Server 2012 DHCP Server Role

How to setup Windows Server 2012 DHCP role.

DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) is a network protocol that enables a server to automatically assign an IP address to a computer from a defined range of IP addresses.

This tutorial we will be adding the DHCP role to our Windows Server 2012 domain environment using the DHCP role.

Windows Server 2012 DHCP Server Role


We are setting up a new office and need to configure a DHCP server to hand out IP addresses to DHCP enabled devices:

  • Computers
  • Printers
  • Smartphones
  • Switches
  • Laptops
  • Tablets
  • and so on…

Steps to Complete

There are essentially three steps needed to successfully setup a DHCP server:

  • Add the DHCP Role
  • Configure a new scope and scope options
  • Authorize the DHCP Server

Add the DHCP Role

First thing we need to do is add the DHCP Role to the server.

From within Server Manager, select Add roles and features.

Server 2012 Add Roles & Features DHCP

Select Role-based of featured-based installation and select Next.

Server 2012 DHCP Role-Based

On the Server Selection window, leave the default and select Next.

The Server Roles window, select DHCP. Select Add Features in the pop-up window, then select Next.

Server 2012 Select DHCP Add Features

On the Features section, leave the defaults and select Next.

Select Next on the DHCP Server window.

Confirm the settings and changes on the Confirmation window, and select Install.

After a couple of minutes, you should have your DHCP server role installed. You might be required to restart the server after the installation.

Configure DHCP Scope and Scope Options

Just because we have the role installed doesn’t mean we are done. We now need to configure the scope options.

From the Server Manager window, select Tools and then DHCP to bring up the mmc.

Server 2012 DHCP MMC

Now let’s create a new scope by right-clicking on IPv4 and selecting New Scope.

Server 2012 DHCP New Scope

Click Next in the New Scope Wizard winodw.

Give your scope a name. This comes in handy if you assign different VLANs to different geographical locations (or whatever reason).

For this tutorial, we will just name it notcreative scope. Then click Next.

Now we need to tell this DHCP server what range of IP addresses we want it to hand out to DHCP clients.

For this tutorial, we will be handing out IP addresses in the range of

Fill in the Start and End range, then select Next.

Server 2012 DHCP Scope Range

If you have any IP addresses within the scope range that you want/need to exclude, enter them in the Add Exclusions and Delay window, then select Next.

For the Lease Duration, leave the defaults and select Next.

The next window allows you to configure the scope options such as:

  • The router (default gateway) we need to hand out
  • The DNS and WINS server address we need to hand out

Select Yes, I want to configure these options now, and then select Next.

Input the router’s (Default Gateway) IP address, select Add, then select Next.

Server 2012 DHCP Router IP

The next screen is where we input our DNS server IP address(es). For me, it was already auto filled in with my Windows Server 2012 IP address, which is correct, so select Next.

For WINS, input the same IP address, select Add, then select Next.

Server 2012 DHCP WINS

Select Yes, I want to activate this scope now, and select Next.

Then select Finish at the Completing the New Scope Wizard window.

Authorize DHCP Server

The final step is to authorize the server.

Right-click your FQDN and select Authorize.

Refresh the view by right-clicking your FQDN and selecting Refresh.

You should now see green check marks next to IPv4 and IPv6.

Server 2012 DHCP Authorize

If you boot up a client that has DHCP enabled, you can see it within the Address Leases section.

Expand IPv4, then Scope, then click on Address Leases. You might have to right-click Adress Leases and select Refresh to see the changes.

Server 2012 DHCP Address Leases

About Chris Davis

Computer / Technology enthusiast. Very passionate about Systems Administration. I enjoy helping others try and reach their goals. You can follow Chris on if you'd like.


  1. Your videos are great!! And I love that you added the screenshots / tutorials. I can tell you put a lot of work into these. You explain the steps so that it’s easy to follow. Much appreciated!! I set up a few virtual environments from watching your videos. I’ve been using them to practice using Windows server in preparation for a new job I’m trying to land.

    • Thanks for the kind words! I am happy to hear the tutorials have helped you setup you VM environments and hopefully to assist you with landing a new IT job! Keep up the great work… it only gets better!

  2. Keep up the good work Chris, excellent tutorials and explanations.

  3. Kue Wiget says:

    I am install wins 2012 server from ground zero. where can I get default gatway and wins Ip addresses from?

  4. I have some questions, 1srt this video is super great.
    2nd, the basic thins I know how to do, but only in one scope. and is includes PC’s printers, AP, smartphones… and soo on.
    But I have 4 VLAN’s, and 1rst one is for PC-Clients, 2nd for Visitors (Wired Calbe and Wifi), 3rd one for AP for tablet’s Smartphones and other visitors. and the last one the 4th one only for my staff of Accounting.
    how do I enable all this VLAN’s over my DHCP Scope?
    has anyone ever done this?

    I need some help.

  5. Hello Chris.
    Thanks you for your answer, well I have in my environment one cisco core as bgp and inside is configured the vlnas, behind this core I have some catalyst 2960s and when I want to change of vlan for some users or devices I change in the port of the SW Cata… but now the new thing that I want to do is in my environment prepare 4 scope for every vlan. how can I do that, I know how to activate the scope in dhcp, authorize, but this cisco bring the dhcp for the clients, but I want this anymore, I want over the DHCP and configured the scopes.

    Do you have any idea, ho to do…

    have a niece day.

    • Chris D. I do the follow

      In my environment centralized of 20 sites from 36 I do the follow, now in this year I will the rest 16 of my current production environment.

      I my head4rter I have a:
      HP SW-Core
      and 2 RT of my ISP apart of this the RT of my ISP connecter to my RT and we have redundancy.

      So as I said I have now more than 4 vlan’s, and every one is for every area, accounting, IT Staff, Server, AP’s, Printers. Etc.

      In my DHCP Server (BTW is one Windows Server 2012) I have already created 36 Scopes of every site, also the failover between 2 DHCP works very good in load balancing.
      In my RT in every site just I put this cmd line to enable the DHCP relay of my servers.

      dhcp relay server-group 1 ip
      dhcp relay server-group 1 ip

      0 = IP if your DHCP Sever (right)

      Later save the current configuration in your RT and worked done. but before that we have to remember some cmd line to have the IP from our own DHCP Server in the client:

      1) ipconfig /release
      2) ipconfig /renew
      3) ipconfig /all

      We found the Ethernet adapter LAN information

      IP address,
      Subnet Mask
      Lease Obtained
      Lease Expired
      Default Gateways
      DHCP Servers
      DNS Servers
      NetBIOS over TCPIP: Enabled

      Chris thanks for your help, now I know hoe to do and share this knowledge acquired and implemented in my job and others places too.

      I hope it help for others the above information.

      Have a niece day.

  6. hello! thanks for the post, but i didn’t understand about vlans, does dhcp in win 2012 understand vlan tagging?

  7. So great , thank’s a lot

  8. what is WINS good for?

  9. Using gifts giving to you to help others… Good job brother! Thank you.

  10. Very useful. Keep it up your great work Chris. Thanks

  11. Hi Chris,
    This is just marvelous stuff….i cannot do win2k12 server setup without your step-by-step tutorials. Just one thing though, am trying to configure dhcp ip reservations for my printers and multifunction devises. Can you please run me through on that?


  1. […] Answer: DExplanation:Red down arrow indicates a unauthorized DHCP server A DHCP server that is a domain controller or a member of an Active Directory domain queries Active Directoryfor the list of authorized servers (identified by IP address). If its own IP address is not in the list of authorized DHCP servers, the DHCP Server service does not completeits startup sequence and automatically shuts down. […]

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