DHCP tools

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

DHCP tools

The primary tools that you use to manage DHCP servers are the DHCP console and the Netsh commands for DHCP.

The Netsh commands for DHCP

You can type the Netsh commands for DHCP in a command prompt window at the netsh dhcp> command prompt, or you can execute the Netsh commands for DHCP in batch files and other scripts. All of the functionality that is available in the DHCP console is available at the netsh dhcp> command prompt.

For more information about Netsh commands for DHCP (including syntax, parameters, and examples), see Netsh commands for DHCP. For an example of how to use Netsh commands for DHCP in batch files and scripts, see Netsh DHCP example.

The DHCP console

The DHCP console is added to the Administrative Tools folder in Control Panel when you install a DHCP server running Windows Server 2003. The DHCP console appears as a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in, to further integrate DHCP administration into your total network management.

After you install a DHCP server, you can use the DHCP console or the Netsh commands for DHCP to perform these basic administrative server tasks:

  1. Create scopes.

  2. Add and configure superscopes and multicast scopes.

  3. View and modify scope properties for scopes, such as setting additional exclusion ranges.

  4. Activate scopes, multicast scopes, or superscopes.

  5. Monitor scope leasing activity by reviewing the active leases for each scope.

  6. Create reservations in scopes as needed for DHCP clients that require a permanent IP address for leased use.

In addition, you can also use the DHCP console or the Netsh commands for DHCP to perform the following optional or advanced setup tasks:

  • Add new custom default option types.

  • Add and configure any user or vendor-defined option classes.

  • Further configure other server properties, such as audit logging or BOOTP tables.

The DHCP console also contains enhancements that were suggested by network managers. These include enhanced server performance monitoring, more predefined DHCP option types, dynamic update support for clients running earlier versions of Windows, and detection of unauthorized DHCP servers on your network.


  • The Microsoft® Windows Server 2003 family includes new features beyond those provided in earlier versions. For more information, see New features for DHCP.

  • The DHCP console provides new ways to perform familiar DHCP administrative tasks previously performed in Windows NT® 4.0 using DHCP Manager. For more information, see New ways to do DHCP tasks.

  • For a simple list of Netsh commands for DHCP (not including syntax, parameters, and examples), see Managing DHCP from the command line. To learn more about using the Netsh command-line tool, see Use DHCP Command-line Tools.

  • DHCP servers running Windows 2000 cannot be authorized in Active Directory® using the Windows Server 2003 administrative tools (the DHCP console and the Netsh commands for DHCP) unless Windows 2000 Server Service Pack 2 is installed.