How to Set a Static IP on a Mac OS X Machine

Step-by-step guide

Here’s a little primer on static Internet Protocol (IP) Addresses. Computers usually have the ability to grab a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) address by default. Most networks are set to give out these dynamic IP addresses to any device that gets on the network and says, “I’m here! Give me an IP address so that I can use Google!”

The trouble with DHCP addresses is that they are dynamic. When a DHCP “lease” runs out, the computer or device may grab another available DHCP IP address. Normally this is ok and allows seamless Internet access to any computer; however, sometimes the need arises to statically assign an IP address for remote access, file transfers, or any other number of reasons.

To get a static IP address for your computer, submit a help ticket at Once you receive an IP assignment, follow the instructions below to get the IP Address onto your computer’s network connection.

NOTE: To make these changes, you must have an account with administrative rights on the machine.

How to add a static IP Address to a Mac OS X computer

  1. Go to System Preferences > Network
  2. Select the Ethernet option
  3. In the Configure IPv4 pull-down menu, choose Manually from the list of choices
  4. Enter the information as it was given in your help ticket response. This information should include
    1. IP Address
    2. Subnet Mask
    3. Router
  5. Click the Advanced... button, then click the DNS menu option.
  6. For DNS Servers, enter:
  7. Check your work. Check it again. One tiny error will keep the computer from being able to get online.
    1. Click OK or Apply to get all the way out of the configuration menus.
    2. Make sure that your computer is plugged into a live ACO port via Ethernet cable. ACOs are the wall jacks that you plug Ethernet cables into.
    3. If your settings and physical connection are good, the Ethernet icon should rise to the top of the network connection options, and its status light should turn green
    4. Check to see that you can get online. (Try, for example, to get to a website through your web browser.)
  8. If you can’t get online:
    1. Re-check what you typed in the Network window (Steps 1-6), then
    2. Re-check that your ethernet cable is plugged into your computer and into a live ACO

Screenshot of network panel


How to Set a Static IP on a Windows Machine

Written by CNS OIT staff
Questions or comments? The best and easiest way to contact us is via the CNS Help Desk form.

See also: Networking, OS X