Is your MacBook struggling to access the internet, though your Wi-Fi or Ethernet works fine? This can be due to the self-assigned IP error on your Mac. Worry not! In this guide, I’ll share how to fix the internet not working due to a self-assigned IP address issue on your Mac to regain a stable network connection.

But before we jump into the troubleshooting steps to resolve the issue, let’s understand what a self-assigned IP error is.

What does “self-assigned IP address” mean on Mac?

The “self-assigned IP address” error on Mac refers to a situation where your device assigns an IP address and sets up an ad-hoc network instead of obtaining one from the network router or DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) server. This self-assigned IP address is not legitimate or acknowledged on the network.

That’s why your Mac cannot connect to the internet or other devices on the network, resulting in limited or no network connectivity. This issue occurs due to network configuration conflicts, DHCP server unavailability, or problems with Mac’s network or Firewall settings.

So, what to do when your Mac has a self-assigned IP address? Continue reading to get rid of the issue and restore standard network functionality on your Mac.

1. Check your connection

Before diving into Mac-specific settings, ensure that your router is functioning correctly and located near your Mac to obtain a valid IP address. Besides, if you are using an Ethernet connection, plug in the cable snugly.

I also check to validate that the cable has no fault and is in good condition. Moreover, If you are using an old Wi-Fi router, discard it and get a new one to obtain a smoother connection.

2. Reboot your network devices

Restarting both your modem and router can often resolve temporary network glitches. Power off the devices, unplug the cables and wait a few seconds. It will help them cool down, as excessive heat can cause malfunctions. After that, plug all cables, connect them to the power outlet, and turn them back on.

In the meantime, restart your Mac once to iron out any bugs in macOS.

  1. Click the Apple logo.
  2. Select Restart.

    Just click the Apple logo → choose Restart on your Mac

3. Rejoin your Wi-Fi network

Sometimes, simply forgetting and rejoining your Wi-Fi network can solve the self-assigned IP address error on your Mac.

  1. Click the Apple logo → System Settings.

    Click Apple logo, System Settings

  2. Select Wi-Fi → Click Details beside your Wi-Fi name.

    click wi-fi, select details in system settings

  3. Select Forget This Network.

    click forget this network in system setting

  4. Choose Remove.

    click remove in wi-fi settings

  5. Turn off Wi-Fi for a few seconds and toggle it on.
  6. Click Connect beside your Wi-Fi name.

    click connect in wi-fi on mac

  7. Enter the password → Select OK.

    enter password and click ok in wi-fi settings

4. Check your connection settings

Verify that your Mac’s network settings are configured correctly. You must opt for the appropriate network settings to obtain IP addresses and DNS information automatically.

  1. Go to your Wi-Fi Details.
    I have shown the steps above.
  2. Select TCP/IP from the left panel.
  3. Ensure Configure IPv4 is set as Using DHCP and Configure IPv6 is set as Automatically, respectively.

    click tcp/ip, select using dhcp in configure ipv4, select automatic in configure ipv6 in wi-fi settings

You may also try turning off the IPv6, as some users reported it conflicted with the IP address assigning procedure.

  1. Click on the drop-down arrow beside Configure IPv6.
  2. Select Link-Local Only.

    select dropdown beside configure ipv6, click link local only in wi-fi settings

5. Reset your Network Preferences on Mac

Resetting the network preferences can help eliminate IP address misconfiguration, causing the internet to not work. So, you must delete specific network connectivity-related files from your MacBook.

  1. Launch Finder.
  2. In the menu bar, click GoGo to Folder.

    Go to Folder to clear cache

  3. In the pop-up window, type /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/

    go to system configuration folder in mac

  4. Delete these files:

    select network preferences file in mac

  5. Enter your Mac password to authenticate the deletion.
  6. Restart your Mac.
    It will automatically recreate the deleted files.
  7. Log in and connect to your Wi-Fi network.
  8. Go to the TCP/IP setting again and check the router files.

6. Renew DHCP Lease on macOS

This method is effective when the assigned IP address may have expired or encountered conflicts. When you renew the DHCP Lease, your Mac requests a new IP address from the DHCP server. It ensures a fresh and valid configuration and resolves connectivity issues.

  1. Open the same TCP/IP tab window from Wi-Fi Details, as shown above.
  2. Click Renew DHCP Lease.

    click tcp/ip, select renew dhcp lease in wi-fi settings

  3. Select Apply.

    click apply in renew dhcp lease

After renewing the lease, check if you can connect to your network. If that doesn’t help, try creating a New Network Location and renewing the lease.

7. Create a new network location

Creating a new network location lets your Mac start fresh with network settings and eliminate a self-assigned IP address.

  1. Click the Apple logoSystem Settings.
  2. Select Network from the left panel → Click the three-dots icon.

    Click the three-dots icon

  3. Select Locations Choose Edit Locations.

    select locations, edit locations in settings

  4. Click the plus sign (+) to add a new location.

    click the plus sign in network location

  5. Name the new network location → Click Done.

    type a new network location name, click done in network settings

  6. Wait for a few seconds until your Mac connects to your Wi-Fi.

Repeat the steps of renewing the DHCP lease on your Mac, and then try connecting to your network.

When you try to perform configuration changes to the system, your Mac’s firewall experiences configuration issues. Let’s fix this problem by resetting the Firewall.

8. Reset the Firewall on your Mac

  1. Launch Finder.
  2. In the menu bar, click GoGo to Folder.
  3. Enter /Library/Preferences → Press the Return key.

    go to library preferences folder on mac

  4. Delete the file.

    delete file from preferences

  5. Restart your Mac.

After your system boots, it’ll ask you to allow access to numerous programs and services. You may choose to enable access depending upon your choice. Then, try connecting to your network and check if the self-assigned IP address error persists.

If you are unsure about deleting the Firewall files, you may temporarily disable it. Toggling off the Firewall on your Mac can help determine if it’s causing conflicts with network connectivity.

  1. Click the Apple logoSystem Settings.
  2. Select Network from the left panel → Choose Firewall.
  3. Toggle off the Firewall.

    Turn off your Mac Firewall

  4. Restart your Mac and turn it on again.

9. Set Service Order from Mac’s network settings

Adjusting the service order can prioritize the network interface, ensuring your Mac connects to your preferred network.

  1. Click the Apple logoSystem SettingsNetwork.
  2. Click the three-dots icon → Set Service Order.

    click set service order in network settings

  3. Drag services to the top of the list → Click OK.
    If you’re using Wi-Fi, drag and drop Wi-Fi to the top.

    drag wi-fi at top, hit ok in network settings

10. Change DNS Servers on macOS

Discarding existing DNS and switching to alternative DNS servers can resolve DNS-related issues that may contribute to the self-assigned IP address error.

  1. Open System Settings → Wi-Fi → Click Details beside your Wi-Fi name.
  2. Select DNS from the left panel → Click the plus sign (+).

    select dns, click plus sign in wi-fi settings

  3. Add these numbers:
  4. Click OK.

    add dns addresses, click ok in wi-fi settings

11. Check for conflicting IP address

Ensure that no other devices on your network use the same IP address as your Mac. Check your router’s DHCP client list and verify that all devices have unique IP addresses assigned.

12. Disable VPN

If you have a VPN service enabled, disable it temporarily to see if it resolves the self-assigned IP address error. Open your Mac’s VPN settings and turn off the VPN connection.

Bonus fixes

You may need to attempt more complex fixes if the troubleshooting techniques outlined above do not fix the self-assigned IP address problem on your Mac:

  • Update your Mac to the latest OS version.
  • Verify your Mac is not infected with any malware or viruses.
  • Ensure your network devices are operating well and there are no hardware problems.
  • Reset NVRAM or PRAM on Mac to clear up the system settings memory.


How do I give my Mac a static IP address?

To use a static IP address, go to Apple logo → System Settings → Network → Wi-Fi → Details beside Wi-Fi name. Select TCP/IP → dropdown arrow next to Configure IPv4. Choose Using DHCP with Manual Address and enter the static IP address. Click on OK to save.

Get back your smooth internet access!

Encountering a self-assigned IP address error on your Mac hampers your work, so you should address it ASAP. You can tackle the issue and restore a stable and reliable network connection using these troubleshooting techniques. If the problem isn’t resolved, contact Apple Support and seek assistance.