How to Change Your MAC Address on Your iMac or MacBook
A MAC address, also known as a Media Access Control address, is a unique code assigned to the network interface of a computer. On Apple PCs, this code belongs to the WiFi or Ethernet card inside the machine. Each device has a different MAC address, as having the same MAC address on two devices within the same network can cause confusion and disrupt proper network functionality.
In some cases, a MAC address may be used to block certain devices from accessing a network. For example, in a home WiFi setup, users can configure their router to only allow specific MAC addresses to connect. This means that even if someone knows the WiFi password, they won’t be able to access the network if their MAC address is not on the allowed list.
If you find yourself in a situation where a router has rejected your Mac’s MAC address and you need to change it, here is a step-by-step guide on how to find and change the MAC address on your iMac or MacBook.
Finding Your MAC Address on Your Apple PC
To begin, you’ll need to locate your current MAC address on your iMac or MacBook. Follow these steps to find it:
- Press the Alt or Option key on your keyboard and click the WiFi icon located on the top bar of your macOS.
- Look for the MAC address in the WiFi section of the menu that appears.
- Make note of the Interface name as well, and save both pieces of information for future reference.
Changing Your MAC Address
Once you have found your current MAC address, you can proceed with changing it. Follow these steps to generate and implement a new MAC address on your Apple PC:
- Open the Terminal app, which is an in-built application in macOS.
- To generate a random MAC address, enter the following line in Terminal and press Enter:
openssl rand -hex 6 | sed 's/\(..\)/\1:/g; s/.$//'
This will generate a hexadecimal number, which will appear on the next line.
- Disconnect your internet connection to ensure a smooth transition.
- Enter the following line into Terminal and hit Enter, replacing
<interface name>with the Interface name you noted earlier, and
<MAC address>with the newly generated MAC address from step 2:
sudo ifconfig <interface name> ether <MAC address>
You will be prompted to enter your Mac’s password. Once entered, your MAC address will change, and you will be able to reconnect to a WiFi network.
Changing your MAC address can be useful in situations where you need to bypass a router that has blocked your device. However, it is important to note that altering your MAC address may have legal implications, as it can be seen as an attempt to disguise your device’s identity. Always ensure you have proper authorization before attempting to change your MAC address.
By following these steps, you can successfully find and change the MAC address on your iMac or MacBook. Remember to use this knowledge responsibly and within legal boundaries.