How to Find and Use IPv6 Addresses on Windows 10

IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) is the most recent version of the Internet Protocol, the communications protocol that provides an identification and location system for computers on networks and routes traffic across the Internet. IPv6 was developed to replace IPv4, which is still the dominant protocol in use because the world is running out of available IPv4 addresses.

The move to IPv6 provides significantly more available IP addresses – 340 trillion trillion trillion addresses compared to just over 4 billion with IPv4. It also has improvements in areas like routing, network autoconfiguration, security and better support for Quality of Service (QoS).

Although IPv6 adoption is still relatively low globally, most operating systems and hardware support it. As more networks and services make the switch, understanding how to find, configure and utilize IPv6 addresses will become increasingly important for many IT professionals and power users.

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know about finding and using IPv6 addresses in the latest Windows 10 operating system.

How to Find and Use IPv6 Addresses on Windows 10 1

Finding Your IPv6 Address in Windows 10

Windows 10 has full support for IPv6, so every device will have at least one IPv6 address assigned. There are a few different ways to find your device’s IPv6 address on Windows 10.

Using ipconfig

The easiest way to find your IPv6 address is by using the ipconfig command in Command Prompt or PowerShell:

  1. Open the start menu and search for cmd to open Command Prompt. Or you can open Powershell.
  2. Type ipconfig and press enter.
  3. In the output, there will be sections labeled ‘IPv6 Address’ and ‘Link-local IPv6 Address’.
  4. The addresses listed here are your device’s IPv6 addresses.

For example:

Ethernet adapter Ethernet:

   Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . :
   Link-local IPv6 Address . . . . . : fe80::1234:5678:9abc:def1%4
   IPv6 Address. . . . . . . . . . . : 2001:db8::567:89ab
   Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : fe80::1%4

The IPv6 address will be a long hexadecimal string like 2001:db8::567:89ab.

The link-local address starts with fe80 and is only used for communications within the local network.

Using Network Settings

You can also find your device’s IPv6 address through the Network Settings:

  1. Open Settings and go to Network & Internet > Wi-Fi (or the connection you are using).
  2. Click on your connected network.
  3. Scroll down and you will see a section labeled ‘IPv6 address’.
  4. This will display your device’s IPv6 address for that network connection.

Using ipconfig Alternative Tools

There are some other tools that can be used to find your IPv6 address as well:

  • ifconfig – This is a network tool for viewing network configuration that can display IPv6 addresses. Ifconfig is not installed by default anymore on Windows, but can be installed as part of third-party packages.
  • PowerShell Get-NetIPAddress – This PowerShell command will retrieve all IP addresses for a computer, including the IPv6 addresses.
  • Third-party utilities – Lots of network utilities like Angry IP Scanner, Wireshark, etc can also detect and display IPv6 addresses.

So in summary, the main three easy ways are ipconfig, Network Settings, or PowerShell, but numerous tools can provide the IPv6 address as well.

How to Find and Use IPv6 Addresses on Windows 10 2

IPv6 Address Format and Structure

Now that you know how to find your IPv6 address, it helps to understand the format and structure of these addresses.

IPv6 addresses are 128-bit addresses written as eight groups of four hexadecimal digits separated by colons (:). A typical address looks like this:


Some rules on the structure:

  • Each group contains 4 hexadecimal digits representing 16 bits.
  • Leading zeros in a group can be omitted. So 2001:0db8:0000:0000 can be written as 2001:db8:0:0.
  • Consecutive zero groups can be replaced with a double colon (::). This can only be done once in an address.

So that address can also be written as:


This double colon replaces four zero groups, condensing the format.

Additionally, IPv6 addresses often contain a subnet prefix after the initial address to specify the interface ID:


Some common IPv6 address types:

  • Global unicast – The most common publicly routable addresses. Start with 2000::/3.
  • Unique local – Used like private IPv4 addresses. Start with fc00::/7.
  • Link-local – Used for local communications within a subnet. Start with fe80::/10.
  • Loopback – The IPv6 loopback address used to refer to the local device. This is ::1.
  • Unspecified – Used as a placeholder for addresses with no assignment. This is ::.

Understanding the format and common address types can help when reading and troubleshooting IPv6 configurations.

How to Find and Use IPv6 Addresses on Windows 10 3

Viewing and Configuring IPv6 Properties

In addition to just finding the IPv6 addresses, you can view additional IP properties and also configure IPv6 in Windows.

Viewing IPv6 Properties

Using the ipconfig command with certain switches provides more detail on the IPv6 configuration:

  • ipconfig /all – Includes full detail on all interfaces including IPv6 info like address, subnet, gateway, DNS servers.
  • ipconfig /allcompartments – Provides info on IPv6 compartments which are like virtual subnets.

You can also use the PowerShell cmdlet Get-NetIPConfiguration to view detailed IPv6 information.

Some key properties shown:

  • Link-MTU – Maximum transmission unit size for the interface
  • Address Family – IPv6
  • Subnet Prefix Length – The length of the subnet prefix
  • Default Gateway – The IPv6 gateway used for routing
  • DNS Servers – The IPv6 DNS server addresses in use

Configuring IPv6

To configure IPv6 properties in Windows, you can use the netsh interface ipv6 commands in an elevated PowerShell or Command Prompt.

Some common configuration options:

  • Enable/disable IPv6 on an interface
    • netsh interface ipv6 set interface "Local Area Connection" disabled
  • Set static IPv6 address
    • netsh interface ipv6 add address "Ethernet" 2001:db8::567:89ab
  • Set static DNS servers
    • netsh interface ipv6 set dns "Ethernet" static 2001:4860:4860::8888
  • Show current configurations
    • netsh interface ipv6 show interfaces
    • netsh interface ipv6 show address
    • netsh interface ipv6 show neighbors
  • Reset configurations
    • netsh interface ipv6 reset

This provides full control to adjust IPv6 settings as needed on Windows.


Key Uses and Benefits of IPv6 Addresses

Now that you know how to find and configure them, what are some of the key benefits and use cases of IPv6 addresses?

Dramatically More Addresses

The main reason IPv6 was created is the world was running out of available IPv4 addresses. IPv6 provides:

  • 340 trillion trillion trillion unique addresses compared to 4 billion for IPv4.

This allows every device to be assigned a public globally routable IP address. No more network address translation (NAT).

Built-in IPsec

IPsec encryption and authentication is mandatory in IPv6. This improves security compared to IPv4 where it is optional.


IPv6 networks have stateless address autoconfiguration which allows devices to configure IP addresses themselves without a DHCP server. This simplifies administration.

No Checksums

The IPv6 header does not include a checksum while IPv4 headers do. Removing the checksum reduces processing overhead.

Multicast and Anycast

IPv6 has built-in support for multicast and anycast to transmit packets to multiple interfaces/nodes. This improves efficiency.

Simplified Processing

The IPv6 header is simpler compared to IPv4 with fewer fields. This makes routing and processing packets more efficient.

Mobile IP Support

IPv6 makes it easier for devices to roam between networks while maintaining connections. This is critical for things like mobile phones.

So in summary, the huge increase in addresses, baked-in security, autoconfiguration, multicast support, and simplified packet processing lead to big benefits for users and administrators. Adopting IPv6 is critical for networks to scale and support new devices and applications.


Checking IPv6 Connectivity and Troubleshooting Problems

Once you have IPv6 enabled and configured, it is important to check connectivity and troubleshoot any potential issues. Here are some tips on validating connectivity.

Ping IPv6 Addresses

You can ping external IPv6 addresses or other devices on your network to test basic connectivity:

ping6 2001:4860:4860::8888

If you get replies, IPv6 is working at a basic level.

Test DNS Resolution

Try doing DNS lookups of domains using the IPv6-only ping6 or nslookup -querytype=AAAA to verify DNS IPv6 records are resolving:


nslookup -querytype=AAAA

Browse IPv6 Websites

Try accessing websites that only have IPv6 addresses like If you can reach them, end-to-end IPv6 connectivity is working.

Inspect Traffic

Use a tool like Wireshark to inspect packets being sent and received. You should see IPv6 traffic flowing.

If you encounter connectivity issues, here are some troubleshooting steps:

  • Verify IPv6 is enabled on your network adapters – may need to enable and/or configure it.
  • Check cabling and physical connections.
  • Confirm the default gateway is configured properly.
  • Verify DNS servers have IPv6 records – may only have IPv4.
  • Check firewalls, VPNs, proxies to ensure IPv6 is not blocked.
  • Disable and re-enable the network adapter.
  • Release and renew the IPv6 address – ipconfig /release6 && ipconfig /renew6.

Testing connectivity and troubleshooting will help identify and resolve any potential IPv6 issues.


Transitioning Networks and Services to IPv6

For organizations, transitioning networks, infrastructure, and services to fully support IPv6 takes planning and effort. Here are some best practices for making the transition:

Obtain IPv6 Address Space

IPv6 address blocks are assigned by regional registries. Organizations should obtain their own IPv6 address allocation.

Enable Dual Stack

Run IPv4 and IPv6 together on networks, servers, and devices. This allows both protocols to be used during the transition.

Update Infrastructure

Network hardware, security devices, DNS servers all need to add IPv6 support. Prioritize equipment interacting directly with the Internet.

Update Applications

Modify applications to bind and listen on both IPv4 and IPv6 sockets/interfaces where possible.

Assign IPv6 Addresses

Once infrastructure and apps support IPv6, dynamically assign IPv6 addresses to clients and services.

Test Continuously

Continuously test IPv6 connectivity and functionality as it is rolled out across systems.

Provide User Education

Educate users on how to enable IPv6 and differences from IPv4 as needed.

With careful dual-stack deployment, testing, and user education, the IPv6 transition can be smooth and minimally disruptive.


Common Questions about IPv6 Addresses

Here are some common questions that arise around IPv6 addresses:

Does my ISP support IPv6?

Many major ISPs support IPv6 but some smaller providers still only offer IPv4. Check with your ISP on IPv6 availability for your home or business connectivity.

Can I still access IPv4 resources with IPv6?

Yes, during the transition existing IPv4 hosts will still be reachable over IPv6 due to dual-stack deployments with tunneling between the protocols.

Do I need new cabling for IPv6?

No, IPv6 can run over existing network cabling and infrastructure. However, some older equipment may need upgrading to be compatible.

Does Windows 7 or earlier support IPv6?

Limited support was added in Vista/Windows 7 but Windows 8.1+ have full native dual stack IPv6 support. Older unpatched OS versions may have limited functionality.

Do I need IPv6 addresses for all my systems?

Initially you likely only need IPv6 where connecting directly to external IPv6 networks like the Internet. Internal systems can run IPv4 only.

Can I disable IPv6 if I don’t use it?

You can disable IPv6 on systems you know for sure don’t need it. However, leaving it enabled on modern OSes has minimal impact.

So in summary, IPv6 is fully supported on modern operating systems, applications, and hardware – but legacy tech may have limited functionality. When in doubt, test and validate IPv6 capabilities.



IPv6 is the future of the Internet’s core network addressing protocol. While adoption is still increasing, Windows 10 and modern networks provide full support.

Knowing how to find IPv6 addresses using ipconfig, Network Settings, or PowerShell can help you identify and validate configuration. The addresses follow a distinct colon-separated hexadecimal format that is good to recognize.

You can configure IPv6 properties via netsh and related commands for additional control. When transitioning networks, a dual-stack model provides flexibility.

There are many advantages to IPv6 such as the huge address space, integrated security, autoconfiguration, efficiency gains, and native mobility support. This makes the protocol critical for the continued growth of networks, especially with trends like IoT.

Hopefully this guide provided you a deep understanding of how to find, configure, and leverage IPv6 in Windows 10 environments. Using the information outlined here, you should feel comfortable working with and taking advantage of IPv6.

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