Macbook self-assigning IP address, can't connect to wifi

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by neonbliss, Apr 11, 2014.

  1. neonbliss macrumors newbie

    Apr 11, 2014
    I did an extensive search for this question and I saw that some people had it resolved but I tried most of the suggestions and didn't have any luck.

    Last night i was using my macbook on the internet with no problems, went to bed and when I woke up in the morning I tried to check my email and the exclamation point showed up in the top bar. Someone else has a macbook pro in our house and they can get online with no problem, but for whatever reason I've been booted off and can't get back on.

    I read some comments that said sometimes another computer can "steal" the IP address of your computer and maybe that's what happened to me? When I go into my network preferences it says Status: On but it has a self-assigned IP address and will not be able to connect to the internet.

    I've tried rebooting the system, rebooting my computer, deleting the wifi passwords off my keychain access, removing the network names and readding them.... nothing seems to work.

    So... please help? Thanks!
  2. satcomer, Apr 11, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2016

    satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    Do this now!

    1. Turn off your wireless in your troubled Mac.

    2. Open System Preferences->Network tab and highlight your Airport card.

    3. In the right hand pane click on the 'Advanced' button.

    4. In the main 'Wi-Fi' mini-tab delete all 'Previous Networks' connections.

    5. The save out and then go to the application /Applications/Utilities/
    Keychain and in that application find the entries for your wireless router.

    6. Then go back into your System Preferences->Network pane and highlight your Wi-Fi card again and use the pane to turn on your wireless again and use that to rejoin your wireless network.

    7. Put in your username/password again and rejoin and save the password again.

    8. Enjoy.
  3. neonbliss thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 11, 2014
    Tried all of that and still nothing. :(

    when you put:
    what did you mean by "jane"? Other that I did everything exactly how you said it and still jumped back to self-assigned IP.
  4. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    Then go into your router and change the channel of the wireless. See if that helps.
  5. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I'm sure this was a typo for "pane".
  6. hiddenmarkov macrumors 6502a

    Mar 12, 2014
    The 169.x.x.x is what is called an APIPA address. Long story short you are not pulling an ip address from a dhcp server (built into the home router in your case). When you don't do this the computer will give you a 169.x.x.x address.

    have you tried to connect using a wired connection? You may want to isolate maybe the wireless nic having issues.

    If wired works, console/gui into your router and check its settings.
  7. Tarrier macrumors newbie

    Sep 5, 2014
    Just seen this post. I appreciate it's a few months' old now, and I hope the OP's solved his issue by now! The reason for my post is that I have just recovered from a very similar, if not identical, problem. It was an extension conflict that caused my issue. I've written up my solution here, in case it's of use to anyone:
  8. GEA78 macrumors newbie

    Jan 9, 2015
    This is a post for dummies, like myself, so apologize my non-tech language :p

    I had the self-assigned IP problem for a week and tried all possible easy fixes:
    -Reboot modem and devices (twice, sounds like voodoo to me)
    -Opened system preferences/network/advanced/TCP/IP clicked renew DHCP license -->this would allow sometime one device to connect, but not all devices at once
    -Opened system preferences/network/advanced/TCP/IP and under configure IPv6 clicked link-local only (same results as above)
    -Even ruled out "interferences" setting up a 5.2 Ghz network (sorry if I'm using the wrong words, like I said, I'm quite ignorant about this)

    Nothing worked.

    My set up was a modem, three powerline extenders that connected via ethernet to 1) an airport express, 2) an i-mac, 3) an apple TV (if you have no idea what a powerline is read side note below on powerlines)

    I finally understood what the problem was: I could only connect one device at the time, meaning that if I restarted the modem with only one device connected that device would work. If I had two or more connected the remaining devices had a self-assigned IPs.

    Now for you dummies-like-me out there (I apologize to all techies out there for using wrong words, concepts etc... the modem receives internet from provider and gives it to your home. Internet works in numbers (IP addresses) that tell your modem what devices are connected to it. Now, modems tpically, can connect to one thing at the time. To connect multiple devices you need a router. The router looks exactly like a modem to me (ha ha) it's another little black box, but it will have multiple ethernet ports on its back. Airport express can work as routers (theoretically, as it turned out mine wasn't). The router generates a range of IP addresses, for example, if you are using your airport express as a router you can see the range under system preferences/network/advanced/TCP/IP it could be to (probably not, maybe this is an impossible range, like I said, dummy here, but it will look something like this to other dummies out there). Now, if that is your range and your devices have an IP address of you have a problem. Your device has an IP address not in the range determined by your router= you have no internet. To find the IP address of your device: on a mac system preferences/network/advanced/TCP/IP (I think it's the IPv4 address... maybe and it should have the first bunch of numbers identical to your router or within the range determined by your airport express) on my apple TV it was under settings/general/connection

    The problem: I finally determined that the problem was that my airport express, for some reason, could only assign one IP address at the time. If all 3 devices were connected, only one would get a valid IP address. Basically, it was not doing its router job. Apple support were sweet as pie but useless and told me it was a problem due to my provider (which wasn't). :eek:

    The fix: I plugged my modem into an old router I had lying around in the house from my pre-airport express days, restarted the modem and everything went back to normal I almost cried for joy.

    My current set up:
    1-cable from provider into modem
    2-ethernet cable from modem into router (into the internet port, not one of the numbered ethernet ports)
    3-ethernet cable from one of the numbered ports of the router into ethernet port of powerline extender, plugged into a wall
    4a-2nd powerline extender plugged into a wall on a different floor. Ethernet cable out of that into my airport express to generate wi-fi
    4b-3rd powerline into a different wall plug. Ethernet from that to i-mac
    4c-4th powerline into different plug connected through ethernet to my apple TV

    I hope this helps! :D

    Side note on powerline extenders: I live in a big old house with thick walls and wi-fi won't reach everywhere. Powerline extenders are magic portals that allow your internet to travel through walls (ha ha). I have TP-LINK (TP-link TL-PA511 KIT AV500 Powerline Gigabit Adapter Starter Kit, up to 500Mbps). They're $60 a pair on amazon. The way they work: plug an ethernet cable from your router into the powerline, plugged into the wall (they have to be plugged into the wall to work!). Plug another powerline anywhere into your house (within a ridiculous distance, maybe 300 meters/yards or so) and internet will come out of that precious little thing at the same speed it came out of your modem=magic.

    Side note on airport express: I think my airport express is glitchy but that said, I used airport utility to set it up. How? On a mac just look for airport utility (apple key+ space to open the search tab). From there click on wi-fi. If the utility does not see your airport express reset it with a pen, clicking that little spot that can only be pushed with a pen till the yellow light pulses fast a few times. For me, sometimes, it takes a couple of clickings to get there. Then wait. On the utility after a while if you click on "other wi-fi devices" on the up-left corner you'll see a number in the scrolldown menu: that's your reset airport express. Select it. Set it to create a wi-fi network (if that's what you need) name the network, assign a password and you should be all set.
  9. libella25 macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2014
    I have this issue... Again... Had it 8 months ago when I moved house- it wouldn't connect to a BT hotspot, it was like it was stuck on a cycle. After a while it would come up with a landing page and it would magically work. Worked fine on a BT router for eight months- not once an issue. Three days ago, it's back with avengance. First few days it would eventually connect if I kept renewing the dhcp licence and keep restarting the laptop and router. Third day in- no amount of restarting is doing anything. Constantly says 'connection time out' or the dreaded 'self-assigned ip'. It isn't the wrong password, nothing in the key chain, and my phone and tablet will context fine. Ideas?
  10. grahamgraham macrumors newbie


    Jun 16, 2015
    I know this is about a year old, but let me share with you what worked for me:

    I had the same issue, I had no issue connecting to the internet, then one day, it would connect, but my macbook had self assigned an IP of, and said that it would be unable to connect to the internet. I deleted the entry in my recently connected list and turned off my wireless. I took a random guess at what the IP of the router I was using is (because I work at a summer camp, so it's not my router) and tried the usual 192.168.1.x. I changed my wireless from DHCP, and assigned it a IP, with a subnet, then assigned the router as I tried to reconnect, and it worked!
  11. GuidC0DE, Jun 6, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2016

    GuidC0DE macrumors newbie


    Jun 6, 2016
    I tried above solutions and nothing helped me. So, finally I fixed my problem by changing wireless mode of my router. My router supports 11b, 11g and 11n modes. And it was set to mixed 11bgn mode with automatic channel bandwidth. 11n mode is preferred and it supports 40 Mhz bandwidth and chooses this bandwidth by default. But when I looked at connection statistics in my mac I found that adapter works in 11n 20MHz. So, I limited my router and set manually 20MHz instead auto. Now mac can detect IP address and everything works great.
  12. jake's not feeling well macrumors newbie

    Dec 13, 2016
    To the OP, my Macbook iOS 10.11, had to use airport utility>advanced>DHCP, changed the beginning of the range's last value to 1 and the ending of the range's value to 40. The router restarted and everything worked.
  13. granitenyc macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2016
    This was the post that fixed this for me! While traveling in Europe, all of a sudden I noticed my MacBook Air had the same issue. Nothing seemed to work. It was self-assigning it's own IP address. Argh!

    So after reading this and some patience, I manually assigned an IP address (by using the info from my iPhone which had a successful connection on the same Network). Looked up router, subnet, needed it all. Dont forget to also enter DNS info or you wont get a connection.
    I had to guess a device IP address a few times since they were already assigned.
    Worked like a charm.
    It's definitely a router issue.

    Thanks mucho. Very frustrating and a surprising issue for a state of the art mac and router.

  14. JohnDS macrumors 65816

    Oct 25, 2015
    That's not a good idea. If you do that, the router's DHCP server will not be aware of your fixed IP address and may run into conflicts if it tries to assign that IP address to another users. So while assigning a fixed IP address may solve your problem, it may cause problems for other users.
  15. granitenyc macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2016
    Hello John, thanks for the heads up.
    Any suggestions on how to work around this issue without causing problems would be appreciated.
    I'm traveling here for a few more days and would like connectivity, but want to be a good netizen too!

  16. JohnDS macrumors 65816

    Oct 25, 2015
    I don't know why the computer is doing that. You could try resetting the NVRAM by cold booting while holding down the command-option-p-r key combination until you hear the boot chime a third time.

    If you have to use a fixed IP, try to pick one well away from the IP's that the DCHP server seems to be using, perhaps
    --- Post Merged, Dec 30, 2016 ---
    You can try this suggestion from

    To reset the firewall, go to the /Macintosh HD/Library/Preferences/ folder and remove the file called "," and then restart your computer. After the system boots, you may be prompted to allow incoming connections to numerous programs and services, so accept these for now (you can always go to the Firewall settings and deny or remove entries later on) and then try connecting to the network again. While configuration changes from migrating or restoring a system can lead to this problem, at other times major system crashes or power outages can do the same.​
  17. JediMindBang macrumors newbie


    Feb 14, 2017
    I tried a million things and made an account just to say thank you. THIS is the BEST answer to this question. I went through all the other methods. Thank you very much sir
  18. Macuser86712 macrumors newbie


    Feb 24, 2018
    Ruleville, MS
    Thanks for posting this! Your airport solution worked for me. I have centurylink WiFi at home and could connect iPhones smart TVs iPads but not my MacBook Pro so I looked at my iPhone’s IP address and set my MacBook Pro to manual IP address and it worked.
    It was saying no IP address for my home WiFi

  19. AlKhan626 macrumors newbie


    Mar 3, 2018
    In step 5, what do I do when I find the entries for wireless router in Keychain Access App?! Do I delete them?!
  20. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
  21. groats macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2018
    Sorry I know this is an old thread but just registered to say thanks so much for reposting this fix here! I've spent all evening offline after something apparently went wrong while updating to Mojave 10.14.2, and had spent 75mins on the phone to apple support, most of which with a senior advisor; digging around, tweaking and deleting obscure files, restarting both my machine and the router non-stop, only to be told they'd run out of options and I would have to backup my files and wipe everything.

    I thought I'd give it one last try searching the forums on my phone and this has worked perfectly!

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