Despite how far technology has come, it’s definitely not perfect. This is especially true when you really need Wi-Fi but get error messages instead. The obtaining IP address error on Android means you’re stuck without Wi-Fi, which is incredibly frustrating if you have a limited mobile data plan.
Causes of the Error
To connect to a Wi-Fi network, your Android device has to be assigned an IP address. Without it, you’re not allowed to connect. The network’s router is in charge of assigning IP addresses. When it can’t assign one, you get the obtaining IP address error on Android.
The exact cause of why this happens varies greatly. Sometimes it happens on a network you’ve connected to a thousand times when nothing’s changed at all. Other times, it may be a new network that you can’t connect to. In most cases, fixing the error means going through a series of troubleshooting steps to refresh the connection.
Check your Router’s Security Settings
Modern routers tend to auto-update themselves so that they’re protected against the latest threats and keep your PC secure. But when this happens, it’s possible that a new MAC filter has set itself up that can interfere with the connection between your router and Android phone.
First, check your phone’s MAC address by going to “Settings -> About phone,” then note your “Wi-Fi MAC address.”
To check on this, log in to your router. (Check out the page to access your router page here.) Once you’re logged in to your router using your router password (usually shown on a label on the actual router), the process to change MAC filtering may vary between different router brands.
Generally, MAC filtering should be in the “Advanced” or “Firewall” settings.
Here you should see that MAC filtering is enabled. You should probably leave it enabled, but look at the list of MAC addresses and make sure you disable MAC filtering for your Android phone.
Restart Your Device
It may sound simple, but if this is a network you’ve connected to successfully before and nothing’s changed, it could be an issue with your device. Something as simple as an app that didn’t start correctly could be preventing you from connecting. Restart your device and try connecting again.
Restart Your Router
Sometimes it could be the router that is acting up and refusing to acknowledge the connecting device. A simple fix is to restart the router. Just turn the power off, wait for 30 seconds, and turn the power on again.
Once the router restarts, try connecting your device to the Wi-Fi network again.
Reset Your Router
If restarting the router doesn’t work, the next step is to reset your router. A “reset” is different from a “restart” in that all the configurations are lost, and the router is restored to a factory state. Most routers have a reset button on them. Press and hold until the router restarts. If there’s a glitch with the router, this allows it to restart and reassign IP addresses to connecting devices. Once reset, you will need to configure the router again.
Forget the Network
Your Android device saves networks you connect to. You can remove these at any time. If something didn’t store correctly or isn’t reading correctly, you may get the obtaining IP address error on Android. You’ll need to know the network’s password before reconnecting.
While the steps may vary slightly based on your device, go to “Settings -> Network & Internet -> Wi-Fi.” Tap the network name and choose “Forget.”
Tap the network again, enter the password, and try to connect again.
Toggle Airplane Mode
Software issues or interference may be preventing you from connecting to a network. Airplane Mode is designed to cut off all connections for your Android device. This helps to refresh all your networks. While it’s not quite the same as forgetting a network, it may be all you need to get assigned an IP address on the network.
Depending on your device, you may be able to pull down the notifications/options menu at the top of your screen and tap “Airplane mode.”
Another method is to hold the power button until the power options appear, then choose “Airplane mode.”
Turn it on for a few minutes, then turn it back off to try reconnecting to the network.
Change Device Name
It’s possible there’s an issue with your device’s name. It’s a simple thing to change and may help stop the obtaining IP address error on Android.
Go to “Settings -> System -> About Phone -> Phone (or Device) Name.”
Enter a new name and restart your device.
Interference could be the cause of the error. As incredibly simple as it sounds, getting closer to your router could be the solution. The closer you are, the stronger the Wi-Fi signal. A poor signal not only leads to slow Internet but may not allow you to connect at all. Usually you receive an error saying you can’t connect, but you may also see the obtaining IP address error.
Assign a Static IP
If it’s a Wi-Fi network you connect to all the time, such as at home, assigning a static IP address manually can help. It’s not a guarantee, though. You’ll need to change your settings with every Wi-Fi network you want to connect to, so it can end up being more frustrating than the error itself.
Go to “Settings -> Network & Internet (or Connections) -> Wi-Fi.” Long-press on the troublesome network. Select “Modify Network.”
Check “Show advanced options” and select “Static” under IP settings.
Enter an IP address. Enter 192.168.1.XXX where XXX is any number between 1 and 255. If you get an error saying the IP address is already in use, it’s already assigned to another device. Just pick another number. Press Save and try to connect again.
Any of the above methods can solve your obtaining IP address error issue on Android. Start from the easiest method and work your way through until you find the one that works best for you.
Having trouble navigating your Android device? Then read up on how to find downloaded files on Android devices. For something a little more experimental, check out our list of the best Android hacking apps.
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