Sunday, April 17, 2022

pfSense - Delete Expired DHCP Leases Manually




Here's a quick way to remove/purge all expired DHCP leases from pfSense if you don't feel like waiting until pfSense reclaims them.

 This is also super helpful if an IP address is mistakenly assigned to the wrong MAC via DHCP and you then need to assign it as static to a different MAC. If you're making quick changes to the DHCP server you'll find a use for this.



  1. Log into your pfSense box.
  2. Top right, click on "Diagnostics" ➡ "Edit File".
  3. Load "/var/dhcpd/var/db/dhcpd.leases".
  4. Select the blocks that you need to remove. Each block of data begins with the word "leases" and ends with a curly brace, "}".
  5. When done editing the file directly click on "Save" near the top left of the edit box.



There may be another file with the same name but with a tilde "~" sign after it. This file indicates that it is a backup of the original "dhcpd.leases" file. To be sure you've changed it in all necessary files, go ahead and delete the leases from this backup file as well or make life easy and just copy the "dhcpd.leases" content over to the "dhcpd.leases~" file and save.
DHCPv6 Leases can also be deleted but the file names are slightly different as seen below, however the files reside in the same folder as the IPv4 files:


  • dhcpd6.leases
  • dhcpd6.leases~

  • dhcpd.leases
  • dhcpd.leases~


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