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How to find your IP address

A home wireless router near a child using a laptop.
(Image credit: Casezy idea/Shutterstock)

Knowing how to find your IP address is a skill most of us rarely use in daily life, but it's the kind of know-how you'll appreciate having when you need it — especially if you're running one of the best Wi-Fi routers.

Knowing your IP address is important when you're working on home networking projects, and it's pretty simple to understand once you know the basics. 

An IP (or Internet Protocol) address is a unique string of characters that identifies a device on the internet. There are two major ways of denoting IP address: IPv4 and IPv6, or Internet Protocol 4 and 6. IPv4 is older and uses purely numeric strings, whereas IPv6 is newer, more capable, and uses alphanumeric strings. If you're not sure which one you want, you probably want your IPv4 address.

If your internet-connected devices are on a network (which is pretty common, given how many of us access the internet via a home Wi-Fi network generated by a router connected to a modem), you probably have two IP addresses: a public-facing one for your home network, and a local one for each device on your network so your router knows which is which.

Finding your public IP address is very easy these days, as you can just type "what's my IP address" into most modern search engines and they'll tell you. Finding the local IP address for a laptop or PC is a bit trickier, but still quite straightforward. So, if you're asking yourself, "How do I find my IP address?" read on for a step-by-step guide on how to find your IP address across Windows and Mac.

How to find your IP address on Windows 11

1. Open the Start menu (by either clicking on the icon in the taskbar or hitting the Start key on your keyboard) and select Settings. If this option isn't pinned to your taskbar, simply type "settings" after opening the Start menu, and it will appear.

(Image credit: Future)

2. Select the Network & internet section from the left-side menu.

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3. Now scroll down and select the Advanced network settings menu.

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4. Select Hardware and connection properties from the next menu.

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3. You should see your IPv4 and IPv6 addresses listed here.

(Image credit: Future)

How to find your IP address on Windows 10

1. Just like on Windows 11, we need to get to the Settings menu in Windows 10 to look up our IP address. 

1. There are a few ways to get there, and one of the quickest is to right-click your Start button and select Settings from the pop-up menu. You can also hit the Start button and either select Settings from the Start menu (it should look like a little gear) or just type Settings and select it when it shows up in search. 

(Image credit: Future)

2. Select the Network & Internet menu.

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3. There are a few different ways to find your IP address in this menu, including hitting the Properties button next to your listed internet connection or going through the Network (or Network & Sharing Center) menu and looking it up there.

However, the easiest way is to simply click the View hardware and connection properties link midway down the page -- it should look like a regular webpage link. 

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4. That should take you to a page where you can see both your IPv4 address and your IPv6 address, as well as a bunch of other info about your current network connection.

(Image credit: Future)

How to find your IP address on Mac

1. Click the Apple button in the top-left corner of your desktop and select System Properties...

*Note that this guide was written for macOS Monterey, but should be applicable to most modern macOS versions.

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2. Open the Network menu.

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3. You should see your IP address listed near the top of the menu.

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Now you know how to find your IP address, you might want to check out some other computer guides, including how to stop apps from opening on startup on Windows and Mac, or how to enable God Mode in Windows 11 or 10

Alex Wawro is a lifelong tech and games enthusiast with more than a decade of experience covering both for outlets like Game Developer, Black Hat, and PC World magazine. He currently serves as a senior editor at Tom's Guide covering all things computing, from laptops and desktops to keyboards and mice.