What is ‘Renew Lease’ in Wi-Fi Settings?

You may have seen this button in your Wi-Fi settings, but what does it do and when would you need to use it? In this article, we will tell you about lease renewal, and when you would want to use it.

First, to see this option in your Wi-Fi settings:

Renew Lease

On your iPhone or iPad

  1. Go to Settings, then tap on Wi-Fi.
  2. Tap on the info button next to your network name.
  3. Scroll down to see Renew Lease.
renew lease on iPhone

On your Mac

  1. Go to System Preferences, then click on Network.
  2. With Wi-Fi highlighted on the left, make sure your network is selected in the Network Name menu and click on Advanced.
  3. Click TCP/IP near the top of the window. You will see a button labeled Renew DHCP Lease.

What does it Mean to ‘Renew Lease’?

In order to understand what ‘Renew Lease’ means, we first need to explain DHCP.


DHCP stands for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. It is used to automatically assign IP addresses to devices connected to a network (among other things). IP addresses are a unique identifier for your device on the network. When your device connects to a network, it sends out and receives information; Your device needs a unique IP address so that the network router knows where that information is coming from, and where to send back requested information so that a webpage you want to view, or a movie you are streaming gets to your device.

What is a DHCP Lease?

When your device is assigned a DHCP address, it isn’t permanent – your device is only leasing the address. This is because on networks, devices may come and go. Most leased addresses are good for, maybe, 24 hours before they expire. Sometime before expiration, leases are usually renewed automatically – which is why many people have no idea what ‘renew lease’ means.

When Would you Need to ‘Renew Lease’?

You should very rarely need to manually renew your IP address lease. Sometimes a problem might occur during the process that automatically renews the lease, which leaves the IP address invalid. This can be a problem with connecting to the server (your router) or possibly connecting to the wrong server if there are multiple. Problems could occur due to things like power fluctuations during the renewal process, or possibly software bugs. Renewing your lease doesn’t cause any harm. An alternative to finding and pressing the Renew Lease button is simply switching your Wi-Fi off, then on again.

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Dr. Stacey Butler is a tech writer at macReports covering news, how-tos, and user guides. She is a longtime Mac and iPhone user and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Here is her LinkedIn profile.

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