The default gateway IP address, often called the gateway IP, is the private IP address of the device on your network, usually your router, that's acting as the default gateway for your Windows 7 computer.
In other words, the gateway IP is the IP address of the device that connects your local network, of which your Windows 7 PC is a part of, to all of the other computers and devices connected to the greater Internet network.
The most common reasons to find the default gateway IP in Windows 7 is to make troubleshooting Internet and local network problems possible, or to gain access to your router's management interface.
Luckily, the default gateway IP address your computer is using is stored in Windows 7's network settings but it takes a little digging to get there.
Not Using Windows 7? See How Do I Find the Default Gateway IP Address? for instructions specific to other versions of Windows.
Time Required: It should only take a few minutes to find your default gateway IP address in Windows 7.
- Open Control Panel in Windows 7. On most Windows 7 computers, that's done via Start -> Control Panel.
- With Control Panel now open, click on the Network and Internet link.
Note: If your Control Panel view is set to Small icons or Large Icons, you won't see this link. Click on Network and Sharing Center instead and then skip to Step 4 below.
- In the Network and Internet window, click on Network and Sharing Center at the top.
- Click the Change adapter settings link on the left side of the Network and Sharing Center screen.
Note: Don't worry, you won't be making any changes to any of your Windows 7 network settings. All you'll be doing is viewing the default gateway IP address, which is already configured.
- Locate the network connection that you want to view the default gateway IP for. On most Windows 7 computers, your active network connection is probably the one called Local Area Connection or Wireless Network Connection.
Tip: Since Windows 7 can connect to multiple networks simultaneously you may see one, or even several, additional connections. If you have trouble figuring out which connection to use, change the window's view to Details and find the connection that lists Internet or network access under the Connectivity column.
- Double-click on the network connection, which should bring up a Local Area Connection Status or Wireless Network Connection Status dialog box. This window will have a different name if your network connection has a different name.
Note: If you instead get a Properties window for the connection, it means that the network connection you chose is not connected to a network and thus doesn't have a current status to show you. Go back to Step 5 and look again for the right network connection.
- With the connection's Status window open, click on the Details... button.
- In the Network Connection Details window, locate IPv4 Default Gateway under the Property column.
- The IP address listed as the Value for IPv4 Default Gateway is the default gateway IP address your Windows 7 computer is using.
Important: If your network uses IPv6 instead of IPv4, your default gateway IP address will be listed next to IPv6 Default Gateway instead.
Note: If no IP address is listed under either Property, the connection you chose in Step 5 may not be the one your computer is using to access the network. Revisit that step and see if there's another connection that's active.
- You can now use the default gateway IP address to access your router, use some networking commands to help troubleshoot a problem you have, etc.
Tip: I highly recommend that you document your default gateway IP for future use. Unless your Windows 7 PC connects directly to a modem to access the Internet, or you change your router's basic settings, your default gateway IP address is unlikely to change.