How To Change the MAC Address on your Android Device
Before we get into further details, let’s first explain that all of you passionate Android fans don’t have anything to worry about, as this article doesn’t have anything to do with any Apple products at all. The rivalry between these two platforms sometimes gets really heated, so we simply had to clear that up first. This tutorial will show you how to change the MAC address on your Android device.
Now, let us explain what a MAC address actually is, what it is for, why you would want to change it, and finally, the ways that you can change your MAC address. Pull out your Android phone, sit back, relax, and keep reading this article.
What Is a MAC Address Anyway?
The MAC address (also referred to as the Media Access Control address) is an identifier consisting of 12 characters that is given to any piece of hardware which can access Wifi internet. So, this means that your network adapter has one, as well as your Android smartphone, phablet, or tablet.
The MAC address is used so each device that connects to the Internet or a local network can be identified by its unique 12-character code.
Why Would You Want to Change Your MAC Address?
Obviously, this is your first question, and, as much as we agree with the golden rule that if something isn’t broke you shouldn’t try to fix it (AKA “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”), there are real reasons why you still would want to change the MAC address of your android devices.
Privacy is all important and it has become very fragile in the modern day and age. Each and every device on the internet can be traced and accessed via various methods, so we suggest you do everything you can to keep your privacy and data to yourself and avoid getting hacked.
Those who are in the know, sometimes also referred to as hackers, can easily look up the MAC address of your device. By doing so, the hacker can keep track of your device, especially if you connect to the internet by using public Wifi networks such as the ones found at airports, coffee shops, hotels, and similar places.
You might wonder why it is important that people can track your online activities with your MAC access. Well, if a hacker has your MAC address, he can impersonate you and commit various crimes using your MAC address or steal from you. You wouldn’t really want any of that, would you?
On most networks, access restrictions are based on the IP address of a device, but when someone has your MAC address, he or she can easily work their way around such IP address security restrictions.
You could go as far as to change the MAC address of your network adapter, and make the restriction based on MAC addresses connecting to it if you wish to do so.
Do we have your attention now? Let’s skip to the obvious question you might be asking at this point.
How Can You Change Your MAC Address?
Well, basically it all comes down to two different methods of changing your MAC address – with or without root access. Even though both methods are fairly simple, we first need to check the root availability on your Android device. Download the free Root Checker app from Google Play.
Don’t worry, the app is simple, and you basically just need to run it when it’s downloaded and tap on the “Verify root” button. This will show you the status of your root and you will see if there is root access on your device.
Changing the MAC Address with Root Access to your Device
This is the method that can be performed only on Android devices on which you have root access. If the Root Checker app confirmed that your device has root access, then just read on. If not, skip to the next section where we will show you how to change the MAC address on your Android device without having root access.
First of all, you will need to install another free app from Google Play by the name BusyBox. Besides this one, you will need an app called Terminal Emulator for Android, which you can also download for free from Google Play.
Run the terminal emulator app and type in the command su (which stands for “super” user) before hitting Enter. If the device asks you to allow the app to access the root, simply tap “Allow”.
Type in the next command “IP link show” and then hit Enter again so that you can write down the interface name of your current network. For demonstration purposes here, we will refer to your network interface name as HAL9000.
The next command that you need to enter is “busybox ip link HAL9000” (of course you need to replace HAL9000 with the actual name of your network which you’d written down earlier). This command will show you your current MAC address.
To change the address, type in the following command – “busybox config HAL9000 hw ether XX:XX:XX:YY:YY:YY”. Of course, instead of “XX:XX:XX:YY:YY:YY” you need to type in your new MAC address.
It is as simple as that to change your MAC address, keeping in mind that this change is permanent, even after you restart your Android phone.
Changing the MAC Address without Root Access to the Device
First, you need to check your MAC address. Go to Settings, then About Phone and then Select Status. There you will see your current MAC address, and we suggest that you write it down somewhere, just in case, as you’ll need the current MAC address later when you want to change it.
Once you’re done with that, download a free app from Google Play called Terminal Emulator for Android. Run the app and type in the command “IP link show”. After that, you will see the name of your network interface. Again for demonstration purposes, we shall call your network interface name “HAL9000”, but you should type in the actual name of your network interface.
The next command to type in is “ip link set HAL9000 XX:XX:XX:YY:YY:YY”. Instead of “XX:XX:XX:YY:YY:YY” and then you should write down your new MAC address in case you need it again.
It’s Easy peasy to change the MAC address on your Android phone temporarily. However, just keep in mind that this change only lasts until the next time you restart your phone.
Following our easy step-by-step guide, you can change the MAC address on your Android device either permanently if you have root access to your device or until you restart your phone if you do not have root access.
You can change your MAC address in just a few short minutes to help protect your privacy and security.
If you enjoyed this article, you might want to check out The Best New Android Apps and Games – Summer 2019.
Do you have any suggestions on the best way to change your MAC address on your Android device? If so, please leave a comment below!