Media Access Control or MAC Address is a unique identifier assigned to hardware. In this article, we’ll tell you how to change MAC Address Android.
Before going into the details of how to change, let us first discuss why anyone would want to change the MAC address and what exactly there is about the Mac address that we have to change. Below is the article, we are going to discuss in detail how you can change the Media Access Control or the MAC address on android devices. We will discuss both the methods that can be used, with root access or without root access.
What is the Media Access Control (MAC) Address?
The Media Access Control or the MAC address is referred to as the 12-character unique identifying number which is specifically assigned to a piece of a hardware device such as the adapter of a WiFi device. In simple words, the MAC address is used by people so that they can identify their android phones on the internet or any local network easily.
Why would anyone want to change the MAC Address?
The first and foremost reason anyone would want to change is privacy. If you do not change it, you stand at a risk of letting this information be seen by anyone who is in your local Ethernet network easily with the help of some simple tools. Allowing this will give hackers the chance to keep a track of your devices (and ultimately, you). This is a major threat if you are using a public wireless network like free wifi in hotels, railway stations, airports, or sometimes the free wifi facility provided by coffee shops.
If by any chance, your MAC address gets public and exposed, it can be used by hackers to impersonate you and spoil your reputation. On a majority of networks, the access is restricted on the basis of their IP address, so when and if you go offline on your network, a hacker can hack your network and access the system as you, which could cause a lot of damage.
If someday you are wishing to access a network that allows access based on your MAC address, you can change the MAC address on that particular device on which you want to access (a device with a MAC address that can access that network) and then easily access that network.
Your Internet Service Providers often use your MAC address in order to check and monitor your internet connection in case of any issues. If one day your network stops working all of a sudden and you are in need of a new network, it would be doubtful whether the new network will work or not as it will be having a new and different MAC address. In these instances, instead of contacting your Internet Provider, you can simply change the MAC address of the new network card you got and start using it.
How to find your MAC Address on your Android Device?
Well, most of the users have an idea how to check the MAC address on their android devices as it is very easy to check but in case you don’t know how to check it, there is no need to panic or worry. You can find it in Settings> About Phone.
If you are using Oneplus device: Open Settings, then System option, then About Phone, click on status and you will find the Wi-Fi MAC address.
If you are a Samsung Galaxy user: Open device Settings, then About Phone or About Device> then status option, and there you will find Wi-Fi MAC address.
Now that we have discussed what MAC address is and why do we need to change it, let’s discuss the main topic:
How to change MAC Address Android?
Changing the MAC address on your android device basically comes down to only 2 methods as we discussed above, with root access or without root access. Both of the methods are very simple but the main issue is to check if your phone is rooted or unrooted so you can proceed accordingly and be done with the process. For that, you need to check the status of root on your device which can be done easily by downloading the free root checker app from the Google Playstore.
You do not need to panic about the functioning of the root app as it is very easy to use. You just need to run the app after you are done downloading it and then you will see an option of “Verify Root”. Clicking on that button will allow the app to check the status of the root on your device which will help you to choose the method without any doubts.
#1 Changing your MAC address with root access on your device
As you can see, this method requires your android device to have root access on it which you can check with the root checker app as told by us above. If you have verified root access on your device using that app then you can continue to read this part or else skip to the next part where we discuss how the MAC address can be changed on your android device without having the root access.
- In the method, the first step you need to follow is to install another free app called BusyBox from the Google Playstore. You also need to install another app named Terminal Emulator for Android which, as BusyBox, can be downloaded for free from the Google Playstore.
- Now go ahead and run the Terminal Emulator app on your android device and in the space type the command “SU” (short for “super” user) and then press enter. Your device might ask you for permission to allow the app the access to root so just simply click on “Allow” for the process to proceed.
- After that, you need to type the next command which is “IP link show” and press enter again so that you can get to know the interface name of the network you are currently using and write it down. For demo purposes, let us refer to the name of your network as DAN5000.
- The command you need to enter next would be “busybox ip link DAN5000” (replace DAN5000 with the actual name of your network which you must have noted down in the previous step). Entering this command will tell you your present MAC address.
- Now, to change the MAC address, you need to enter the following command- “busybox config DAN5000 hw ether YY:YY:YY:ZZ:ZZ:ZZ”. Replace YY:YY:YY:ZZ:ZZ:ZZ with the MAC address you want to set.
As you can see from the steps mentioned above, it is very simple to change the MAC address on a rooted android device. Be careful as whatever address you set is now permanent even after you restart your android device.
#2 Change MAC address without root access on the android device
In the previous point we discussed changing MAC address if your device has root access but what if there is no root access on your device. There’s no need to worry as it is still possible to change your MAC address without root access on your android device. Below is a detailed procedure explaining how to temporarily change your MAC address on your android device without having root access on the device:
- First, start with knowing the MAC address of your handset. And to know this, follow these steps. Open settings and then go to Wi-Fi & Internet. In that option, tap on the Wi-Fi option (be careful and not click on the toggle button next to it) to see the list of what all Wi-Fi networks are available for you to connect to. From the list, select the network which is already connected to your handset. On the next page after that, you will see your handset’s MAC address which would be displayed under Network Details. If the display of your phone is small, you might have to click on Advanced Options in order to see the MAC address. Make sure you note the current MAC address somewhere in case you ever want to change back to it.
- After this, you need to download the Terminal Emulator app for android from the Google PlayStore as discussed in the first method too.
- Open the emulator app and then type “ip link show”.
- Search for the interface name of your current network from the list displayed. For demonstration purposes (to make it understandable easily) let us take the name of your network as DAN5000 (be sure to type the original network name). Now, you will have to type the following command in the terminal emulator app in order to change the MAC address: “ip link set DAN5000 AA:AA:AA:BB:BB:BB” (again, remember to replace DAN5000 with the original name of your network here and also your desired MAC address in place of AA:AA:AA:BB:BB:BB)
- Now, you just need to go and check whether your MAC address has been changed successfully or not.
- There are some limitations in this method which you should be aware of:
- It usually works on devices that have MediaTek processors so make sure to check your handset’s processor before starting this process.
The change in the MAC address is done for a temporary time only and will go back to the previous one once you restart your android device.
Please keep in mind one of the most important and basic things before you do any of these methods to change your MAC address. The important thing is to never change the manufacturer’s name on the device. You can identify it by checking ZZ:ZZ:ZZ i.e, the first 6 digits or places. Making a change in the manufacturer’s name might lead to you facing problems while connecting to the Wi-Fi network. To explain you better, let’s suppose your MAC address is a8:54:f7:j7:78:nm (it’s not a genuine MAC address so please do not think of it as one), you should not make any changes in first 6 characters a8:54:f7 and you can without any hassle make changes to the last 6 characters j7:78:nm so that the manufacturer name is not changed. You will also need a genuine and legit MAC address and not a random address so before you proceed with the change in the MAC address, be sure to make a note of a genuine MAC address which would be legit and will work in your handset. You can even generate random MAC addresses easily.
You can follow any of the two steps which we have shared with you in the article depending upon the root status of your device. Both methods are very easy and you would not face any difficulties while doing any of them. The steps would let you make changes to your MAC address either permanently or for a temporary period of time. These steps will just cost a few minutes of your time so do not worry by thinking that it’s a lengthy process.