Every network adapter you have installed in your PC, laptop or tablet has a physical address called the “MAC address”. The MAC address is a unique identifier assigned to each network interface for communication on the physical network segment. There are a number of situations when you need to change your network card’s MAC address in Windows 10. Let’s see how it can be done.
First of all, you might want to know your current MAC address. This can be done quickly as follows:
- Open a new command prompt instance.
- Type the following:
- In the output, see the Physical address value:
You might want to change it to diagnose network issues. Also, the MAC address can be used to track your location if you have Wi-Fi enabled on your device. These are two common reasons you might want to change it.
Here is how it can be done.
First, you should check out your network card’s properties in Device Manager. Some network adapters come with a special MAC address option in the user interface in Device Manager to change it.
- Press Win + X shortcut keys together or right click the Start button to open its context menu.
- Select the Device Manager item:
- Navigate to Network adapters and find your adapter there. Double click it to open its properties:
- Switch to the Advanced tab. There, look for a parameter named “Network address” or “MAC address” or “Physical address”. If your adapter supports this feature, you should get something like this:
There, you can specify a new MAC address value.
If your adapter doesn’t support this feature, you can try to change it with a Registry tweak.
- Open Registry Editor.
- Go to the following Registry key:
Tip: You can access any desired Registry key with one click.
- Here, look for subkeys named 0000, 0001, 000x. They represent network adapters installed in your device. Check the parameter named “DriverDesc” under each subkey to find the right adapter:
- Now, look for the parameter named “NetworkAddress”. It should be a string value. If it exists, Windows will use its value data instead of the hardcoded MAC address in the hardware.
If the parameter does not exist, you can create it yourself and set its value to the new MAC address. I’ll use this value: “002408B2A2D2”.
- Now, disconnect the adapter from the network. Go to Control Panel\Network and Internet\Network and Sharing Center:
- On the left, click Change adapter settings:
- In the newly opened Network Connections window, right click your adapter and select “Disable” in the context menu:
- Now, right click the adapter and enable it from the context menu:This will apply your new MAC address directly: