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How to change your Mac address in macOS

How to change your Mac address in macOS

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You may have heard the term “MAC address” mentioned in passing. But, what is a Mac address? It’s the media access control address—which means it’s a unique identifier for the network interfaces that deal with the portion of the network. MAC addresses are assigned by the network interface controller manufacturer and stored in the device.

Basically, the MAC address comes attached to the network adapter hardware in your computer. There may be times when your MAC address can cause problems connecting to the Internet. For example, you may have updated your device hardware and need to register the new MAC address with your ISP. The most obvious solution would be to update your MAC address.

This article will teach you how to change your MAC address on a macOS device and answer some common questions.

Find your Mac’s address

First, you will need to find the Mac address associated with the network card installed on your Mac computer. There are several ways to find your Mac’s MAC address, but we’ll show you the easiest one. Keep in mind that you may want to note down your assigned MAC address if you need it.

Here’s how to find your Mac address on a macOS device:

The easiest way to find your MAC address is to use the keyboard shortcut Control + Click on the WiFI icon in the upper right corner of your Mac.

As you can see, the MAC address is listed in the dropdown list. Another option to view your MAC address is to go to Network Settings. Here’s how to find it:

  1. Click the Apple icon in the upper left corner of your Mac. Then click System preference.
  2. Click network.
  3. click advanced.
  4. Make a note of your MAC address.

Since most Mac addresses are permanent, you can spoof or “spoof” the reported Mac address from the operating system. This can be useful when connecting to a public Wi-Fi hotspot for privacy reasons.

Change your Mac’s address

To change your MAC address, you’ll need to open the Terminal app from your dock (if that’s where it lives) or through your Mac’s Finder.

To open Terminal from Finder, do the following:

  1. Open Finder on your Mac and click Applications.
  2. Then, double-click Services.
  3. Double click hall.
  4. The terminal will start and you can start the process to change your MAC address.

Once the Terminal app is open, type this into Terminal:

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

The x represents the Mac address you’d enter if you already had one to use.

If you prefer to use a random Mac address, type the following into Terminal:

openssl rand -hex6 | sed /(..)/ 1: / g; s /.$// ‘| xargs sudo ifconfig en0 ether

When you restart your Mac computer, the Mac address goes back to the default setting. So, whenever you need to change your Mac address or want to change it in macOS, just type one of the above commands into the Terminal app, and you’re good to go.

After changing your Mac address, you may also want to restart your Wi-Fi connection to avoid network issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some answers to your questions about MAC addresses.

Do I have to change my MAC address?

The answer to this depends on the user. There are a lot of good reasons to change your MAC address. If you want to increase your privacy on a local network, connect to a network that only allows certain devices, or update your devices hardware, it might be a good idea to change your MAC address.

However, if you are not tech savvy or have difficulty following the steps above, it may be a good idea to reach out for further assistance before changing your MAC address.

I changed my MAC address and now I’m having connection issues. What is happening and how do I fix it?

Sometimes users will have trouble connecting to the Internet after changing the MAC address. The first thing you want to do is restart your router and try to connect again. Often times, this will fix any connection issues.

After that, you have to turn off your Mac and turn it back on again. Rebooting the device will return your MAC address to the address assigned by the manufacturer. Your connection issues should be resolved with a reboot, but you will have to try the above steps to change your MAC address.

So, now you know how to find out your Mac address and how to change it from macOS – whether it’s for personal privacy reasons or just because you now have the personal information and steps you need to enable you to do so.

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