MAC address stands for Media Access Control address and it is a set of numbers that are used to identify a device uniquely within a network. MAC address is used at the data link layer while communicating over the network. Whenever you purchase a device, it has a MAC address assigned to it by default by its manufacturer. However, this default MAC address can be changed. In the first part of this article, we will explain to you that why you should change the MAC address of a device and in the second part of this article, we will tell you how you can change the MAC address of a device using Windows 10.
Why Should We Change the MAC Address of a Machine in Windows 10?
As it is already stated that MAC address is a number assigned to a device or more specifically, to the Network Interface Controller (NIC) of a device to identify it uniquely over the network but this number can be changed as per our own requirements. You can change the MAC address of a device because of the following reasons:
- The Internet Service Providers (ISPs) these days use MAC addresses to authenticate the devices. Let us assume that your NIC goes faulty and you have to change it. When you will replace your old NIC with a new NIC, your MAC address will automatically change since it is a number that is closely associated with the NIC. Your new MAC address is not registered with your ISP so you will lose your access to the Internet. In this case, the best and the easiest thing that you can do is to change your current MAC address with the older one so that your ISP can recognize it instantly and you can regain your access to the Internet.
- The second reason is that you might want to connect to a local network that only allows a limited number of devices to connect to it and identifies those devices based on their MAC addresses. You can gain access to such a network simply by changing your MAC address to the one that this network authenticates.
- Another major reason for changing the MAC address of a device is privacy. Since your MAC address is revealed publicly over the local network, hence anyone who knows your MAC address can perform illegal activities using your MAC address whenever you are not connected to that network.
Changing the MAC Address of a Machine in Windows 10
For changing the MAC address of a machine using Windows 10, you can make use of any of the two methods listed below:
Method # 1: Use the Power User Menu
In order to change the MAC address of your device using this method, you need to proceed as follows:
Launch the Power User menu by pressing Win+ X.
Once the Power User menu is launched, click on Device Manager as highlighted in the following image:
As soon as you will click on it, the Device Manager window will pop up which is shown in the image below:
Click on Network Adapters to expand it and then right-click on that particular network adapter whose MAC address you want to change as highlighted in the following image:
Right-clicking on a network adapter will open up a menu. Click on Properties from that menu.
The Properties window will pop up which is shown in the following image:
Now click on the Advanced tab and then select Network Address as shown in the image below:
Select the Value radio button in order to assign a new MAC address and then give any value of your choice in the corresponding textbox as shown in the following image. Just keep in mind that a MAC address is a set of six pairs of hexadecimal digits and you have to enter these digits without any spaces or dashes as shown in the following image:
Finally, click on OK to continue.
Method # 2: Use the Control Panel to set the MAC address
For changing the MAC address of your device using this method, you need to perform the following steps:
Type control panel in the search section of your taskbar and click on the search result to launch a new control panel window as shown in the following image:
Click on Network and Internet tab as highlighted in the image shown above. The Network and Internet window is shown in the following image:
Click on Network and Sharing Center.
Now click on Change adapter settings as shown in the image below:
Now right-click on your particular adapter and then click on Properties as shown in the following image:
Now click on Configure as shown in the image below:
As soon as you will click on it, the following window will pop up:
Click on the Advanced tab and then select Network Address.
Select the Value radio button and then give an appropriate value for your new MAC address in the corresponding textbox as shown in the following image:
Click on OK to continue.
In this article, we learned about the importance of changing the MAC address of a device. By making use of any of the two methods listed above, you can easily change the MAC address of a device whenever you want to and can enable a secure network communication.