How to Look Up and Change Your MAC Address

A MAC (Media Access Control) address is a unique alphanumeric identifier assigned to network interfaces so they can communicate with networks. Every device designed to connect to networks, whether wirelessly or through wires, such as the internet and WiFi networks – from smartphones to laptops – has a unique MAC address. The MAC address is an extremely essential part of the networking plane because it helps networks identify devices attempting to connect to them.

Also referred to as a Physical Address, a MAC address can be used to assign static IPs to devices connecting to a network, filter devices based on their MAC address to allow only specific devices to connect to a network, and authenticate devices for access through their MAC addresses, among numerous other functionalities. The presence of a MAC address on a computer is independent of the Operating System it runs. This implies that any computer capable of connecting to the internet, whether it operates on Windows, a Linux-based OS, or Mac OS X, possesses a MAC address. In most cases, you can also customize your MAC address and change it according to your preferences. The following are some of the most effective methods that can be used to look up and alter your MAC address on the most widely used computer Operating Systems in the global market at present.

How to Find Your MAC Address On a Windows Computer

Press the Windows Logo key + R to open Run. Type ncpa.cpl into the Run dialog and press Enter.

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Right-click on ‘Local Area Connection’ or ‘Wireless Area Connection’ (whichever you want to know the MAC Address for). Click on ‘Status’. Click on ‘Details’. Look through the details of the connection. The MAC address will be listed as the ‘Physical Address’ among them.

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How to Find a MAC Address Using Command Prompt on Windows.

Before you look up your MAC address using a Command Prompt, you should note that if you use this method to look up your MAC address on a laptop, which not only has the ability to connect to WiFi networks, but also has an Ethernet port, you will see two MAC addresses. One of these will be for the Ethernet driver, and the other will be for the wireless driver. To use this method to look up a computer’s MAC address, you need to:

Press the Windows Logo key + R to open Run. Type ‘cmd’ into the Run dialog and press Enter. Type ‘getmac’ and press Enter.


A whole list of different details pertaining to the computer’s Ethernet or wireless driver (or both) will be shown. The MAC address will, again, be listed as the Physical Address.

How to Change Your MAC Address on a Windows Computer.

Looking up your MAC address is extremely easy, but you can elevate this task by completely changing your MAC address and customizing it as desired, provided it remains 12 characters long and alphanumeric. While you can transform your MAC address into anything you prefer, this task is not as straightforward as simply looking it up. It’s important to mention that not everyone can change their MAC address to suit their preference, as certain Ethernet and wireless drivers (approximately less than 10%) do not permit users to alter their MAC addresses. Below are the two methods one can employ to change a computer’s MAC address:

Changing your MAC address through Network Connections on a Windows computer.

Press the Windows Logo key + R to open Run. Type ncpa.cpl into the Run dialog and press Enter.

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Double-click on “Local Area Connection” (or any name your connection might have). Click on “Properties.” Navigate to “Advanced.” Click on “Network Address.

Type the MAC address, which you want the computer to have, in the value field on the right side of the window, making sure not to include any spaces or hashes. Click on ‘OK’. Then, restart the computer.

Here’s how to change your Mac address using the Device Manager on Windows.

Press the Windows Logo key + R to open Run. Type in ‘hdwwiz.cpl’ and press Enter.


Expand the Network Adapters. Right-click on the network interface (for example, the Ethernet driver) whose MAC address you wish to change. Select Properties. Navigate to Advanced and locate ‘Network Address’ in the list of properties. Type the desired MAC address into the ‘Value’ field on the right side of the window. Ensure not to include any spaces or hashes.

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Click on OK, restart the computer, and its MAC address will change as soon as it boots up.

how to look up your MAC address on Linux.

Click on the network icon in the top panel of the desktop. Then, click on ‘Edit Connections’ in the contextual menu. Select the network connection for which you want to view the MAC address. Navigate to the Ethernet. You will see the MAC address of the selected network connection as well as the name of its network interface in the ‘Device MAC Address’ field.

How to change your MAC address on Linux

Use the Network Manager

 Most Linux-based Operating Systems, especially those that have been developed fairly recently – such as Ubuntu – use Network Manager. This is a built-in application that can be used to search and manage all the networks with which your computer is communicating at any given time. Network Manager can also be used to change your computer’s MAC address via an extremely easy-to-use Graphical User Interface. To change your Linux computer’s MAC address using the Network Manager, you need to:

Click on the network icon in the top panel of the Desktop. Click on Edit Connections in the contextual menu. Select the network connection you want to change the MAC address of. Navigate to the Ethernet. Type in the MAC address you want the connection’s MAC address changed to in the Cloned MAC Address. Save the changes and exit the Network Manager.

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Method 2: Change the MAC address via Terminal

Run the following commands on the computer:

sudo ifconfig eth0 down
sudo ifconfig eth0 hw ether xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx
sudo ifconfig eth0 up

The first command takes the network interface down, the second command changes your MAC address, and the third command gets the network interface working again. Each network interface on a Linux computer has a different name, so substitute eth0 in all three commands with the name of the network interface at which these commands are targeted. Substitute xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx in the second command with the address to which you want your MAC address to be changed.

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Note: Regardless of which method you choose to use, the change in your MAC address will be temporary. As soon as you shut down and reboot your computer, your MAC address will revert to its default value. If you want the MAC address change you made to be permanent, you will need to modify the appropriate configuration file, either under “etc/network/interfaces.d” or in the “etc/network/interfaces” file. This adjustment will ensure the change takes effect every time the Linux computer boots up.

Mac OS X

How to look up your MAC address on a Mac OS X

To look up your MAC address on a Mac, all you need to do is navigate to the System Preferences pane, then go to ‘Network’. From the left pane, choose the Network Connection for which you want to view the MAC Address and click on ‘Advanced’. Afterwards, proceed to the ‘Hardware’ tab; the MAC Address can be found there.

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How to change your MAC address on Mac OS X.

To change your Mac Address on MAC OS X, go to Applications -> Utilities, then locate and open Terminal.

To view the network adapter name/node in Terminal, first type ‘ifconfig’ and press ‘Enter’. Locate and select the interface for which you want to change the MAC address.


The IP Address on the inet line is the one that should be connected. In this example, it is en0.

And then run the following command in the Terminal window:

sudo ifconfig en0 xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx


Be sure to replace ‘en0’ with the name of the network interface whose MAC address you want to change. The name will be ‘en0’ or ‘en1’, depending on whether you wish to change the MAC address of your Mac’s Ethernet or WiFi interface respectively. In order to identify the name of the network interface you wish to target, type ‘ifconfig’ into the Terminal window and press ‘Enter’.

Note: Much like in Linux, changing the MAC address of a network interface on Mac OS X is a temporary measure; the changes will revert after the computer’s next reboot. To make the MAC address change permanent, create and run a script that executes the necessary command each time the computer boots up.


Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.