IPCONFIG.exe is a system file that rarely appears during normal PC use because it isn’t essential for your PC to run. However, it’s sometimes needed by applications setting up your device’s network configurations.
Several users have complained on Windows forums that this application has become a nuisance with its frequent pop-ups. Most have reported a brief flash of a black command prompt screen. Some have had an actual window pop up with an error until they click “OK” or “Cancel,” only to have the pop-up return. Either way, the frequency of the pop-ups is too high and annoying.
This page will give you information on what IPCONFIG.exe is and its use on Windows. We will then delve into why the application pops up every time on your PC and how to solve the problem.
What is IPCONFIG.exe and what does it do?
The ipconfig.exe file is a software component of Microsoft Windows Operating System by Microsoft. In computing, IPCONFIG (internet protocol configuration) in Microsoft Windows is a console application that displays all current TCP/IP network configuration values and can modify Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) and Domain Name System (DNS) settings.
Microsoft’s Internet Protocol configuration utility has been incorporated into Windows since the release of Windows XP. Accessible through the command prompt, this utility allows you to display IP information, as well as release it, renew it, and other options. This utility replaced the previous winipcfg.exe file.
Several programs, especially PC games with networking or online features, might make use of this configuration executable. Information about your connection is collected and sometimes even modified for the networking game mode to function properly. That is why you might see a CMD screen flashing when your game loads.
Why does IPCONFIG.exe keep popping up?
Is IPCONFIG.exe pop-up a virus? If it is a normal file, why does it pop up so often? Here are some of the known reasons behind this annoying pop-up.
- An incomplete Windows update or missing Windows components and files may be the issue
This is the most common reason why you get IPCONFIG.exe pop-ups. Many people started receiving this error after an update. While some updates might have completed successfully, the majority of users reported that they shut down their computers before the download was fully complete.
In the event of an incomplete download, Windows will only install the files that it already has. This means that some components will be missing, and some of these might be associated with IPCONFIG.exe. When IPCONFIG.exe runs and is unable to complete its task, it will keep retrying until it can flag the task as complete. This is why a black CMD screen, with the IPCONFIG.exe prompt flashing at the top, appears every now and then.
The result is the same as stated above if some windows components are missing due to being deleted, infected, or corrupted.
- Corrupt or bad registry
If your registry is corrupt or has been altered, then IPCONFIG.exe might become a victim. The EXE registry is a protocol that grants permissions to executable files, dictating what they have permission to access and how they do so. So, if IPCONFIG has been denied access to your network devices and configuration files, it might be forced to keep trying until it is successful. You may also encounter an error pop-up window with the IPCONFIG.exe title.
- Bad or outdated drivers
IPCONFIG.exe gets it network configuration data from network devices like WLAN, LAN and even your Bluetooth card. It can then alter these configurations and return them to your network cards. In case you have bad network drivers, your devices will keep returning erroneous data or no data at all. This will force IPCONFIG to keep on trying until it is successful.
- Virus attack or malware
If a virus becomes embedded in your IPCONFIG.exe file, it might run the file indefinitely with the aim of collecting data on your IP configuration. Malware usually takes the form of shareware and freeware, and can also run the IPCONFIG executable frequently for the same purpose of collecting your IP configuration data. This type of data is typically sent over the internet by these viruses and malware to their creators, leaving you vulnerable to hacks.
Some viruses might impersonate the name of IPCONFIG.exe as their title. They will generate pop-ups to entice you to click on them, thereby spreading the virus or granting them access to your system.
If your system has been infected, most antivirus programs will identify IPCONFIG.exe as malware – for instance Kaspersky identifies it as HEUR:Trojan.Win32.Generic, and McAfee identifies it as RDN/Generic.dx!d2r.
Solutions to Fix the IPCONFIG popup
If your antivirus has scanned your system and has not found any malware or viruses, and your drivers are up to date, then it probably means that you are missing some Windows files or some files are corrupted. This could have occurred after an update or quarantine following a system scan, or even due to a hard disk failure.
Method 1: Scan the system using Malwarebytes
Installing this antimalware software will find any viruses and malicious installations on your PC and fix them. Click (here) to view the guide on how to download, install and use Malwarebytes to clean your system from the malware triggering IPCONFIG.EXE popups.
Method 2: Repair Windows
Repairing windows will reinstall all windows files including IPCONFIG.exe. The good part of repairing is that you will not lose any of your personal data. Only windows files will be replaced.