How To Change the Mac Address on a Chromebook

Posted by Heather on December 9, 2018
How to Change Mac Address Chromebook

If you want to change your Mac address on Windows and Mac we’ve already covered that.  But, what if you want to change your Mac address on a Chromebook: is it possible?  While you can’t change the physical Mac address because it’s tethered to your network hardware installed in your Chromebook device, you can fake your internet address’ connection.

A second question you may also have is where to find the Mac address on your Chromebook.  We’ll tell you how to do that, too.  So, let’s look at where you’d find the Mac address on your Chromebook.  Then, we can talk about faking your IP address so you can remain anonymous online from your Chromebook.

Where’s the Mac Address on My Chromebook?

To locate the Mac address on your Chromebook, it’s very simple.  Just navigate to the lower right-hand portion of your Chromebooks screen, and then click where your profile picture is displayed.

  • Next, click on the Gear icon, which brings you to your Chromebooks settings.
  • In Settings under Internet Connection, click on the Wi-Fi connection that you are using, and then click it again in the list.Wi-Fi information Chromebook
  • Then, you’ll see a box that has all your Wi-Fi network’s information. The Mac address for your Chromebook is where it says Hardware Address.                                                                                                                  Mac Address Chromebook

Another method that can get used for finding the Mac address on your Chromebook is:

  • Open your Google Chrome browser.
  • Then, in the address bar, type chrome://system and press enter on your keyboard.
  • In the Chrome browser window, your Chromebook’s About System Information Details show up.
  • Scroll down to where it says ifconfig. Then, click on the Expand button.                 ifconfig Chromebook
  • When connected to the internet over Wi-Fi, where it says; wlan0 next to the word ether the Mac address appears.  Ether Mac address

Finally, here’s the third and final way to locate the Mac address on your Chromebook device.

  • Click on your profile picture in the lower right-hand side.
  • Then, click on your internet connection, which opens a network box showing your connected Wi-Fi and others around you.Internet Connection Chromebook
  • Next, click on the i in the gray circle next to the gear icon in the same Network window.  It shows you the IP Address and your Wi-Fi, which is your Mac address number.                                                                Info button Chromebook

Now that you’ve found the Mac address on your Chromebook through whichever method most appeals to you, let’s move on to the next part. We’ll tell you how you can change the Mac address on your Chromebook device.

Changing the Mac address on Your Chromebook

To change the Mac address on your Chromebook, you’ll have to be in developer mode.  Be aware that this also makes your Chromebook slightly less protected when doing so, as there is a layer of security that gets taken away. It will also wipe out anything on your Chromebook, so make sure you’ve backed everything up beforehand.

After you’ve logged into your Chromebook device in developer mode, you then need to get into the developer Crosh or Command Shell.  You’re going to do that from the Chrome browser.  Hold down the Ctrl + Alt + T keys on your keyboard.  This opens the command line in the Chrome browser.

Now you can briefly change your Mac address on your Chromebook device by typing the following commands for a Wi-Fi connection;

  • sudo ifconfig wlan0 down
  • sudo ifconfig wlan0 hw ether 00:11:22:33:44:55 (or whatever you like as your fake Mac address)
  • sudo ifconfig wlan0 up

These commands shut down your internet connect for you to change your Mac address and then bring it back up once completed.

The commands for an Ethernet connected Chromebook device are;

  • sudo ifconfig eth0 down
  • sudo ifconfig eth0 hw ether 00:11:22:33:44:55 (or whatever you like as your fake Mac address)
  • sudo ifconfig eth0 up

Okay, so now you should have been able to change the Mac address temporarily on your Chromebook, being in developer mode.  When you reboot your Chromebook device, the Mac address goes back to the original Mac address because it’s assigned to the network device.

Anytime you want to change your Mac address on your Chromebook, you’ll need to go through the steps above whenever you reboot your Chromebook and need to spoof your actual Mac address.

Using a VPN on Your Chromebook

You can also use a VPN (virtual private network) connection to spoof (fake) your internet’s IP (internet protocol) address.  Doing so makes it appear like your connection to the web is coming from a different location, not where you’re actually connected.

  • Go to your Internet Connection Settings just like we did in the first way to find your Mac address.
  • Under Internet connection, you’re going to add a connection.  So click on the plus button where it says Add Connection. Then, select OpenVPN/L2TP.

You’ll need the information from your VPN (virtual private network) provider to enter it in the next steps. If you already have one, just get the information necessary and proceed to set it up on your Chromebook.  Otherwise, there are some free VPN providers or many popular paid VPN service providers available on the internet. Finding a good fit, comparing the various services, and delving into how different providers handle privacy deserves it’s own article, as it involves a bit more than can be delved into in a brief aside, but Private Internet Access is one we use.

Shown here is the box that pops up on your Chromebook screen and the information you’ll need to set up the VPN.Add Private Network

Once you’ve entered the required information, check off the box that says Save Identity and Password to easily connect to the internet through your VPN in the future.  Then, click on the connect button.  The connection to your VPN gets established and you’re ready to browse and mingle online anonymously.

That’s all there is to it.  Choose on of three ways to locate the Mac address for your Chromebook.  Whether you need it for reference or you’re just curious, you now know how to do it.  Then, go through the command shell to change your Mac address while in developer mode on your Chromebook.  You can also set up a VPN connection from your Chromebook for those times you want your real location to remain anonymous or for your own privacy reasons. After all, sometimes it feels like privacy doesn’t really exist across huge parts of the internet, but there are still ways for you to maximize the amount of privacy you can get your hands on.

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