What Is an IP Address Conflict? How Is An IP Address Conflict Resolved?

What Is an IP (Internet Protocol) Address Conflict? How Is An IP Address Conflict Resolved?

An IP (Internet Protocol) address conflict happen when two communication endpoints on a network are allocated the same IP (Internet Protocol) address. Endpoints can be Personal Computers, mobile devices or Android devices, or any individual network adapter. IP (Internet Protocol) conflicts between two endpoints normally render either one or both of them inoperable for network operations.

How IP (Internet Protocol) Address Conflicts Arise

Two computers or other devices can get conflicting IP  (Internet Protocol) addresses in several ways:

  • A system administrator assigns two computers on a LAN (local area network) and the same static IP (Internet Protocol) address.
  • A system administrator assigns a computer a static IP (Internet Protocol) address within the local network's DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) range, and the same address is automatically assigned by the local DHCP server.
  • A fault in the network's DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) server enabled the same dynamic address to be assigned to multiple computers automatically. This can happen when a mobile device is put into a hibernate mode and then awakened later, for example.
  • An internet service provider mistakenly assigns two customers the same IP (Internet Protocol) address either statically or dynamically.
  • For networks where IP (Internet Protocol) addresses are fixed, confirm that each localhost is configured with a unique IP address.
  • If your computer has a dynamically assigned address, release and renew its IP (Internet Protocol) address to work around IP (Internet Protocol) address conflicts. 
  • If you believe your broadband router has a faulty DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) server that is causing IP (Internet Protocol) conflicts on the home network, upgrade the router firmware to resolve the problem.


Other forms of IP (Internet Protocol) conflicts can occur on a network. For example, one computer may experience an IP (Internet Protocol) address conflict with itself if that computer is configured with multiple adapters. Network administrators may also create IP (Internet Protocol) conflicts by accidentally connecting two ports of a network switch or network router to each other.

Recognizing IP (Internet Protocol) Address Conflicts

The exact error message or other indication of IP (Internet Protocol) conflicts varies depending on the type of device affected and the network operating system it runs.

On many Microsoft Windows computers, if you attempt to set a fixed IP (Internet Protocol) address that is already active on the local network, you receive the following pop-up error message:

The static IP (Internet Protocol) address that was just configured is already in use on the network. Please reconfigure a different IP address.
On newer Microsoft Windows computers having dynamic IP (Internet Protocol) conflicts, you receive a balloon error message in the Taskbar as soon as the operating system detects the issue:

There is an IP (Internet Protocol) address conflict with another system on the network.
Sometimes, especially on older Windows computers, a message similar to the following may instead appear in a pop-up window:

The system has detected a conflict for IP (Internet Protocol) address...


Resolving IP (Internet Protocol) Address Conflicts

  • For networks where IP (Internet Protocol) addresses are fixed, confirm that each localhost is configured with a unique IP (Internet Protocol) address.
  • If your computer has a dynamically assigned address, release and renew its IP (Internet Protocol) address to work around IP (Internet Protocol) address conflicts. 
  • If you believe your broadband router has a faulty DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) server that is causing IP (Internet Protocol) conflicts on the home network, upgrade the router firmware to resolve the problem.

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What Is an IP Address Conflict? How Is An IP Address Conflict Resolved? What Is an IP Address Conflict? How Is An IP Address Conflict Resolved? Reviewed by Technowap on January 06, 2019 Rating: 5

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