How To Find the IP Address of a Windows 8 Computer

Your Computer's Home Address

Your IP address
The Command Prompt, showing the IP address.

What's your street address? Let's say it's this:

123 Main St., Anytown, CA 56789

That's a lot of information. It identifies which house you live in, on which street, in which town, in which state. It specifically locates you, so that anyone who knows that address can find you.

The IP address of a computer does exactly the same thing: it identifies which computer is on which network, anywhere on the Internet. So if someone wants to send you an email, his or her computer can locate your specific one out of the billions that are connected. How does that computer know how to find yours? It looks up your IP address (don't worry, we won't get into how it finds it), and knows that you're the owner of that precise computer on that precise network. It's your house number.

But how do you know what your computer address is? In Windows 8/8.1, there are numerous ways to find out.

Step 1: The Easy Way to Search for the Command Prompt

Windows 8 Search window
The Windows 8 Search window, with cmd typed in.

The quickest method is to press the "Windows" key on your keyboard or tablet. That brings up the Start menu. From there, simply start typing (yes, anywhere on the screen -- you don't need to click or press anywhere, or on anything). Type in "cmd" (without the quote marks).

Step 2: Find the Command Prompt Via the Charms Bar

Search via the Charms bar
Search via the Charms bar.

Another way to get there is to swipe in from the right edge of your screen, which brings up the Charms bar. At the top of the bar is the same magnifying glass, which is the search icon. Type in "cmd".

Step 3: Find the Command Window in All Apps

Finding the Command Prompt via All Apps
Finding the Command Prompt via All Apps.

There's yet another way to get there in Windows 8 (Microsoft likes you to have lots of options on how to get something done). You can press the Windows key at the bottom of a keyboard or lower-left part of the screen if you're using a touchscreen-only device. A little "down" arrow at the bottom left should now appear. Pressing or left-clicking the arrow will bring up the "All Apps" screen, listing every application you've got. Somewhere in this jumble, under the "Windows System" header, will be "Command Prompt". Pressing/clicking the icon will also bring up the prompt. It's highlighted in purple in the screenshot.

Step 4: Type at the Scary Command Prompt

Type in
Type in "ipconfig" here.

Now you're faced with the black Command Prompt window, which has some boring stuff about what operating system you're using and copyright information. You can safely ignore all this.

Below that is the prompt itself, which starts with "C:\Users\YourNameHere>". In this case, I'm the user, so Keith is the name. It should come up with your name, just as it did with mine.

Now it's time to type.

At this point, some readers will likely break out in hives. After all, the Command prompt isn't a point-and-click window! You actually need to know commands, and type them in! Yes, that's true; but once you've used it a few times, it gets easier -- I promise. This is one of the easiest commands of all.

Type in "ipconfig", also without the quote marks, then hit Enter. Then, hold your breath.

Step 5: What Does It All Mean?

Your computer's IP address
My computer's IP address (outlined in yellow).

There's a lot of stuff on the screen now, including numbers you probably don't understand and words that you may recognize as English, but don't make a lot of sense beyond that. This is various bits of information about your computer, the network it's on, other networks to which it's attached, etc.

Don't worry about any of that. Just focus in on what's in the yellow rectangle (which I've added; it won't show up on your screen). It says "IPv4 Address……:" That is the house number of my computer on my home network. It's the only computer on this specific network that can have that number.

(Note that if you have more than one network adapter in your computer, you will have more than one IP address.)

Now, a little bit about these numbers. You may ask why I'm letting the whole world know about my computer's IP address. It's because you likely have an address that's very similar, as do just about all home networks that are connected by a router. This is a private IP address. It's different from a public IP address, which is a unique address assigned by your Internet Service Provider. That's how other computers find yours. In your own home, though, you use your private IP address. Almost all home networks have addresses of the form

If you have other devices connected on your home network -- a printer, iPhone, Android tablet, PlayStation and so on -- they will all have a unique IP address.

And now you know your first command prompt command, and your IP address. Don't you feel smarter?