Knowing the MAC addresses of devices connected to your network can help you manage your network, improve your connection speed, and prevent unauthorized access. If the term “MAC address” sounds strange or new to you, read this detailed guide that explains what a MAC address is, what it means, how it differs from other network identifiers, and How to find the MAC address on iPhone and Android devices.
What you will learn in this guide are the different methods to find the MAC address of iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android devices. As a bonus, we will also show you how to easily change the MAC address of your device.
Static vs. Random MAC Addresses: Everything You Need to Know
Your device can have multiple MAC addresses: a “static” and a “random” MAC address. The “static” address is connected to the device’s hardware, while your device’s operating system generates the “random” address to prevent network operators, ISPs, and websites from tracking your online activities.
A static MAC address is permanent, while random MAC addresses will be different for every network you join. By default, both iOS and Android will hide the permanent MAC address assigned to your device (by the manufacturer) and generate a random MAC address when connecting to a new network.
Android (version 10 or newer) uses a “MAC Address Randomization” technology to assign new MAC addresses for each Wi-Fi network you join. On iOS (version 14 or newer), the feature is known as “Private Wi-Fi Address.” Using different MAC addresses on various networks makes it difficult for network providers to track you.
Next, we’ll delve into why phone manufacturers randomly assign MAC addresses. But for now, we will show you how to check the random and static MAC address of your device.
Find the MAC address of an iPhone
iOS does not adopt the MAC address name or label. What you will find on your iPhone and iPad is a “Wi-Fi Address”. But don’t worry, they both mean the same thing.
To check the static MAC address assigned to your iPhone by Apple, go to Settings > General > About and check the Wi-Fi Address row.
You can find the private MAC address in the Wi-Fi settings menu or in the iOS app of your router.
Check the iOS Wi-Fi settings menu
The fastest route to get your iPhone’s random MAC address is from the Wi-Fi Settings menu. Open the Settings app , select Wi-Fi , and tap the Information icon next to the active Wi-Fi network.
You’ll find your iPhone’s random MAC address in the Wi-Fi Address row.
Check your router app
Depending on the make or model of your router, as well as the router application interface, you will find the random or static MAC address of connected devices in any of these sections: Device Management, Network Management, WLAN Management, device information etc.
Can’t find your device’s MAC address in any of these sections? Check the instruction manual of the router or contact the developers of the application.
Find Android MAC Address
Compared to iOS, Android offers more options to check MAC addresses. You can find your device’s permanent (static) MAC address in Settings > About phone > Wi-Fi MAC address .
Alternatively, check the network settings menu or use third-party network applications.
Check the Android network settings menu
Connect your phone to a Wi-Fi network, launch the Android Settings app and follow the steps below.
1. Open the Network & Internet menu and select Wi-Fi .
2. Select the active Wi-Fi network or tap the gear icon next to the network name.
3. Expand the Advanced section.
4. Scroll down to the Network Details section to see the random MAC address of your device. You will also find other relevant information related to the network, such as IP address, DNS server, etc.
Quick Tip: You can easily copy your device’s MAC address by long-pressing the MAC address and tapping Copy .
Use third-party Wi-Fi analyzers
Wi-Fi analyzers (also called Wi-Fi scanners) are powerful network tools that provide comprehensive information about the health and performance of your Wi-Fi network. With a Wi-Fi analyzer app, you can view your router’s signal strength, monitor internet usage, check upload and download speed, view your device’s random MAC address, etc. Some Wi-Fi scanners can even help diagnose and fix connectivity issues.
Fing is a free and popular network analyzer that is available on the Google Play Store. Install Fing on your device, head over to the Devices tab , select your Android device, and scroll down to the Network Details section to check the device’s MAC address.
Network Analyzer is another reliable Wi-Fi scanner app that we recommend. It’s free with a simple interface that displays detailed information about your Wi-Fi network and connected devices. Install and launch the app, scroll to the Wi-Fi Details section to see the MAC address of your device. Tap the MAC address to copy it to your device’s clipboard.
Do you want to try other applications with a good combination of functionality and usability? Check out this compilation of the best Android Wi-Fi analyzer apps.
Disable private and random MAC address
If you want your device to use the same MAC address on all Wi-Fi networks, disabling MAC address randomization will do the trick.
Disable MAC address randomization on Android
To disable MAC address randomization on Android, join a Wi-Fi network, open the notification center and long press the Wi-Fi icon. Please continue with the steps below to disable random MAC addresses on your Android device.
Tap the gear icon next to the active Wi-Fi network, expand the Advanced dropdown menu, and tap the Privacy option .
Select Use Device MAC to disable MAC address randomization.
Android will end the connection, but will automatically rejoin the Wi-Fi network in about 3-5 seconds.
Disable private Wi-Fi address on iPhone
For iOS, go to the Wi-Fi settings menu ( Settings > Wi-Fi ), tap the active Wi-Fi network, and turn off the Private Address option.
How to change the MAC address on iOS and Android
To change the random MAC address of your iOS or Android, all you need to do is forget the Wi-Fi network on your device. When you rejoin the network, your device’s operating system will generate a new private or random MAC address for that particular network.
On your Android device, go to the Wi-Fi settings menu, long press the network and select Forget network .
Alternatively, tap the gear icon next to Network and tap the Forget icon .
To forget a Wi-Fi network on an iPhone, open the Wi-Fi settings menu, select the Wi-Fi network, and tap Forget This Network .
iOS and MAC address restriction
If you’re wondering why we don’t include any iPhone apps, it’s because Apple no longer allows third-party apps to view or access MAC addresses on iOS devices.
This restriction started with the introduction of iOS 11.