How To Change MAC Address

What Is A MAC Address And How To Change It 

A MAC (Media Access Control) address is required to identify individual devices connected to the network. No matter which network (wired or wireless) used, you will require hardware such as cables and routers, and software to transmit data from your device or computer to the router or ISP server, and vice versa. MAC and IP addresses are unique identifiers, both of which make data transmission on a network possible.

A MAC address is a unique code or identification number also known as a physical or hardware address. MAC addresses are often assigned by the manufacturer of a network interface controller and stored in hardware such as the card's read-only memory or other firmware mechanism. A MAC address consists of 12-digit hexadecimal numbers, often in a format such as 00:0A:H4:79:67:M5. The number usually remains constant. This is different to an IP address, which changes when moved from one network to another. It is, however, possible to find and modify the MAC address if required.

Not all network drivers support an option to change the MAC address. In this guide, we show how to determine your MAC address and how to change it (if this feature is supported by your network driver). You will find screenshots and simple steps described in the guide below.

How to change your MAC address

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How To Find MAC Address

To find your MAC address, you will need to use Command Prompt. Command Prompt is the input field in a text-based user interface screen, a command line interpreter application available in most Windows operating systems. It is used to execute entered commands, most of which are used to automate tasks through scripts and batch files, perform advanced administrative functions, troubleshoot and solve certain types of Windows issues. To use Command Prompt, you must enter a valid command together with any optional parameters. It then executes the command as entered and performs whatever task or function it is designed to perform in Windows. To launch elevated Command Prompt (to run it as administrator), type "command prompt" in Search and right-click the "Command Prompt" result. Then select the "Run as administrator" option from the contextual menu.

how to find your Mac address step 1

Once you have the Command Prompt open, type the "getmac" /v /fo list" command, press Enter on your keyboard and look for the MAC address next to the "Physical Address" line. Another way to get the MAC address is to execute the "ipconfig /all" command and look for it next to the "Physical Address" line.

how to find your Mac address step 2

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Change Your MAC address Using Device Manager

The device Manager tool can be found in most versions of Windows. It is used to manage installed hardware devices. You can find all installed hardware devices such as monitors, network adapters, display adapters, keyboards, disk drives, audio inputs and outputs, sound, video and game controllers, etc. Using Device Manager, you can get information about installed hardware devices and drivers, and also change the MAC address, disable a particular device, update or uninstall drivers automatically or manually, roll back a driver to its previous state (version), scan for hardware changes (if there were any or if Windows could not reinstall uninstalled drivers or update them automatically), and configure power management settings. Open Device Manager by right-clicking the Start button and selecting the "Device Manager" result from the contextual menu, or type "device manager" in Search and click the "Device Manager" result.

change your Mac address using device manager step 1

In Device Manager you will see a list of devices connected to your computer. Expand the "Network adapters" section and right-click your network adapter. Select "Properties" from the contextual menu.

change your Mac address using device manager step 2

In the network adapter properties window, select the "Advanced" tab and select "Network Address" or "Locally Administered Address" (depending on your network adapter) and enable the "Value" option. Then type your desired (hexadecimal) MAC address without any separating characters. Click "OK" when finished. If there is no "Advanced" tab in your network adapter properties window, your network adapter does not support this feature.

change your Mac address using device manager step 3

If you want to undo the changes and return the old MAC address, simply enable the "Not Present" option when in the network adapter properties window.

change your Mac address using device manager step 4

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Change Your MAC Address Using Registry Editor

Windows Registry, usually referred to as just 'the registry', is a collection of databases of configuration settings in Microsoft Windows operating systems. It is used to store much of the information and settings for software programs, hardware devices, user preferences, operating system configurations, and much more. Many of the options exposed in the registry are not accessible elsewhere in Windows. In this guide, we show how to change the MAC address using this Windows tool. Please note that incorrectly changing Windows Registry might damage your operating system irreversibly.

Before you start configuring Windows registry, you will need to open Command Prompt and execute the "net config rdr" command. Write down the "Workstation active on" number or leave the Command Prompt open. You will need to use this number in future steps.

change your MAC address using registry editor step 1

To open Registry Editor, open the Run dialog box. Press the Windows Windows key + R or right-click Start and select "Run" and type "regedit". Press Enter or click "OK".

change your MAC address using registry editor step 2

Now follow this path "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class", find the "{4d36e972-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318}". Type under the Class key and expand it. You will see keys such as "0000", "0001". "0002", and so on. Select them one by one and see which contains the number in Command Prompt. Look for the number on the right pane near "NetCfgInstanceId". In our case, we found it in the "0010" key.

change your MAC address using registry editor step 3

Right-click the key where the number (in our case, it is 0010) was found and select "New". Then select "String Value" and name it "NetworkAddress".

change your MAC address using registry editor step 4

Double-click the newly created NetworkAddress string in the right pane and enter your desired 12-digit hexademical MAC address in the "Value data" box. Click "OK" to save the changes and restart your computer to apply them.

change your MAC address using registry editor step 5

Bear in mind that your desired MAC address might need to have A, E, 2 or 6 as the second character. In some cases, network adapters do not work properly if the second character does not match one of these.

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Change Your MAC Using NoVirusThanks MAC Address Changer

NoVirusThaks MAC address Changer is a tool that allows you to easily change the MAC address of any network adapter in Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 10. It is free and very easy to use. You can change the MAC address into your desired one manually or allow this tool to generate a random MAC address for you. Click this link  to download the NoVirusThanks MAC address Changer, install and open it. Then select your network adapter and click "Change MAC" button.

change your MAC address using novirusthanks Mac address changer step 1

You will see your current MAC address. Change it to your desired address and click "Change" button. Alternatively, click the "Randomize" button and it will generate a random MAC address for you. Then click the "Change" button to apply it. 

change your MAC address using novirusthanks Mac address changer step 2

If you want to restore your MAC address to the previous one (default MAC address), simply click the "Restore MAC" button.

We hope this guide was useful and you now know what a MAC address is used for and how to change it manually using Windows tools or automatically using a third-party tool such as NoVirusThanks MAC Address Changer. If you have any questions relating to this topic, do not hesitate to leave a comment in the section below.

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Video Showing How To Change Your MAC Address:

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter to stay informed about the latest tech news or online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

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