How to install DHCP on Windows Server 2016

DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) is a protocol used to automatically distribute an IP Address, Subnet Mask, Default Gateway and DNS Addresses using a centralized management platform.

The following guide will show you how to install DHCP on Windows Server 2016 with step by step instructions.

Requirements: Before you start make sure you have installed Windows Server 2016 and have set a Computer Name and a Static IP Address on this server. If you need to install Windows Server 2016, follow this guide: How to install Windows Server 2016

Step 1: Click the “Start” button on the bottom left corner then click “Server Manager” which is located within the Start Menu or as a pinned Tile by default.

Step 2: Once Server Manager is open click “Manage” then click “Add Roles and Features” within the drop down menu.

Step 3: Once the Add Roles and Features Wizard pops up click the “Next” button.

Step 4: Make sure “Role-based or feature-based installation” is selected and click the “Next” button.

Step 5: Here you are given an option to install the DHCP role on a server or onto a virtual hard disk. By default “Select a server from the server pool” is selected and in the Server Pool list you will see the server you currently are logged into. Make sure it is highlighted and click the “Next” button.

Step 6: Check off “DHCP Server” and click the “Next” button.

Step 7: To install the DHCP role you do not have to install any additional features. Click the “Next button” to continue.

Step 8: Here you will be shown information on what DHCP does and how you should prepare for it. As I mentioned earlier make sure you set a Computer Name and a Static IP Address on this server. Click the “Next” button to continue.

Step 9: Here you will be shown a list of what is going to be installed. In addition to DHCP Server you will see “Remote Server Administration Tools” (RSAT). Click the “Install” button to start the installation.

*Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) are a set of tools that enable you to remotely manage roles and features installed on other Windows Servers. RSAT can be installed on Windows and Windows Servers.

Step 10: Once the installation is complete click “Complete DHCP configuration” to start the DHCP Post-Install configuration wizard.

Step 11: This wizard will create two security groups. “DHCP Administrators” and “DHCP Users”. DHCP Administrators have full access to make changes to the DHCP configuration. DHCP Users have view only access.

After the creation of the Security Groups this wizard will prompt you to authorize this DHCP server (using an account with Domain Admin rights) to function on your Domain. The reason why authorization to your Domain is required is to prevent unauthorized or rogue DHCP servers from offering potentially invalid IP addresses to devices. Click “Next” to continue.

Step 12: As mentioned in the previous step, in order to authorize this DHCP Server to function on your Domain you must specify a user account that has Domain Admin rights. By default the wizard will put your currently signed in user account into the User Name field under the title “Use the following user’s credentials”. If you need to use alternate credentials then select “Use alternate credentials” instead and type in the user name that has Domain Admin rights into the “User Name” field under “Use alternate credentials” then click “Commit”.

Step 13: Here you will be given the status on the creation of the security groups and authorization of the DHCP Server on your Domain. If both show “Done” then click the “Close” button.

Step 14: The DHCP Post-Install configuration wizard is complete. You can now click on the “Close” button on the Add Roles and Features Wizard that you were using previously to install the DHCP Role.

Step 15:  Now that the DHCP Role is installed you will need to setup a DHCP Scope which is needed in order to start assigning IP Addresses. Click “Tools” on the menu bar located in the top right then click “DHCP” on the drop down menu.

Step 16: Here is where you can configure your DHCP settings. Under DHCP you will see your server name as a fully qualified domain name. Click the arrow pointing to the right in order to list your DHCP Scopes in IPv4 and IPv6.

*A DHCP Scope is a range of IP addresses that can be automatically assigned to devices such as a computer for a particular subnet.

Step 17: Since we just installed the DHCP Role on this server you will not see any DHCP Scopes created yet. For demonstration purposes we will be create a DHCP Scope for IPv4. Right click on IPv4 and click “New Scope…”.

Step 18: You will be prompted with the “New Scope Wizard”. To begin click on the “Next” button.

Step 19: Type in a name for the DHCP Scope. This is used to identify the area where the range of IP Addresses will be used. (For demonstration purposes I named my DHCP Scope “Lab Scope 1”) Once you fill in the name click the “Next” button.

Step 20: Here is where you specify the IP Address Range as well as the Subnet Mask. For demonstration purposes I am going to start my IP Address Range for this DHCP Scope at “” and end at “”. This gives me 203 available IP Addresses that are able to be distributed by this DHCP Scope. For the “Length” (Prefix Length) I will use 24 which will give me a Subnet Mask of  “”. Once you are done typing in the required information click the “Next” button.

* While using a Subnet Mask of you can not use the IP Address (Network Identifier) or (Broadcast Address). These are reserved for network and broadcast addressing.

I started this DHCP Scope at so that I can use to as Static IP Addresses. For instance I used the Static IP Address on this server. If I have other servers that require a Static IP Address I can assign and so on up to Keep this in mind when creating your DHCP Scopes. Be aware if you decide to setup your DHCP Scope to start at make sure you don’t have a Static IP Address on your network assigned within the IP Address range of the DHCP Scope. This can cause an IP Address Conflict because you will potentially have two devices on the same network with the same IP Address. Optionally you can create an DHCP Scope Exclusion and specify the range of IP’s that you would like to be excluded. Then you can use this excluded range to assign Static IP Addresses or Reservations.

Step 21: Here you have the option of adding DHCP Scope Exclusions. For instance if you wanted to start your DHCP Scope at instead of you can put all your Static IP Addresses and Reservations that are within the IP Address Range of the DHCP Scope into a DHCP Scope Exclusion. This is used to avoid IP Address Conflicts.

For demonstration purposes I set my DHCP Scope to start at and plan to use through for Static IP Addresses so I do not need to add a DHCP Scope Exclusion. Click the “Next” button to continue.

Step 22: Here you will have the option to set the Lease Duration. A Lease Duration determines how long a device will retain an IP Address before its given back to the DHCP server to be recycled and available to be distributed again to another potential device. The time you set here varies depending on the type of usage the devices requesting an IP will be used for. If you have mostly public devices that will be connected to this network then its best to set a short Lease Duration or else you can get into an issue of running out of IP Addresses for that DHCP Scope. For instance if you set the number of days to 365. Then your DHCP Scope will reserve every IP Address that it has given to a device for an entire year. If you only have 203 IP Addresses available to give then you can only have 203 devices that can connect to your network for the entire year. For this reason it is good to set a Lease Duration that coincides with your device usage. For the demonstration I am sticking the default which is 8 days. Click the “Next” button to continue.

Step 23: Here you will be given the option to configure the DHCP Options that are given out to every device that connects to this DHCP Scope. Make sure the option “Yes, I want to configure these options now” is selected and click the “Next” button to start the configuration.

Step 24: The first DHCP Option that you can configure is the Default Gateway. Every device that gets an IP Address from this DHCP Scope will have this set as their Default Gateway. To set the Default Gateway for this DHCP Scope type in the IP Address of your Default Gateway then click the “Add” button. Once you have added your Default Gateway click the “Next” button to continue the configuration.

Step 25: The second DHCP Option you can configure is DNS. You can add multiple DNS servers (for redundancy) from a specified Parent domain. The devices that receive an IP Address from this DHCP Scope will use the same DNS Servers that you set here. For demonstration purposes I will continue with one DNS Server which is on this same server and is added by default. Click “Next” to continue.

Step 26: Here you can configure the third option which is “WINS Servers”. Click “Next” to continue.

Step 27: To active the DHCP Scope make sure the option”Yes, I want to activate this scope now” is selected. If you select “No, I will activate this scope later” then this DHCP Scope will not assign IP Addresses until you activate it. Click “Next” to continue.

Step 28: DHCP Scope configuration is complete! Click “Finish” to exit the New Scope Wizard. 
If you want to learn a little more about DHCP Scope settings continue reading on to the next step otherwise you can stop here.

Step 29: Once you click finish in the step above you will see your new DHCP Scope created. Left click the arrow pointing to the right next to the Scope you just created.

Step 30: Here you will see some of the configuration settings you made for this scope. Let’s go over each setting and verify the ones we made. Click the Address Pool. Here you will see the Start IP Address and the End IP Address we created earlier in Step 20.

Step 31: Click “Address Leases” to view your current Leases. When a device on your network receives an IP Address from this DHCP Scope it will appear under Address Leases. I have a server that made a request for an IP Address. As you see here the Lease is set to expire 5/12/2019 which is 8 days from when this screen shot was taken 5/4/2019. This Lease Expiration was set in Step 22. But even though the lease is set to expire on 5/12/2019 the device will attempt to renew its lease after half of the lease duration has elapsed which is 4 days. The device will then send a DHCP Request to the DHCP Server, requesting the same address the it already has and extend the lease another 8 days.

Congratulations! You have setup a DHCP Scope. If you would like to further go over how to setup Scope Reservations, Options and Policies follow these guides
How to setup DHCP Scope Reservations
How to setup DHCP Scope Options
How to setup DHCP Scope Policies

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