Change the MAC address of your network card under Windows, Linux and Mac OS

how to change the mac address of a network card
how to change the mac address of a network card

Dernière mise à jour: 23 mai 2024

Are you looking for a way to change the MAC address of your network card under Windows, Linux  or Mac OS? You may be wondering how to do this?

In this article, we will answer all of these questions and guide you through the steps needed to successfully change your MAC address.

What is a MAC address?

When you connect your computer or phone to a local network, it receives a unique address called a "MAC address." This address is a bit like the DNA of your device on the network, because it is assigned at the factory and cannot be easily changed. The MAC address is used to uniquely identify your device on the network and allow it to communicate with other devices via the Ethernet protocol.

Unlike your IP address, which can be modified or dynamically assigned by a DHCP server, the MAC address is assigned by the manufacturer and it is physically etched into the network card.

However, there are software solutions to change it, especially with the command ifconfig under Linux or with the device manager under Windows.

Why change your MAC address?

Although the MAC address is usually fixed and unique for each network card, there may be situations where you want to change it. For example, you might want to bypass a network access restriction by using a different MAC address. This can be useful in cases where your network access is restricted to a limited number of MAC addresses.

Additionally, changing the MAC address can be considered as an additional security measure. Indeed, some networks and security devices can use the MAC address to identify and authenticate a device.

So, by changing your MAC address, you can make it harder for hackers to track you and compromise your security.

In short, changing the MAC address of its network AC allows:

The different techniques for changing your MAC address

Under Linux:

  • First, to know the current Mac address of all network interfaces (Wifi, Ethernet, Virtual Interfaces, etc.) type the following command:
    ip link show

    Next, disable the interface you want to modify by entering the command

    ifconfig eth0 down

    Change eth0 to the interface you want to modify. This will temporarily take the interface offline.

  • Next, change the MAC address using the command
    ifconfig eth0 hw ether 00:1c:26:b3:5c:7f

    Replace “00:1c:26:b3:5c:7f” with the new MAC address you want to use.

  • Reactivate the interface by entering the command
    ifconfig eth0 up

    This will allow the interface to come back online.

  • Finally, restart the network service by entering the command
    / Etc / init.d / networking restart

    for changes to the MAC address to be taken into account.

It is important to note that the interface name may vary depending on your device, so it is advisable to verify the interface name before following these steps.

Also note that this technique is temporary and it must be performed on every reboot. However, if you want to change the MAC address permanently, it is possible to do so by adding a line to the “/etc/network/interfaces” file.

Here are the steps to change MAC address permanently under Linux :

  • First, open the “/etc/network/interfaces” file with a text editor.
  • Next, add the following line to specify the desired MAC address:
    self eth0
    inet dhcp iface eth0
    hwaddress ether 00:1c:26:b3:5c:7f
  • Now replace “00:1c:26:b3:5c:7f” with the new MAC address you want to use.
  • Save the changes made to the file.
  • Finally, reload the network configuration by entering the command
    / Etc / init.d / networking restart

    for changes to the MAC address to be taken into account.

Under Windows :

If you use Windows, you can easily change the MAC address of your network card by following these steps:

  • To get started, open Device Manager by pressing “ Windows +X” on your keyboard, then selecting “Device Manager” from the menu.
  • Next, find your network adapter in the list of devices and click on it to select it.
  • Click on properties of the network card whoseMAC address must be changed.
  • Click the “Advanced” tab and look for the “Network Address” or “MAC Address” option in the list of properties.
  • Select this option and change the MAC address by entering a new address in the “Value” field.
  • Once you have entered the new MAC address, click "OK" to save the changes.
  • Restart your computer for the MAC address changes to take effect.

It is important to note that not all network cards allow changing the MAC address in this way. If the "Network Address" or "MAC Address" option does not appear in the advanced properties of your network card, this means that your card does not support changing the MAC address. In this case, you can use third-party software to change the MAC address.

One of the most popular free tools to change MAC address under Windows is Technitium MAC Address Changer.

Under Mac OS

If you are using a Mac computer, it is possible to use third-party software to change this address. One of the most popular tools for this is “MacSpoofer”.

Here are the steps to follow:

  • First of all, Download and install MacSpoofer from their official website.
  • Then open the program and select your network card from the list of interfaces.
  • Click “Generate” to generate a random MAC address or manually enter a specific MAC address in the “New MAC Address” field.
  • Click “Update” to apply the new MAC address.
  • Restart your computer for the MAC address changes to take effect.