How to change the MAC address of a computer in Windows

How to change the MAC address of a computer in Windows
How to change the MAC address of a computer in Windows
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One day you may need to change the MAC address of your computer's network interface. The MAC address (standing for “Media Access Control address”) is a unique identifier used to recognize your network adapter. Changing this address can be useful for diagnosing network problems or possibly for a bit of fun.

Steps

Method 1 of 2: Use Device Manager

Change a Computer's Mac Address in Windows Step 1

Step 1. Open the device manager

You can access it from the control panel which is located in the "system and security" section if you are using the category view mode.

Change a Computer's Mac Address in Windows Step 2

Step 2. Expand the Network Adapters section

You will see in Device Manager a list of all the hardware installed on your computer. They are sorted by categories. Expand the section of network adapters to see the complete list of those installed on your machine.

If you are unsure of which adapter you are using, see Step 1 at the beginning of this article for how to find your device description

Change a Computer's Mac Address in Windows Step 3

Step 3. Right click on the line corresponding to your interface

Select Properties from the drop-down menu to open the settings window for your network adapter.

Change a Computer's Mac Address in Windows Step 4

Step 4. Click the Advanced tab

Find the entry Network address Where Local address administration. Select it and you will see a field labeled "Value" appear on the right. Click on the radio button to validate it.

Not all adapters can be changed in this way. If you cannot find either of these two entries, you will need to use one of the other methods described in this article

Change a Computer's Mac Address in Windows Step 5

Step 5. Enter your new MAC address

MAC addresses are made up of 12 digits each representing a hexadecimal value and between which must not be included either colons (“:”) or dashes (“-”). If you read on a document or a label a MAC address written in the form "2A: 1B: 4C: 3D: 6E: 5F", you will have to enter it by removing the colons: "2A1B4C3D6E5F".

Change a Computer's Mac Address in Windows Step 6

Step 6. Restart your computer to apply the changes

You can also deactivate and then reactivate your network interface from Windows so that the changes are taken into account and become effective without having to restart your system, but simply activate the mini-switch for controlling the WiFi interface existing on some laptops. (ThinkPad, VAIO, etc.) will not be sufficient to correctly take into account the modifications made.

Change a Computer's Mac Address in Windows Step 7

Step 7. Check that the changes have been taken into account

When you have restarted your computer open the command console then enter

ipconfig / all

and write down the physical address of your network interface. It should match your new MAC address.

Method 2 of 2: Use the Registry Editor

Change a Computer's Mac Address in Windows Step 8

Step 1. Find the identifying information for your network adapter

You will need to get some basic information about your network adapter from the control console so that you can easily identify it. You can open it by entering cmd in the program execution window which you can access by simultaneously pressing the keys Windows and R on your keyboard.

  • Come in

    ipconfig / all

    then press Entrance. Write down the description and physical address of your active network interface. Disregard devices marked “Media disconnected” or “Media not connected” that are not active.
  • Come in

    net config rdr

    then press Entrance. Note the GUID, which is displayed between the braces {} following the physical address that we noted earlier.
Change a Computer's Mac Address in Windows Step 9

Step 2. Open Registry Editor

You can launch it by opening the program execution window (by simultaneously pressing the keys Window and R on your keyboard) then by entering it Regedit. This program will allow you to change the settings of your network interface.

Making incorrect registry changes can cause your system to malfunction seriously

Change a Computer's Mac Address in Windows Step 10

Step 3. Navigate to the registry key

Find the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ CurrentControlSet \ Control \ Class {4D36E972-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318} and expand it by clicking on its arrow.

Change a Computer's Mac Address in Windows Step 11

Step 4. Find your adapter

You will find several folders named "0000", "0001", etc. Open them in turn and compare the field titled Value (Driver Descriptor) with the description you wrote down in step one. To be completely sure, compare the field named "NetCfgInstanceID" and verify that it matches the GUID that you also wrote down in the first step.

Change a Computer's Mac Address in Windows Step 12

Step 5. Right click on the folder whose items match your interface

If, for example, the folder named "0001" is appropriate, right-click on it. Then select New → String value. Name the new value as "NetworkAddress".

Change a Computer's Mac Address in Windows Step 13

Step 6. Then double-click on the NetworkAddress entry

Enter your new MAC address in the Value field. A MAC address is made up of 12 digits each representing a hexadecimal value and between which must not be included either colons (“:”) or dashes (“-”). If you read on a document or a label a MAC address written in the form "2A: 1B: 4C: 3D: 6E: 5F", you will have to enter it by removing the colons: "2A1B4C3D6E5F".

Change a Computer's Mac Address in Windows Step 14

Step 7. Verify that you entered the MAC address in the correct format

Some adapters (WiFi cards in particular) will not forgive you for modifying the second digit of the first byte of the MAC address. This peculiarity dates back to Windows XP and requires it to be formatted as follows:

  • D2XXXXXXXXXX
  • D6XXXXXXXXXX
  • DAXXXXXXXXXX
  • DEXXXXXXXXXX
Change a Computer's Mac Address in Windows Step 15

Step 8. Restart your computer to apply the changes

You can also deactivate and then reactivate your network interface from Windows so that the changes are taken into account and become effective without having to restart your system, but simply activate the mini-switch for controlling the WiFi interface existing on some laptops. (ThinkPad, VAIO, etc.) will not suffice for the modifications made to be correctly taken into account.

Change a Computer's Mac Address in Windows Step 16

Step 9. Make sure the changes have been taken into account

When you have restarted your computer open the command console then enter

ipconfig / all

and write down the physical address of your network interface. It should match your new MAC address.

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