I have been trying to change my MAC address. I find the device in my control panel, I right-click and choose properties. I then click on the advanced tab. However, Network Address is not among the properties.All I get are listed below:

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  • Not all hardware allows the user to change its MAC address. Commented Sep 24, 2019 at 22:03

3 Answers 3


The MAC address is programmed into an EEPROM/flash attached to the Ethernet controller and generally cannot be changed (at least not from Windows).

If the computer in question is a physical machine, you would need the firmware programming tool supplied by your Ethernet controller manufacturer (Realtek in your case). These utilities are usually not distributed publicly and often require an NDA with the vendor. However you can sometimes find them floating around on the web if you search. Be aware that if you make a mistake using the utility your Ethernet controller will probably be dead.

If the computer in question is a Virtual Machine, you may be able to control the MAC address via the hypervisor config files. https://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=507

  • 2
    While what you say is true for the burned-in address, don't forget to mention that nowadays most network card accept an instruction to set a new, programmed address which replaces the burned-in default address as long as the network card is powered up (ie. to simulate a permanent change the command must be issued on each start). Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 10:25
  • @WhiteWinterWolf Do you know the name of the instruction?
    – xvk3
    Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 17:34
  • If you don't care what MAC address you end up with, you could buy a new network card, install it (assuming your computer has an available PCI slot) and use that for your networking. Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 23:34

Updated Answer, as of 2022

Windows 10

For Windows 10 and windows 11, you can set a random MAC address in the Wifi Settings.
I don't think it works for Wired connections.

Settings > 
  Network & Internet > 
    Wi-Fi > 
      Manage known networks >
        Advanced Option > 
          Use Random hardware addresses: Set to True

Microsoft Documentation

Windows Option random hardware addresses

Linux (Ubuntu, Debian, ...)

On linux, the tool macchanger allows you to temporally change the mac address of the network cards.

The following macchanger options are the most useful:

-h,  --help                   Print this help
-s,  --show                   Print the MAC address and exit
-a,  --another                Set random vendor MAC of the same kind
-A                            Set random vendor MAC of any kind
-p,  --permanent              Reset to original, permanent hardware MAC
-r,  --random                 Set fully random MAC
-m,  --mac=XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX  Set the MAC XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX

How to use macchanger:

## disable interface
sudo ifconfig wlan0 down
## Set random mac address
sudo macchanger -r wlan0
## Check new mac address
sudo machanger -s wlan0
# Current MAC:   00:b0:fe:24:da:a5 (ALFA, INC.)
# Permanent MAC: 00:b5:a2:bd:45:9c (...)
## enable interface
sudo ifconfig wlan0 up

Not all Wi-fi drivers or wireless card firmware supports reporting a different MAC address than the burned-in one.

This site mentions a utility called Technitium MAC Address Changer - I have a vague memory of using it years ago and it working when I was unable to change the MAC via the ncpa.cpl properties. You can give it a try, but I would verify your MAC address is actually changing.

If that doesn't work:

  • See if you have luck installing the driver for this card directly from Realtek.

  • Get a USB wifi dongle and see if you can change the MAC address on it after installation. Something with an Intel chip will probably support it (MAC randomization is a Windows feature after all).

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