Changing the MAC Address for a Network Adapter

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 2, 2017)

Every device that has the ability to connect to an Ethernet network comes preconfigured with what is called a MAC address. (MAC is an acronym for Media Access Control.) This address is unique (no two devices should have the same MAC address) and is used to identify and differentiate one device from another on the network.

While it is unlikely that two devices on the same network will ever have the same MAC address, you may have a need to modify the MAC address used by a device. For instance, you may have a secure router at your company that requires MAC addresses for connected devices to be within a specific range of addresses.

Most devices allow you to change the MAC address, but some do not. You can find out if a network adapter allows you to change the address (and actually make changes) by using the Device Manager. To display the Device Manager in a Windows 7 system, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Start button to display the Start menu.
  2. At the right side of the Start menu, right-click the Computer option. Windows displays a Context menu.
  3. Choose Properties. Windows displays the System area of the Control Panel.
  4. At the left side of the screen click Device Manager.

In Windows 8 you can display the Device Manager much simpler: Press Win+X to display a menu at the bottom-left corner of the screen, then choose Device Manager from that menu. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Device Manager.

At the left side of the Device Manager you can see the categories of devices and drivers that make up your system. You need to expand the Network Adapters category. (Click the small triangle that appears to the left of the category name.) The category should show all the network adapters you have installed. You may very well have more than one network adapter in your system. For instance, you might have both a WiFi card and a "cabled" Ethernet card, both of which may have drivers.

Right-click the name of the network adapter whose MAC address you want to change. In the resulting Context menu, choose Properties. Windows displays the Properties dialog box for the adapter. You want to do your work on the Advanced tab of the dialog box. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. The Advanced tab of the Properties dialog box for a network adapter.

In the list of properties, choose Network Address. If that option is not visible, you may need to scroll down to see it. (The properties should be listed in alphabetic order) If you still cannot locate it, then it is probable that the network adapter doesn't allow you to modify the MAC address.

Once you click the Network Address option, you'll notice that a Value box appears to the right of the list of properties. You can enter a desired MAC address in this Value box. (Make sure you enter just the MAC address digits; you don't need to enter any dashes, periods, colons, spaces, or separator characters.) When done, click OK and then close the adapter's Properties dialog box and the Device Manager. Depending on the characteristics of the adapter, you may be prompted to restart your system or informed that your change won't take effect until you restart your system.

 This tip (13163) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Determining a Random Value

If you need to determine a random value in a macro, you can do so using the Rnd function. This tip presents the syntax ...

Discover More

Removing All Formatting

Getting rid of formatting from a cell or group of cells can be done using several different techniques. This tip ...

Discover More

Excluding Some Data from a Chart

Excel is a whiz at creating charts from your worksheet data. When the program tries to determine what should be included ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Creating a Custom Power Management Plan

Don't like the built-in power management plans that Windows provides? You can create your own to better fit your power needs.

Discover More

Updating a Device Driver

If you attach a new device to your computer or need to update a current device's driver, this tip provides the general ...

Discover More

Using Powercfg to Export and Import a Power Scheme

You can export to a file your power schemes and then import them later on. The only caveat is that you must be running as ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 2 + 8?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.