[How to] Find a MAC Address of Windows, Mac and Linux Computer

The Media Access Control address, or shortly called the MAC address helps identifying the IP address of the particular computer, in all the different operating systems like Windows, Mac and Linux. While finding the MAC address is quite easy for the Windows and Linux operating systems, it would require a couple steps extra steps. Pinging is the process to be done on the Windows OS to find the MAC address of the computer. Check the tutorial How to Ping an IP address if you were actually looking for that, but if the MAC address if what you wanted to find, follow the details below.

Find MAC Address on Windows OS

To find the Media Access Control address (MAC address), you need to follow the similar steps that you had followed for pinging an IP address, where you need to go to the start menu, and search for Run, and in the box, type CMD and press enter to open the command function.

Open Run Windows  Run CMD windows

In the command prompt, type ipconfig /all and you would see all the information about the computer, including the IP address, Subnet mask, DNS servers and the Physical address. The 12-digit physical address with the format xx-yy-zz-aa-bb-cc is the MAC address you are trying to search.

ipconfig mac address

Find MAC Address on Linux OS

  • In the linux computer, you need to open the “su” command which would function similar to the CMD option in Windows.
  • After the # prompt, type the following ifconfig -a and hit enter. This would show a list of the various data and information about the computer.
  • HWaddr in the first line itself is the MAC address of your linux computer.

Find MAC Address on Mac OS X

  • Open the System Preferences from the Apple Menu, or else search for System Preferences from the Spotlight search.
  • Click on the “Network” in System Preferences, and in the window select the active network connection you are on, Wi-Fi, Ethernet, etc. and then after selecting, hit “Advanced” on the lower right corner.
  • In the advanced options section, the bottom will have the Wi-Fi address which is the Mac address in the format aa:bb:cc:dd:ee:ff having specific alphabetic or numeric characters.

Mac Address on Mac OS X

How Unique is a MAC Address?

The Media Access Control address is a unique identifier for the network adapter, which is assigned to every network interface card or the network adapter for making it easier to identify. These MAC addresses are placed on the device by the manufacturer and usually encodes the manufacturers identification number. It is also known as a hardware address, physical address, or adapter address.

The 12-digit code differently made for every adapter makes it very much unique, and a perfect way to identify the network.

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