Fix: DHCP Lookup Failed in Chromebook

Your Chromebook may encounter DHCP lookup failed when trying to connect to a network mostly due to an outdated OS, corrupt firmware of the router can also cause the DHCP error, or if your network is using a frequency that is not supported by your device.

Usually, the affected user encounters the error when he tries to connect to a new network. However, there were some users who started to face it on a network that they were using for a long time.

DHCP Lookup Failed

Before diving into more detailed solutions to fix the DHCP failure, try to connect to another network to rule out any hardware issue of the Chromebook. Also, check if other devices can connect to the problematic network. Contact the IT administrator of your organization if you are using a device managed by a school or company as the device may be restricted to connect to only some specific networks. Try to remove any other electro-magneto interference, i.e. any Bluetooth device or another router in the vicinity. Also, make sure the network is not set to use a hidden SSID.

Moreover, if you are trying to use a VPN, then disable the VPN client. If you are using a Wi-Fi extender, then remove the Wi-Fi extender as Chromebooks have a known history of having issues with them. Moreover, if a device made for the US is used in another country like Germany, then the device may have compatibility issues with the router.

Solution 1: Restart Your Networking Equipment and Chrome

The DHCP error could be caused by a temporary software or communication glitch. To rule out any such issue, it will be a good idea to restart your networking equipment and device.

  1. Perform a complete Shut Down of your Chromebook (not just sleep by closing the lid).
  2. Power off your modem/router and unplug from the power source.
  3. Wait for 30 seconds before plugging everything back to a power source.
  4. Wait for the modem/router’s lights to be stabilized.
  5. Now, switch on the Chromebook, and later on connect your system to the Wi-Fi network to check if it is clear of the error.

Solution 2: Change the Sleep Settings of Chromebook

Chromebook has a known bug in which if your Chromebook goes to sleep, then upon waking up, the device may fail to connect to the network and the DHCP failed message may be shown. In this case, changing some sleep settings of the Chromebook where it doesn’t go to sleep when the lid closes may solve the problem.

  1. Open Settings of your Chromebook.
  2. Now click on Device and then click on Power.
  3. Now open the dropdown of When Idle and select Turn off Display but Stay Awake.
    Turn Off Display But Stay Awake
  4. Then open the dropdown of When Lid is Closed and select Stay Awake.
    Select the Option of Stay Awake
  5. Now save your changes and exit Settings.
  6. Then restart your device and connect to the network to check if it is clear of the error.

Note: Do note that this will prevent your Chromebook from completely sleeping when you close the lid. Only the screen will turn off. This is a workaround, not a fix.

Solution 3: Reconnecting to the Wi-Fi Network

There can be a network glitch due to which the connection between your device and router might not be stable. To clear out any such problem, it will be a good idea to forget the network and then reconnect to it. Do note that you will be required to re-enter the password.

  1. In the bottom right corner of the window, click on the Wi-Fi icon and then click on the name of the network.
    Click on the Name of the Network
  2. Now click on the gear icon to bring out the Network Settings window.
  3. Then click on Wi-Fi.
    Click on Wi-Fi
  4. Now, disconnect from the network (if connected) and then click on the right arrow of the network that you want to forget.
    Click on the Right Arrow of the Network
  5. Click on the Forget button.
    Click on the Forget Button
  6. Now restart your device and then connect to the network to check if it is operating fine.

Solution 4: Use Google Name Servers for the Network

DNS servers play a vital role in the translation of the IP addresses into human-readable hostnames. If your device cannot query the DNS server, then it may return the DHCP failed error. In this scenario, switching to Google Name Servers may solve the problem.

  1. Open Settings of your Chromebook.
  2. Now under Network, click on the option of Wi-Fi.
    Click on Wi-Fi Option
  3. Then click on the right-arrow of the problematic network.
    Click on the Right Arrow of the Network
  4. Now scroll down and then open the dropdown of “Name Servers”.
  5. Now select the option of “Google Name Servers”.
    Use Google Name Servers
  6. Then connect to the Network and check if the DHCP issue is resolved.
  7. If not, restart your system, then repeat the process and in the network settings, select the option of “Automatic Name Servers” (where Google Name Servers were chosen previously).
    Use Automatic Name Servers
  8. Again, connect to the network and check if the Chromebook is clear of the error.
  9. If not, open Network Settings of your connection and disable the option of “Configure IP Address Automatically”.
    Disable Automatic IP Address
  10. Then set a manual IP address for your device as per the IP scheme and restart the Chromebook.
  11. Upon restart, check if your device is clear of the DHCP error.

Solution 5: Extend the DHCP Range of Addresses of the Network

There can be a fixed number of devices that can connect to a DHCP server. If the limit of the number of devices that can connect to the DHCP server is reached, e.g. if your DHCP server has a limit of 10 devices and you try to connect 11th device, then you may encounter the DHCP error.

In this case, try to remove some devices from the network or increase the limit of the devices that can connect to the network may solve the problem. The instructions may differ from router to router due to the make and model of the device.

  1. Open the web portal of your router in a web browser and login using your credentials.
  2. Now navigate to the DHCP tab of the settings.
    Open DHCP Tab in the Router’s Settings
  3. Then increase the DHCP IP range; if the upper range is 192.168.1.200, then increase it to 192.168.1.253. Some routers also specify the number of devices that can connect to a Wi-Fi network.
    Increase IP Range in the DHCP Settings
  4. Save your changes and exit the portal.
  5. Now try to connect to the network to check if it is clear of the DHCP failed error.

Solution 6: Change the Frequency Band of Your Wi-Fi Network

With the continuously evolving network standards and speeds, now routers are capable of broadcasting at a higher frequency/band channel than ever before. If your router is broadcasting at a frequency that is not supported by your device, then you may encounter the DHCP failed error.

In this case, switching to a network frequency recommended by your device may solve the problem. The instruction may differ depending upon the make and model of your router.

  1. Open the web portal of your router and enter your credentials to log in.
  2. Now navigate to the Wireless settings tab.
  3. Change the band, e.g., if 2.4 GHz is selected, then switch to 5 GHz, and if 5 GHz is selected, then switch to 2.4 GHz.
  4. Save your changes and exit the portal.
  5. Now restart your system and then connect to the network to check if it is operating normally.

Solution 7: Update Chrome OS of Your Chromebook

The operating system of your device is continuously updated to satiate the ever-developing technological advancements and patch the known bugs. If Chrome OS of your device is outdated, then that could be the root cause of the issue. In this scenario, updating the OS of your device to the latest build may solve the problem.

  1. Connect your device to the internet through an ethernet cable or Wi-Fi (whichever is possible).
  2. Now open Settings of your Chromebook.
  3. In the left pane of the window, click on About Chrome OS.
  4. Then click on Check for Updates.
    Check for Update of Chromebook
  5. After updating OS, restart your device.
  6. Then try to connect to the problematic network and check if the device is clear of the error.

Solution 8: Reset Your Router/Modem to Default Settings

Corrupt firmware of your router/modem could be the root cause of the DHCP issue. In this case, resetting your router/modem to the factory defaults may solve the problem. It’s usually not a complicated process and helps solve many network related issues. But due to the diversity of make and models of router/modem, it is practically impossible to cover all the steps to reset your modem/router, but the general approach is the same.

There are two methods to reset your router/modem; one is to use the button on the device (on some models, the power button can also be used to reset the device) whereas the other is to use the device’s web portal.

  1. Power on your router/modem (if already not powered on).
  2. Locate the Reset button, usually located on the bottom or backside of the device.
  3. Now press the reset button for at least 30 seconds. You may have to use something small and pointy, like a paperclip.
    Reset Your Router
  4. Then release the power button and wait for the router to reset and power on fully. Usually, it takes 30 to 60 seconds.
  5. If there is no button on your device, check your device’s manual to find out if the power button can be used to reset the device.

You can also use the web portal of your device to perform the reset operation of your device

  1. Open a web browser and navigate to the default gateway (you can find the default gateway by using the IPConfig command in the Command Prompt or check the router’s back).
  2. Then enter your credentials to access the web portal (default login and password is ‘admin’)
  3. Now, locate the reset option. Usually, it is in the General or System tab. Find and click on the option Reset Settings (or Restore Defaults). Then confirm to reset and wait for the completion of the reset process.
    Restore Your Router to Default Settings’
  4. After resetting the router/modem, restart your system and connect to the network to check if it is clear of the DHCP error.

If nothing has helped you so far, then try to either upgrade the firmware of your router or downgrade it (if everything was working fine before updating the router firmware). If the issue still persists, then visit an authorized technician shop of your Chromebook’s manufacturer to check the Chromebook for any hardware related issues.

Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

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Fix: DHCP Lookup Failed in Chromebook

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