How to Find and Change MAC Address.
Every device connected to the Internet; whether it’s a computer, smartphone, Chromecast or even Smart TV; they all have a unique identifier that is hardcoded into their network card. This unique identifier is a 12-digit alphanumeric key called the MAC (Media Access Control) address.
A typical MAC address looks like EB-52-02-F0-2E-06 , and because it is unique to each device, it is often used to identify different devices on the network.
Now, even if the MAC addresses are hard-wired into your network card, you can still change them using special tools or commands.
RELATED: 10 Steps to Protect Your Wi-Fi Network from Hackers
Why did the MAC address change?
Well, there are several reasons to change the MAC address. Some are popular.
Privacy – When connected to the Internet, the web server does not see your MAC address. But other devices on your local network can. So, if you want to be anonymous on public Wi-Fi, then it makes sense to change your MAC address.
Filtering MAC addresses. Most airlines and hotels automatically disconnect their devices from the Internet after a while. They do this by determining the MAC address. So, if you change your MAC address, you can continue to browse the Internet.
Launching the software – some programs detect your MAC address and send it to their web server. So, if you are unable to open certain websites (mostly gaming), you might want to consider changing your MAC address.
So let’s see how to change Mac address on Windows, Mac OS, Linux and Android. Or watch this video at the end of the article.
# 1 Windows
Since most of us have more than one network card (like WiFi, Ethernet, etc.), there will be multiple MAC addresses on your computer. So, first you need to figure out which MAC address we want to change.
Find the MAC address in Windows
To do this, open cmd, type the following command and press Enter. Ipconfig / all
Scroll down and you will see a pair of physical addresses (in Windows, MAC addresses are called physical addresses). Now the one with the IP address link is the one you are using now. If you are using the Internet over Wi-Fi, this will be the MAC address of the Wi-Fi adapter.
Now make a note of this MAC address, we will need them later.
Change MAC address on Windows
You can change the MAC address in Windows directly from the GUI. So open up
So, open Device Manager by typing devmgmt.msc in the Run box. A new window will open, there go to the network adapter and expand it. Find your wireless card and right click it, then click properties. Another new window will open, click the “Advanced” tab and select “Network Address”. Then click the value button and enter the new MAC address without any special characters or colons in between.
I suggest you copy and paste your old MAC address (the one you wrote down in the previous step) and replace the last two digits. This is good practice as your new MAC address is easy to remember and will not cause a conflict on the network.
Also, if the values tab cannot be clicked, it means your network card does not allow changing the MAC address.
To check if you changed your MAC address successfully, open cmd again and run ipconfig / all. This time you should see a new new MAC address.
Note. Changes to the MAC address are temporary. If you restart your computer, it will automatically switch to the previous MAC address. But if you want the MAC address to remain constant, use software like Technitium and check the options that say: – Make the new MAC address permanent.
# 2 Mac
Changing the MAC address on Mac OS is done using the command line, so see how it works.
Find MAC Address in Mac OS X
Open terminal and enter ifconfig command (ipconfig command on Windows becomes ifconfig on Mac and Linux OS)
You will see a different MAC address for each network adapter. To find out which one you are using, find the MAC address to which the IP address is bound. This will be your current MAC address. Also write down the name of your interface, for example – en0 or en1. We’ll need this later.
Alternatively, you can find your MAC address by going to System Preferences Network Current Connection Advanced Hardware.
Change MAC address in Mac OS X
To change the MAC address in MAC OS, open a terminal and enter the following command.
sudo ifconfig en1 ether a1: b1: c1: d1: e1: f1
Obviously replace the a1: b1 part with the MAC address you want to have. And as soon as you finish typing the command, press Enter. Since this is a sudo command, you will also need to enter your login password. And it’s all.
Now, to check if you have successfully updated your MAC address, enter ifconfig or go to your network settings in system settings. You should see your new MAC address there.
Note. As with Windows (or any OS), changing the MAC address on Mac OS is also temporary. After restarting your computer, you will be returned to your old MAC address.
To make it permanent, you can use the MAC address change script and place it in your MAC startup folder. I haven’t tested something like this though.
# 3 Linux
Since there are several versions of Linux distributions, it is impossible to cover every single one of them. So we move on to the popular Linux Mint. Although the steps should be the same for all Debian based OSs.
Find the MAC address on Linux Mint
Since Mac OS is built on the Linux kernel, the steps for finding and changing the MAC address are the same for both. So, to find the MAC address in Linux OS, open a terminal and enter the following command.
This will give the MAC addresses of all the network cards on your computer. Find the one you want to change. If you are connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi and want to change the MAC address of your Wi-Fi card, find the MAC address that is linked to the IP address. And write it down along with the name of the adapter, i.e. eth0 or eth1, etc.
Change MAC address on Linux Mint
Now, to change the MAC address in Linux, open a terminal and enter the following command.
sudo ifconfig eth0 down sudo ifconfig eth0 hw ether a1: b1: c1: d1: e1: f1 sudo ifconfig eth0 up
Replace eth0 with the name of the adapter whose MAC address you want to change. And a1: b1. . with the MAC address you want to assign.
So this first command will disable the network adapter, then we change the MAC address and restart the adapter again. To confirm the changes, enter ifconfig in the terminal and you should see the new MAC address.
Note. As with Windows and Mac OS, changing the MAC address on Linux is also temporary. So, to make it permanent, go to / etc / network / interfaces and add the following line at the end.
hwaddress ether a1: b1: c1: d1: e1: f1
# 3 Android
Changing the MAC address on mobile is a little more complicated than it is on a desktop OS. And since Android is also based on the Linux kernel, you will need to use the sudo command in the terminal. This means that you need ROOT access to change the MAC address on Android. There is no other way.
Find MAC Address on Android
To find the MAC address on Android, go to Settings About Phone Status. And look for the WiFi MAC address. You can also copy it to the clipboard by long pressing on it.
Change MAC address on Android
Now, to change the MAC address on Android, you have two options: either use the terminal app and enter a few commands, as we did for Linux, or use a dedicated app to do so.
In this case, we will use a simpler method, that is, using a special application. So go to the Play Store and install Change My MAC. Of the many applications I’ve tested, this works reasonably well.
So, install the app and open it. Now in the app you can either generate a random MAC address. Or do what I do – copy and paste the old MAC address and replace the last two characters. Then save your changes and that’s it. You have successfully changed the MAC address of your Android device.
Note. Like the other two, this is also temporary: when you restart your device, your phone will revert to its old MAC address. Although, unlike a desktop computer, we don’t reboot our smartphone that often.
In the latest version of iOS, Apple made it much more difficult to change the MAC address on iPhone and iPad. You will need a jailbreak, and even then there is no guarantee of success. In general, not worth it.
There is no particular reason why you want to change the MAC address of your routers. But if you want to do it anyway, see if your router supports it or not. If so, you will find the option to clone my MAC address in the advanced settings of the interface. Or you can install custom firmware (like OpenWRT).
How to change or simulate MAC address
Changing the MAC address is usually quite simple. All you have to do is enter a few commands from the terminal or use software. However, please note that changing the MAC address is not illegal, but what you are doing might be. And even if you change your MAC address, you are still not anonymous.