually restarts your smartphone’s settings. So turning it on and off can help you fix the Failed to Obtain IP Address error if it’s caused by software-related issues.

To enable flight mode, just swipe down from the top of your device’s screen. Next, tap the Airplane mode option (the one with an airplane icon). Then tap it again to disable flight mode.

Failed to Obtain IP Address 3

5. Assign a Static IP Address to Your Smartphone

Maybe your device just isn’t able to get an IP address automatically. In that case, you’ll need to help it out by assigning it an IP address yourself.

To start off, you’ll need to forget the network. So follow thee same steps we outlined at tip #2.

Next, tap the network to log in. Instead of typing the login credentials, tap Advanced at the bottom. Right after, tap IP settings and pick Static.

Failed to Obtain IP Address 4

To finish off, tap the IP address field, and change the last digit of the address to any number between 1 and 225. Tap Save, and you’re all done.

Failed to Obtain IP Address 5

IMPORTANT: This should only be used as a temporary solution. If you were to use it all the time, you’d have to repeat the above process every single time you want to connect to a different network.

6. Change the Encryption Type on Your Router

Your Android smartphone might experience conflicts with the router’s encryption and authentication method. If you have access to the router, try changing those settings.

To do that, you’ll need to log into your router’s web interface. You do it by typing its IP address in your browser’s URL bar. You can normally find the IP address on the back of the router. You’ll also see the login credentials there.

The encryption and authentication settings for your network can usually be found under the WLAN section. Here’s how they look on our router (EchoLife HG8247H):

Failed to Obtain IP Address 6

We can’t really recommend any specific settings, so you’ll need to tweak them until you stop getting the error. 

Sometimes, Android devices might have issues with AES and WPA encryption. Using TKIP might solve the problem, but keep in mind it’s an outdated encryption method that’s not reliable. If you have the TKIP&AES option, try it instead.

As for the authentication method, we’ve heard people say that using WPA2-PSK (WPA2 PreSharedKey) gets rid of this issue. Based on our tests, that seems to be true.

7. Disable MAC Filtering on Your Router

MAC filtering means a router is configured to only allow specific MAC addresses to connect to the network. If your device’s MAC address isn’t on the list, you’ll get the Failed to Obtain IP Address error.

To disable MAC filtering, you’ll need access to the router’s web interface. Log in, and head to the Security tab. That’s where you can normally find the MAC filtering option. Here’s how it looks like on our end:

Failed to Obtain IP Address 7

Make sure MAC filtering isn’t enabled. If you really want to use it, set it to whitelist mode, and add your Android device’s MAC address to the list.

To find your smartphone’s MAC address, head to Settings, and tap About phone at the bottom. Next, tap Status, and you’ll see the MAC address under a section called Wi-Fi MAC address.

Failed to Obtain IP Address 8

8. Perform a Factory Data Reset

If nothing worked, you’ll need to do a factory reset. It will switch all your smartphone’s core functions back to their default settings, which should help you stop getting this annoying error.

Before you start, make sure to back up any important data on your phone (documents, photos, videos, etc.). A factory reset will erase everything from your Android device.

Once you handle that, head to Settings, and tap General management. Then, hit Reset, and tap Factory data reset. Scroll through all your data, and tap Reset.

Failed to Obtain IP Address 9

Know Any Other Useful Tips?

If you know other ways to fix the Failed to Obtain IP Address error on Android, go ahead and tell us about them in the comments. If they actually work, we’ll try to include them in the article (and we’ll also credit you).

Also, if you know other reasons why people get this error on Android, please let us know.

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