Changing your Mac’s MAC address can be useful in certain situations, such as when you want to bypass network restrictions or hide your MAC address for security reasons. However, you may need to change your MAC address for various reasons. If you have a Mac, follow this guide to find and change your MAC address.
What is the MAC address?
The MAC (Media Access Control) address is a unique identifier assigned to each network card. This address is used to uniquely identify your computer on a network. By default, the MAC address is fixed and cannot be changed. However, it is possible to change it using third-party tools.
Why change your MAC address?
There are several reasons why you might want to change your MAC address:
- Privacy : Your MAC address can be used to track your online activity. By regularly changing your MAC address, you can make it harder to keep track of your online activities.
- Security : Your MAC address can be used to limit access to certain networks or devices. If your MAC address has been compromised or hacked, it’s important to change it to prevent unauthorized parties from accessing your network.
- Circumvention of Restrictions : Some restrictions may be based on MAC address. If you change your MAC address, you can sometimes bypass these restrictions and gain access to networks or services that you wouldn’t normally have access to.
- Repair : If you are having network connection problems, changing your MAC address can sometimes help solve the problem by resetting the connection.
How to Find Your Current Mac Address in macOS
Before you can change the MAC address on your Mac, you need to know your current MAC address, which is easy to find.
Before you find it, you need to connect to a Wi-Fi network. Then click on the icon Wireless in the menu bar while holding the key Optional (⌥) of the keyboard pressed. You will see your MAC address next to “Address:” in the menu. Besides, you will also see other details such as IP address, BSSID, etc. But do not confuse your IP address with your MAC address because there is a difference between them.
If you don’t have the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar, follow these simple steps to find your Mac’s MAC address.
1. Access the Apple menu > System Settings in the menu bar.
2. Select Wireless in the left pane, then Advance to the right. You will see your MAC address listed as Wi-Fi MAC address in a new pop-up window.
Also, if you want to find the MAC addresses of all the other network cards on your Mac, like Ethernet and Thunderbolt, you can do that with a simple code. Open Terminal on your Mac and type the following command followed by the key Feedback.
Note : Usually, en0 is the Wi-Fi port on most Macs, but on some it may be from in1. So double check it if you are not sure.
How to change your MAC address in macOS
Apple introduced the MAC address randomization feature in iOS 14, iPadOS, and watchOS 7, which generates a new MAC address per network. Unfortunately, this feature didn’t make its way to macOS for some reason. However, you can still change your Mac’s MAC address by following these simple steps:
1. Disable the Wireless on your Mac from the menu bar or Control Center.
2. Open Terminal using Spotlight search.
3. Type the following command and press the key Feedback to generate a random MAC address.
openssl rand -hex 6 | sed 's/(..)/1:/g; s/.$//'
4. Select the generated hexadecimal number and use the shortcut Command + C to copy it.
5. Enter the following command, paste the copied MAC address at the end using the shortcut Command + Vthen press the key Feedback.
sudo ifconfig en0 ether
6. Enter your Mac user account password if prompted.
Once done, you will have a new MAC address. You can reconnect to your Wi-Fi and browse the Internet with your new MAC address. Also, this MAC address will only last until you restart your Mac, so you’ll need to generate a new one every time your Mac restarts.
Additional Tips When Changing Your Mac’s MAC Address
Here are some additional tips to help you through the process:
- To verify that your MAC address has indeed changed, simply recheck it by following the procedure described at the beginning.
- To restore your original MAC address, simply restart your Mac. This also means that there is no way to permanently change the MAC address on a Mac. Fortunately, most Macs are low-maintenance and won’t need to be restarted often.
- If you experience network issues after changing the MAC address, restart your router and try connecting to it again. If you are still having problems, simply restart your Mac to reset the MAC address.
- It might be a good idea to write down your existing MAC addresses in case something goes wrong.
- Be sure to use an administrator account to perform the procedure.
- Some Macs may use “en1” instead of “en0”. To verify this, run the following command in terminal and check the network adapter for which you want to change the MAC address.
Changing the MAC address on a Mac is easy
Changing your Mac’s MAC address can be useful in some situations, but it’s worth noting that it can also cause network connectivity issues. If you experience connectivity issues after changing the MAC address, you can always return to the original MAC address by restarting your Mac or resetting network settings.